Shaquille O’Neal-Owned Big Chicken Coming Soon to Reno

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 8:06 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Big Chicken, a fast casual chicken restaurant founded by NBA Hall of Fame Center Shaquille O’Neal, has signed an agreement to open six locations across northwest Nevada.

“Big Chicken is Shaquille’ reminds him of growing up, the sandwiches are named after friends and family members, the food is incredible like I said, he’s so passionate,” Franchisee Damon Kreizenbeck explains. Kreizenbeck has been working with Shaq’s team behind the scenes. Kreizenbeck already owns four Firehouse Subs; one in Carson City, one in Sparks, and two in Reno...he tells us he is well versed in Shaq’s entrepreneurial spirit, as he details, “I never liked having a boss, to put it mildly. but also, it helps you to know how to be a good boss right? how to murture and grow and watch know so many young people start in the food industry, and so to help them continue to grow and learn about business and learn about, just talking to people.”

HE admits it has been a rough go for the restaurant industry since covid entered our world, adding, “I don’t think any business owner would describe the last two years as fun. unfortunately, we’re still not out of it, there’s still a hiring shortage, all those things that impact any businessowner...there’s supply chain shortages that are brutal.” But the UNR alum is optimistic, having spent most of his professional life in the fine wine business where he owned a wine and spirit marketing company and a fine wine distributor.

Kriezenbeck says Big Chicken will have seating but some locations in our area will offer a drive thru. There’s already one open in Las Vegas. There will be no heat lamps, everything is made fresh like at his firehouse subs locations. He says he is thrilled for our economy, for his family and for everyone to continue supporting small businesses. “I love this area, I’ll never know being here the 32 years I have, I just love it, if you get bored here it’s your own fault, there’s so much to do, Kriezenbeck says.

Soon, once real estate is complete, Northern Nevadans will be able to stop in and taste for themselves.

Northern Nevada cities outside of Reno haven’t been finalized just yet. We can report that Douglas and Washoe counties are solid location selections so far. Within the year, construction should begin on the first restaurant and leaders will share more details as they’re able to be released.

To learn about the new restaurant, head to

Damon’s contact information is You can check out current openings at local Firehouse Subs, text 2135 to 31063 to apply for openings.

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