STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — The battle of the chicken sandwich is still on and Shaquille O’Neal stepping onto the court in Pennsylvania with a Big Chicken expansion in the state.
Big Chicken is a fast-casual chicken concept founded by NBA legend and Hall of Famer Shaq. The company announced big expansion plans through franchising and a family of entrepreneurs in the area were quick to sign up.
Harsimrat, Shubreet, Samarjit, and Pukhraj Sidhu will bring Big Chicken to the Commonwealth starting with a store in State College with plans to later build in the Lehigh Valley and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.
“We are super excited to bring more BIG flavor, BIG food and BIG fun to the people of Pennsylvania,” said Harsimrat Sidhu. “When we first learned about Big Chicken, we did not need much convincing to franchise with them. We fell in love with the Big Chicken flavor profile and the variety of menu items they offer. Big Chicken really felt like a family to us, and with our global perspective we are looking forward to learning and growing with them.”
According to a company release, the Sidhu family has an extensive background in the convenience, retail, and hospitality industries in the region.
While a date is unknown, the company said the family is narrowing down the choices for the location of the first eatery in State College.
“We currently have one upcoming location slated for the state of Pennsylvania, so we are BIG time excited to support the Sidhu’s in their plans for expansion across the state. Here we GROW, State College,” said Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern.
The company touts a fusion of Shaq’s home-cooked childhood favorites with today’s trending flavors. From crispy chicken to Cheez-It-crusted mac n’ cheese and hand-crafted ice cream shakes.
Big Chicken was founded in 2018 and backed by a “dream team” of partners including JRS Hospitality, Authentic Brands Group, and Shaquille O’Neal himself.
They currently have stores in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and more, including in the Kansas City International Airport and a spot on three Carnival Cruise ships.