Big Chicken partners with nonprofit to inspire students to explore careers in STEM

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Big Chicken, a fast-casual chicken restaurant founded by NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, is partnering with Blue Origin’s non-profit, Club for the Future, to inspire students to explore careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

According to a press release, Club for the Future will partner with Big Chicken’s leadership team and founder Shaquille O’Neal as Club Ambassadors to inspire and engage students through community outreach programs at Big Chicken restaurants.

Patrons at Big Chicken’s Austin Landing restaurant location will be able to draw their vision of the future on Postcards to Space. Blue Origin will fly the postcards on a future New Shepard mission, stamp them “flown to space” and return them to the creators, the press release said.

“We’ve always said “Go BIG’ when asked about growth plans for Big Chicken. Now, with Blue Origin, we’re going as BIG as we can by advancing the dream of running restaurants in space,” noted Josh Halpern, CEO of Big Chicken. “When I think about what Shaquille stands for — BIG fun and pursuing BIG dreams — this relationship aligns perfectly with Blue Origin’s vision to enable millions of people to live and work in space for the benefit of Earth.”

“I’m proud to team up with Blue Origin to help inspire the next generation,” said O’Neal. “This first-of-its-kind partnership is a game changer and I’m excited to take the chicken sandwich game to a whole new level.”

“Living and working in space for the benefit of Earth should be delicious,” said Michael Edmonds, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Blue Origin, and president of Club for the Future. “Shaq’s Big Chicken and Club for the Future will fuel students’ appetites and minds as they pursue careers in STEM — all while delivering some of Earth’s tastiest foods to space.”

The team is hoping to inspire future generations to pursue restaurant operations in space.

Big Chicken’s restaurant at 10655 Innovation Drive in Miami Twp. is the brand’s first location in Ohio, the first in the Midwest and its first franchise. For more information about Big Chicken, visit

About the Author