Catch You Later, Boston Market [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Like a lot of chain restaurants, this one had its humble beginnings in 1984 as a single store in Newton called "Boston Chicken." Back then, consumer preferences were different. Don't ask me why. I guess home-style offerings of rotisserie chicken, roasted turkey and meatloaf don't appeal to today's consumer. It's definitely not the same country I grew up in.
This week, Boston Market closed 45 locations across the nation–including its last two restaurants in the city for which it's named.
The restaurant industry is always evolving, where even hometown diners have felt the drop off in business. So what's behind this evolution? Shifting consumer habits, schedules, tastes and finances. And yet, it's not surprising that restaurants like McDonald's have maintained their market value. Speaking of which, McDonald's Corp. acquired Boston Market in 2000 after Boston Market declared bankruptcy in 1998. Today, they are owned by Sun Capital Partners.
I see a lot of local restaurants thriving today and I'm sure when today's consumer has to decide between a chain and a local mom and pop, they'll choose the local business.
Across the state, 16 Boston Market locations remain, including Brockton and Fall River, and the company continues to sell frozen meals at grocery stores. But as the larger picture for a once-dynamic restaurant chain shrinks, the dwindling locations are an indication that Boston Market is slowly vanishing into that figurative fog bank along with other chains.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.