Big Chicken Plans Las Vegas Expansion with 8-Unit Franchise Deal

Franchisee Vinnie Alba has been a regular at the brand’s original location just off the Strip
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Big Chicken, the fast casual chicken concept founded by basketball hall-of-famer Shaquille O’Neal, announced last week that it had signed a franchise with local entrepreneur Vinnie Alba. A regular at the brand’s original location just off the Strip, Alba is set to open eight Big Chicken locations in Las Vegas and Henderson.

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“I was instantly hooked from the moment I tasted the food at Big Chicken, and from then on, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Alba said in a press release. “When you think of Shaquille O’Neal, you think big, bold, and fun, and each menu item truly reflects those qualities. Both the local community and thrill-seeking visitors in Las Vegas are vibrant and passionate, and after meeting with the excellent leadership team I’m confident Big Chicken will meet that energy.” 

Alba has built years of franchising experience as an owner of four Firehouse Subs locations in Las Vegas. He is expected to bring this experience to bear on exploding Big Chicken’s footprint in the Las Vegas Valley.

The Big Chicken menu centers several takes on the crispy chicken sandwich, including the Shaq Attack (pepper jack cheese, jalapeño slaw, spicy chipotle bbq sauce) and the Charles Barkley (mac & cheese, crispy fried onions, roasted garlic bbq aioli), also available as sliders. Popcorn chicken, chicken tenders, and sidekicks like BC Fries and Lucille’s Mac & Cheese with Cheez-It Crust fill out the menu. For dessert, guests can choose from a variety of shakes, ice cream sandwiches, and soft-serve cones.

“As Big Chicken’s home market, Las Vegas holds a special place for us and our fans, so we had to find someone to grow with who not only has the right experience, but shares our passion for the brand,” said Big Chicken CEO Josh Halpern. “Vinnie meets our criteria and then some, and we’re thrilled to have him as a franchisee on our team, helping to continue our expansion in Las Vegas.” 

What Now Las Vegas reached out to Vinnie Alba on Sunday. Alba declined to comment on the news. Locations and projected opening dates have not yet been revealed, so stay tuned for more updates.

Neil Cooney

Neil Cooney is a freelance writer. He has received an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, and his work has been published in the Masters Review. He lives in Nashville, TN, where he spends his free time cooking Korean food and studying chess.
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