Boston Market to start franchising stores in bid to boost sales

Boston Market Corp., the chain of rotisserie-chicken restaurants owned by Sun Capital Partners Inc., plans to franchise locations next year and may buy another chain.

Boston Market, which has more than 470 company-operated U.S. locations, will increase sales by opening stores through franchise operators, Chief Executive Officer George Michel said in an interview today. The Golden, Colorado-based company may also buy another chicken eatery, he said.

“We could potentially, in two years, look at an add-on acquisition,” Michel said. A chain with 50 to 100 locations would be ideal, he said.

Boston Market, founded in 1985, is targeting 15 percent franchised ownership long term, Michel said. The company is also looking to open international stores in Canada and the Middle East, he said.

Sales at Boston Market, which also sells beef brisket and turkey pot pie, rose about 8.5 percent to more than $500 million last year and will increase about 6.5 percent in 2012, Michel said.

Sun Capital, based in Boca Raton, Florida, which also owns the Smokey Bones and Fazoli’s dining brands, bought Boston Market from McDonald’s Corp. in 2007.

Bloomberg News

Sept. 25, 2012