The covid pandemic proved to be a death knell for fast food operators who were unable to pivot to a delivery and drive-thru model. As restaurants closed across the country, companies like McDonald’s and Domino’s, which had prioritized digital channels and delivery for years, were better prepared to deal with the new market conditions.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) massive change in operating conditions that no one could have predicted. McDonald’s, Domino’s and Starbucks – all clear winners from the pandemic – have not built out their digital and delivery infrastructure in case we face a global health crisis.
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These three chains, along with a few others, invested in becoming omnichannel because they wanted to be able to serve customers the way they wanted. Chains that did not make these investments generally suffered; Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) – Get a free report Burger King has seen several franchisees go bankrupt.
Another popular chain, Boston Market, saw sales fall during the Covid pandemic because it had built its business largely around in-store dining and takeout. Some locations have drive-thrus, but the company has never made digital development and delivery a major investment priority.
Today, the chicken chain, which was once called Boston Chicken when it was founded in a Boston suburb, is on the brink of extinction. The channel’s owner, Jignesh Pandya, personally filed for bankruptcy protection. This seriously endangers activity, which continues to decline.
Pandya’s bankruptcy petition, filed in Pennsylvania, was actually dismissed by a federal judge, citing Pandya’s failure to respond to requests for information.
Boston Market did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TheStreet on its financial health.
The situation in the Boston market is bleak
It’s hard to know exactly how things work at Boston Market. Technically, it was Pandya who filed for bankruptcy, not the channel. Today, with its bankruptcy dismissed by the courts, it is unclear where the finances of the company or its owners stand following large debts.
Boston Market, however, saw all of its Florida and Connecticut locations abruptly close late last year. Additionally, Boston Market Headquarters was seized in May 2022 by the Colorado Department of Revenue for more than $329,000 in unpaid sales and payroll taxes.
That’s not good news, and the company has become smaller and smaller amid its struggles. The fast food chain also faces a lawsuit from US Foods, a key supplier, over more than $11 million in unpaid bills.
The chain’s legal troubles are long-running as it has also been sued more than 140 times in various state and federal courts for everything from unpaid wages to past-due rent to vendors not getting paid .
However, the restaurant chain still hasn’t gone bankrupt and has just shared a bold plan to return to growth.
Boston Market has a bold new franchise plan
Typically, when a person or business purchases a franchise, they pay a fee up front. After that, the new franchisee pays a percentage of its sales to the parent company and usually must order its food and supplies from the chain.
Sometimes fees are reduced or royalty payments are waived for a period of time, but Boston Market’s new Boston Market Connect (BMC) franchise program is designed to quickly grow the chain.
“A bold departure from conventional franchise models, the BMC program presents itself as a new window of opportunity, inviting passionate individuals to become an owner/operating partner of a Boston Market location with no membership requirements,” he said. the company said in a press release. release.
Basically, the rotisserie chain wants existing operators — perhaps convenience store owners or owners of pizzerias or other non-franchise restaurants — to add the Boston Market menu to their locations.
Pandya, without commenting on his bankruptcy, made bold promises regarding the new franchise project.
“The name Boston Market is unique and it is well known throughout the country,” Pandya said. “Now, with everyone’s support, we will be able to provide everyone with our famous roast chicken, along with delicious homemade sides and family meals.” We encourage anyone with a location who would like to add Boston Market virtually to contact us and partner with us.