Boston Market (known before 1995 as Boston Chicken), headquartered in Golden, Colorado, is a chain of American fast casual restaurants. Founded in December 1985 in Boston, Massachusetts, the chain grew rapidly in the early and mid-1990s, filed bankruptcy in the late 1990s, and was purchased by McDonald's Corporation in May 2000. McDonald's initially 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.
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Boston Market has its greatest presence in the Northeastern United States. As of August 2007, the chain has 630 company-owned restaurants locations in 28 states, with 14,000 employees. At one point in the early 2000s, Boston Market operated two locations in Toronto. In early 2002, Boston Market entered the Australian market, opening nine stores in the Sydney metropolitan area by 2004, before quietly exiting the Australian market later that year due to competitive pressures.
When still known as Boston Chicken, stores specialized in rotisserie chicken and a variety of side dishes, but in 1995 the chain expanded its menu to include turkey, meatloaf, ham, and sandwiches, and changed the name to Boston Market to reflect this. The chain later added roasted sirloin and made ham a seasonal offering.
A selection of Boston Market-branded items has 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. As of December 2005, these chilled menu items are available in 700 supermarkets. Frozen meals and side dishes are sold nationally under the Boston Market brand name, although they are made by H. J. Heinz Company. Boston Market also caters, providing hot lunch buffets and sandwiches for office parties, meetings, family gatherings, picnics, and weddings.