Shaquille O’Neal-Owned Big Chicken to Grow in Greater Seattle

    Industry News | November 4, 2021

    An established restaurant operator team in the Pacific Northwest has signed a franchise agreement with Big Chicken, the chicken concept with a championship pedigree behind it.

    Big Chicken, the star-powered fast casual chicken concept founded by legendary basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, announced today that highly-accomplished Washington restaurant operators David and Lorri Jones have signed an agreement to open multiple Big Chicken restaurants in Greater Seattle. Today’s announcement follows the brand’s Washington debut at the Climate Pledge Arena earlier this month.

    “We were blown away when we first visited Big Chicken; the food was fresh, the flavors were BIG and the team behind the brand is incredibly talented,” says David, who in collaboration with his wife owns four Subways and founded their own concept, the eight-unit Blazing Onion Handcrafted Burgers. “Lorri and I have worked on all sides of restaurant development and Big Chicken is a concept that checks every box in terms of taste profile, menu innovation, marketing, operations, franchisor support and a strong real estate strategy. We’re confident Big Chicken will quickly become one of Greater Seattle’s hottest spots.”

    David and Lorri hold nearly 25 years of restaurant management and business ownership experience. Before launching their own ventures, David held various managerial roles at Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Panhandler Pies and Denny’s, while Lorri worked as a controller at Red Hook Brewery, Eldec Aerospace and Philipps Warranty. The duo understands how to operate restaurants soundly. By expanding their restaurant and franchising portfolio to three brands, the Joneses are eager to attract even more hungry Washington residents and watch their concepts grow.

    “The Joneses have what it takes to elevate Big Chicken’s rapid growth across the Seattle area. Their impressive backgrounds and knowledge in operating strong restaurant concepts is indicative of what they have planned for Big Chicken,” adds Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken and the architect of the brand’s growth strategy. “Our strategic growth strategy is one that’s on track to rapidly hit the hottest cities the United States has to offer. We’re confident that David and Lorri have what it takes to introduce Greater Seattle to a taste of Shaquille’s upbringing.”

    With additional existing locations currently open in suburban Los Angeles along with Las Vegas as well as on the Mardi Gras Carnival Cruise ship, the Big Chicken franchise opportunity is tailored for skilled restaurant owner/operator groups like the Jones. The franchise investment has been designed to align with successful, multi-unit investors who want to become part of Shaquille’s dream team.

    Along with O’Neal, the championship pedigree behind Big Chicken includes a pair of powerful ownership group partners, including:

    Authentic Brands (ABG), a brand development, marketing and entertainment company, which owns a portfolio of iconic and world-renowned brands including Sports Illustrated, Elvis Presley and Forever 21.

    JRS Hospitality, Las Vegas’ leading events and catering company with a reputation for hosting top tier parties, private dining and corporate gatherings at its iconic venues such as Cabo Wabo, Hexx, and Beer Park.

    Ideal franchisees are multi-unit operators who trust and understand the established system Big Chicken has in place and have the capital to open several units. Restaurant experience — whether traditional or not — is preferred, but not required. With significant interest from new owners, franchise investors will have the advantage to join a brand on the cusp of worldwide expansion.

    News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.