Remember the golden days of Boston Market? I was a teenager then, and I remember for a while the big push to make it the next big thing. Then, later, everything fizzled out, and the chain shrank, big time.
Well, Boston Market fans, here’s some interesting news from trade publication Restaurant Business: Since Jay Pandya purchased the chain last April, Boston Market has opened 41 new stores (some in long-closed locations) and is now on pace to open two new locations a week. That’s a lot of rotisserie chicken. And a hell of a throwback, too.
Back in the mid-90's. I’d see a ton of commercials for Boston Market, and there were a lot of locations back then (around 1,200, whew), but this proved to be nothing more than a big chicken bubble. Turns out that the chain was amassing large amounts of debt while expanding, and eventually it imploded. I’m not a chicken tycoon, but that does not seem to be a successful way to run a business. Pandya agrees: expect to see more express-style locations that don’t have dining rooms. The smaller footprint makes expansion that much easier.
Oh, and you just know Boston Market’s got its eyes set on the fried chicken sandwich battle, too. The chain is launching a Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich this week that’s breaded and partially cooked by the supplier and then finished on-site in the stores’ convection ovens. (There will also be a Nashville-style rotisserie chicken.) Whether or not that’ll compete in the chicken bloodbath that’s raging in the streets right now, is left to be determined. I just really want to watch a Boston Market rotisserie chicken get into a fistfight with one from Costco. The feathers are really gonna fly now.