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Shaq’s ‘Big Chicken’ restaurant to open 12 locations in Arizona

Big Chicken [archive file]
Posted at 2:17 PM, Jun 15, 2022

GILBERT, AZ — Big Chicken is coming to Arizona and the first location will be opening this fall! The fast-casual restaurant was founded by Shaquille O'Neal and the local franchise owners have agreed to open at least 12 locations in the state.


According to Steve Christensen, one of the Arizona franchise owners, the average patty size is five ounces. The restaurant also has a cookie with a circumference of an NBA basketball!

“There are a lot of things [that] Shaq has his footprint on. Actually, at the soda machine there’s Shaq’s footprints…so you can see how big his feet are,” said Christensen.

Big Chicken menu items

“The one thing that we really like to let everyone know [is the]… naked truth. The chicken is premium chicken, it's preservative-free, humanely raised with no cages, hormones, or antibiotics ever,” said Steve Christensen to ABC15.


According to Christensen, he and Reid Richards are the franchisees for the state and have agreed to open at least 12 Big Chicken locations in Arizona over the next couple of years.

For now, the local franchise owners plan to open the first couple of locations in the Valley and possibly expand to Tucson.

“Queen Creek is the market we are targeting to be open very soon,” said Christensen. “We’re also hoping to get something in Chandler or in the Camelback Corridor [area] very soon.”


In an interview with ABC15, Christensen said that the first location to open in Arizona will be in the Town of Gilbert. The restaurant is expected to open this fall — possibly in September or October — and will have a full-service bar.

Big Chicken will be moving in- and renovating- the former Pomo Pizzeria location located in the Heritage District.