Boston Market Launches Upscale Restaurant
May. 04, 2003
GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) _ Boston Market Corp. on Sunday launched its upscale Boston Market's Rotisserie Grill restaurant, a move aimed at helping it fare better among fast-casual competitors while keeping its reputation as a substitute for home-cooked meals.
``Arguably, Boston Market started the whole fast-casual (restaurant) concept, but competitors came in and kind of raised the bar,'' Boston Market chief executive officer Mike Andres said. Still, the company didn't want to tamper with its existing Boston Market stores, and has worked for the past year on opening new restaurants under a new name, Andres said.
The first Rotisserie Grill officially opens Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. Others are to open this year in St. Charles, Ill.; Westboro, Mass.; Dallas and Manhattan.
Food in Rotisserie Grill will be served on real china with real cutlery in carpeted and wood-floor dining rooms with upholstered seats.
While Golden-based Boston Market sells rotisserie and grilled chicken, meat loaf, turkey and ham, Rotisserie Grill's menu includes spiced-up options like rotisserie roast sirloin and Asian citrus rotisserie chicken, seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and Szechuan black peppercorns and served with a dipping sauce of lime juice, garlic, pepper flakes, ginger and fish sauce.
``Some of these flavors are finding their way into white tablecloth restaurants but not likely in fast-casual (restaurants),'' said Bob Karisny, vice president of research and development.
Boston Market is a subsidiary of McDonald's Corp. The fast-food giant decided to buy the restaurants in 1999 after Boston Chicken Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection a year earlier, a victim of its own overexpansion.
McDonald's, facing slowing revenues, has slowed its own expansion plans and capital spending since Jim Cantalupo returned from retirement to become chief executive officer Jan. 1.
But Andres said Rotisserie Grill would have resources to grow, even if McDonald's decides to sell stakes in its partner brands, including Boston Market, the Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill and Donato's Pizza.
``Regardless, we'll have resources to grow this concept, considering its successful,'' he said.
Boston Market has 650 locations in 28 states.