Shaq’s Big Chicken restaurant to open in Orlando this year

Chain is coming sooner than expected

Images from the Shaquille O'Neal-owned Big Chicken restaurant franchise. (Courtesy, Big Chicken)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken restaurant has announced a time frame and location for when the franchise will be making its way to Orlando.

The chicken chain has scheduled an Orlando opening for late 2023, according to the company’s website. A specific date to open has not been released as of yet.

The restaurant is set to open in the Market at Southside shopping complex, at 250 E. Michigan Street.

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The restaurant had announced plans to open about 45 locations across Florida in 2022, including an Orlando location through a LinkedIn post.

The expansion comes as the company formed an agreement with DMD Ventures, based out of Davies, for development rights to Big Chicken in South and Central Florida, according to its website. Big Chicken said the stores will be coming to Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

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The franchise began in 2018 by O’Neal and business companies JRS Hospitality and Authentic Brands Group. The chicken restaurant has 17 locations across the United States and nationwide shipping, according to the company’s website. According to Big Chicken, the company now has 200 franchises in development, including the 45 locations in Florida.

The chain offers menu items such as crispy chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and salads. The chicken franchise also has a Cheez-It-crusted mac and cheese, jalapeno slaw and dirty fries with cheese sauce and bacon.


O’Neal’s restaurant carries sweets such as ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes and hugely sized cookies. Items on the menu are inspired by childhood food favorites from O’Neal.

For more information, visit the restaurant’s website.

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