Business just keeps on booming for Shaquille O’Neal.
One of the NBA legend’s numerous ventures is being the co-owner of Big Chicken. In April 2022, it was announced that the restaurant franchise was set to bring 50 new locations to Texas in cities including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, as previously reported by AfroTech.
“Big Chicken wouldn’t be growing like it is without the team behind it,” O’Neal shared in a press statement in April 2023, according to San Antonio, TX-based KSAT-12, an affiliate of ABC. “My team has done a fantastic job making sure we’re growing in the right way, with the right people. Now, we’re going even BIGGER in Texas and I’m excited to be teammates with Fazil [Malik], Frank [Malik] and Noordin [Jhaver].”
On June 24, O’Neal held the grand opening of the first Big Chicken restaurant in Houston. According to Houston Press, the opening was such a hit that customers overflowed from the restaurant and had a line wrapped around the outside of the building. The massive group of people caused the fire marshal to take action with crowd control. Despite the chaos, the outlet details that O’Neal embraced the customers by signing autographs and taking pictures with them.
“I’ve been living here for 30 years,” O’Neal shared, according to the outlet. “I just want to thank the people of Houston for coming out. I love the turnout but if it was ten people or one hundred people, I’m going to be thankful.”
On top of showing love to his supporters, O’Neal paid for everyone’s meal and asked for people to provide their honest feedback to ensure Big Chicken is “one of the best restaurants out here.”
“This is my creation—Excuse me, this is my mama’s creation. Coming where we come from, me and this little guy had to eat chicken a lot,” O’Neal said referring to his brother who was present for the grand-opening. “Chicken sandwiches, chicken tacos, chicken everything. When the opportunity came to create this franchise, we had a meeting and sold over 250. This is the first to open in Houston.”