Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken has announced that it has signed a franchise agreement to open its first restaurant in Tennessee with local restaurateur Jim Richards, Franchising.com shared. Big Chicken will open locations in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.
“With four decades of experience in the restaurant industry under my belt, I know the importance of creating a ‘wow’ experience for customers,” said Richards, who has signed on to open ten locations across the State. “Big Chicken’s food, service and overall experience is truly second to none and as someone who has lived in the area for over 40 years I am confident that we will become a quick hit for the people of Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.”
Richards has experience with several brands in the restaurant industry. He was Vice President of Franchise Services for The Krystal Company for ten years before starting his own business, GPR Hospitality LLC, where he currently owns and operates 13 Five Guys restaurants in Tennessee and North Georgia, as well as Fiamma Pizza Company with its partner Brion. Vosges. Drawing on its own industry connections, Voges, along with other Richards business partners and associates Andrew Gardner, Bruce Bowman and Rodney Hutson, will also be involved in operating the new Big Chicken sites. Together, they look forward to leveraging their industry knowledge to expand the brand’s presence in Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga.
“Jim’s extensive experience as a restaurant owner is extremely impressive and his enthusiasm for the business is infectious,” said Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern. “Nashville is a great market and we’ve been excited to expand and Knoxville and Chattanooga are amazing college town markets that we’re also excited to enter. We look forward to supporting Jim and his team as they bring Music City and East Tennessee to BIG flavor, BIG food, and BIG fun! »
Since announcing Big Chicken’s franchise initiative just a year ago, the brand has more than 150 locations in its development pipeline. With its first franchise location opening in August in Dayton, Ohio, the upcoming franchise expansion includes new restaurants in Illinois, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, idaho, utah, tennessee and nevada. Big Chicken currently has an existing location open in Las Vegas as well as restaurants in Los Angeles, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, New York City’s UBS Arena, Moody Center in Austin and on two Carnival cruise ships. Tailored to qualified restaurant owner/operator groups, like Richards, Franchise Investing was designed to align with successful multi-unit investors who want to be part of the Shaquille Dream Team.
About the big chicken
Founded in 2018, Big Chicken is backed by a dream team of partners; 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. Big Chicken fuses O’Neal’s homegrown childhood dishes with today’s trending flavors. From crispy chicken sandwiches and tenderloins to Cheez-It® crusted mac 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.