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Emerging Brands

Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken hires its first CEO

Josh Halpern comes to the two-unit fast-casual chicken chain from major beverage companies.
Big Chicken
Photo courtesy Big Chicken

Big Chicken, the two-unit fast-casual chain owned by NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, has hired its first CEO.

Josh Halpern, who most recently served as chief sales officer for brewing company FIFCO USA, will help steer the chain’s growth, O’Neal said in a statement.

Big Chicken CEO

“Since we launched our first location in 2018, our goal has been to bring Big Chicken to people across the United States and beyond,” O’Neal said. “With Josh on board, we have big plans and are looking forward to sharing those details with you soon.”

Halpern has also worked for Anheuser-Busch InBev, where he built the strategy that led to the creation of 46 branded, licensed experiential zones in restaurants and bars in stadiums, airports and hotels.

Big Chicken, which has locations in Las Vegas and Glendale, Calif., serves fried chicken sandwiches and signature sauces, mac and cheese, as well as milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches. The Las Vegas location features a full-service bar and backyard-style gaming area.

The chain’s food is also available for nationwide shipping via Goldbelly. Big Chicken is set to debut on a couple of Carnival cruise ships later this year.

“I’m excited to join the Big Chicken team and partner with franchisees to expand this amazing brand nationally and beyond,” Halpern said in a statement.

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