Big Chicken appoints Marci Rude as VP of Development
Big Chicken, a concept founded by Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, who was just named No. 25 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers list, elevated Marci Rude to vice president of development.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with several great restaurant brands over the years, and one thing I’ve learned above all else is that top-notch food and service drive success,” Rude said. in a company press release. “Big Chicken’s cuisine and level of service are truly unrivaled in the fast casual category. Plus, it has been a pleasure to work alongside such a smart and passionate management team who aim for nothing less than Excellency.”
With over 25 years of experience in commercial real estate management and development, Rude previously spent three years as Director of Development for Concepts Entertainment, an Arizona-based restaurant and hospitality management company. His development experience also extends to Kona Grill, PetSmart, PF Chang’s and Sonic Drive-In.
“We’re growing rapidly and we’re lucky to have a rock star like Marci working with our franchisees as they build their restaurants. She’s an incredible teammate and a great partner to our franchise community,” said Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken, in the release. . “As we approach nearly 200 signed units, we want to make sure our franchisees continue to experience the same level of personalized support they received from the jump, and Marci will help us make that happen.”
Since announcing Big Chicken’s franchise initiative just under a year ago, the brand has more than 150 locations in its development pipeline. The franchise’s upcoming expansion includes restaurants in Illinois, California, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio, Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Big Chicken has an existing location open in Las Vegas as well as restaurants in Los Angeles, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, New York City’s UBS Arena, Moody Center in Austin and on two Carnival cruise ships.