Newton, Massachusetts, United States
|Headquarters||Golden, Colorado, U.S.|
Number of locations
|George Michel (CEO)|
|Owner||Sun Capital Partners|
Number of employees
Boston Market Corporation, known as Boston Chicken until 1995, headquartered in Golden, Colorado, is a chain of American fast casual restaurants. It is owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.
It was founded in December 1984 in Newton, Massachusetts, by Steven Kolow and Arthur Cores. The chain expanded rapidly in the early and mid-1990s. The company raised a lot of debt to finance its expansion. The rapid expansion allowed the company to create a steady stream of revenue from one-time development fees and increasing royalties, but also raised interest rates on its development loans. In 1998 the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company was purchased by McDonald's Corporation in May 2000. McDonald's purchased the company for its real estate, but found the brand serviceable and therefore continued to operate and expand the chain. In 2007 McDonald's announced that it was "exploring strategic options" for the subsidiary. On August 6, 2007, McDonald's announced plans to sell the chain to Sun Capital Partners, a transaction that was completed on August 27, 2007.
Boston Market has its greatest presence in the Northeastern United States. As of August 2007[update] the chain has 530 company-owned restaurant locations in 28 states, with 14,000 employees. In the early 2000s Boston Market operated two locations in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In early 2002 Boston Market entered the Australian market, opening nine stores in the Sydney metropolitan area by 2004, before converting some stores to McDonald's and quietly exiting the Australian market later that year due to competitive pressures.
When it was known as Boston Chicken, stores specialized in rotisserie chicken and a variety of side dishes, but in February 1995, the chain expanded its menu to include turkey, meatloaf, ham, and sandwiches, and changed the name to Boston Market in Fall 1995 to reflect this, though the corporate name remained "Boston Chicken, Inc." until 1997, when it became so popular with the new name, the corporate name was changed to "Boston Market Corporation". The chain later added Beef Brisket. In 2005 Boston Market also started offering limited-time offers, such as Crispy Country Chicken, an oven-baked chicken breast with country gravy. Baked white fish, haddock or cod, was also offered on Fridays during Lent. Boston Market continues to introduce new items and flavors such as their popular BBQ Ribs, Oven Crisp Chicken and Tuscan Parm Chicken Premium Dish.
A selection of Boston Market-branded items have been available since April 1999 in many supermarkets across the U.S. In April 2004, Boston Market introduced chilled menu items to be sold at supermarkets. In December 2005 these chilled menu items were available in 700 supermarkets. Frozen meals and side dishes are sold nationally under the Boston Market brand name, and previously manufactured by H. J. Heinz Company and Overhill Farms of Vernon, California, until Overhill Foods was purchased by Bellisio Foods of Duluth, MN. Boston Market has also introduced a catering menu.
In 2002 Boston Pizza commenced a lawsuit against Boston Market in the Federal Court of Canada over the trademark use of the word "Boston" in Canada. In its defense, Boston Market alleged that Boston Pizza's trademarks were invalid because it described a style of pizza from a specific area. The dispute continued after Boston Market ceased operations in Canada in 2004. The parties settled the dispute in 2008 under an agreement that Boston Market would not use the words "Boston" or "Boston Market" in Canada for five years for restaurants or any food or drink products (other than pre-packaged food products, but not including pizza and lasagna). Boston Market also agreed that it will not challenge Boston Pizza's use in Canada of any trademark that uses the words "Boston" or "Boston Pizza" (with certain exceptions).
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