Saturday, September 24 2022

ORLANDO, Florida. – Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has left a huge mark on the restaurant industry in recent years and is now expanding his culinary footprint in Central Florida.

O’Neil’s Big Chicken restaurant franchise is set to open 45 stores in Florida, according to a Company LinkedIn post.


The expansion comes as the company has reached an agreement with Davies-based DMD Ventures for development rights to Big Chicken in South and Central Florida, according to its website.

Big Chicken said stores would come to Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but did not offer exact locations. News 6 has reached out to DMD Ventures for additional information and this story will be updated if we receive a response.

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The DMD Ventures website said the first of 45 sites will open in 2023.

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“The Big Chicken concept is built around Shaq’s remarkable life, and he puts his heart into marketing the brand and making sure it lives up to the trust he’s built with fans.” , said DMD Ventures in its speech to potential investors.

According to the Big Chicken website, the chain was started in 2018 by “JRS Hospitality, an accomplished Las Vegas-based ownership group; Authentic Brands Group, a multi-billion dollar brand development, marketing and entertainment company; and Hall of Fame basketball star Shaquille O’Neal.

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The website boasts that the menu is made up of O’Neal’s childhood favorites with today’s trending flavors. From crispy chicken sandwiches and tenders to Cheez-It crusted macaroni and cheese and artisan frozen shakes, each menu item tells a story while offering diners a glimpse into the life and personality of Shaquille O’Neal.

DMD Ventures also manages the Twin Peaks and Papa John’s franchises, which O’Neil also invests heavily in, according to its website.

According to Big Chicken, the company now has 200 franchises in development, including 45 locations in Florida.

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