Hixson To Join Shaquille O’Neal-Owned Big Chicken’s Starting Lineup This Weekend

  • Friday, March 1, 2024
Big Chicken is going for nothing but net with BIG flavor in Hixson. 

Founded by legendary basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, the star-powered chicken concept will open its debut restaurant Hixson on March 4. Located at 5118 Hixson Pike near the Northgate Mall, the restaurant opening will be immediately followed by another across the river in Chattanooga in early April.

As part of the BIG opening fun, the first 34 guests in line will receive Big Chicken sandwiches for a year, limited to one sandwich per month.
The 34 guests represent the number on Mr. O’Neal’s jersey, which was officially retired in 2012, during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. 

“Traditional southern dishes are incredibly popular in Hixson, so we’re confident that Big Chicken’s BIG flavor and BIG food will quickly resonate with guests from around the area,” said Jim Richards, who has plans to own and operate at least 20 Big Chicken locations throughout Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville. “This day has been long-awaited, and we look forward to sharing in the festivities with our friends and neighbors in the community.”

Outside of Big Chicken, Mr. Richards has experience working with several brands in the restaurant industry. He served as the vice president of Franchise Services for The Krystal Company for 10 years before launching his own company, 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 partner Brion Voges. With strong connections of his own in the industry, Mr. Voges, along with Mr. Richards’ other business partners and associates Andrew Gardner, Bruce Bowman and Rodney Hutson will also be involved in operating their network of Big Chicken locations. 

“If I had to choose one phrase to describe my excitement for Jim and his partners’ first Big Chicken opening in Tennessee, it would have to be ‘BIG KUDOS,” said Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken. “This is just the beginning – there is so much more growth on the horizon for this talented group. Chattanooga, we’re coming for you next.”

With 350-plus locations in development nationwide for the brand, Big Chicken currently has locations open in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, Tannersville, Pa., Fayetteville, Ar., Clio, Mi., Carson City, Nv., Gilbert, Az., Rosemont, Il. and in the Dayton, Oh. region, as well as in metro-New York’s UBS Arena, The Comcast Center in Philadelphia, The Moody Center in Austin, ASU’s Mullett Arena, Palm Springs’ Acrisure Arena, St. Louis’s Busch Stadium, Arizona’s Footprint Arena, Kansas City International Airport and on four Carnival Cruise ships.

To learn more about Big Chicken in Hixson, visit www.bigchicken.com/hixson.
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