Since adding St. Louis Style ribs to its menu in April, Boston Market has seen sales at its restaurants increase by more than 16 percent, with ribs accounting for more than 18 percent of all customer orders. Additionally, total customer transactions are up 8 percent versus this time last year. These increases come at a time when many in the fast casual industry have cited a slowdown in their business. As a result of the demand, Boston Market is adding ribs to its menu permanently in all locations.
“Demand for St. Louis Style ribs at our restaurants has exceeded our greatest expectations,” said George Michel (a.k.a. “The Big Chicken”), CEO of Boston Market. “I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and I’ve never seen a new product make such a sweeping impact. We ran through inventory for the entire eight-week promotion in about three weeks.”
Since the ribs launch, customers, on average, are spending $12 for an order of ribs at Boston Market compared to less than $10 for chicken, turkey or meatloaf. St. Louis Style ribs at Boston Market – available as individual meals with two sides and homemade cornbread – are priced between $10.99 and $12.99, and half of all ribs meals are being purchased as a combo with rotisserie chicken for $12.99. The ribs also are available a la carte, in family meals, and through catering.
“While other category competitors are advertising value menus with low price points, we focused on innovation, a great guest experience and product quality to allow us to offer a more premium product,” said Michel. “Clearly, this strategy is paying off. Diners at Boston Market know that they may choose from an array of delicious menu items, all priced affordably, and all made with the highest quality.”
The launch of St. Louis Style ribs continues the strong turnaround at Boston Market. The company has posted 34 consecutive months of positive comp sales. Additionally, the company is preparing to open its first new restaurants in six years.
“Boston Market introduced fast casual more than 27 years ago by taking the ‘fast’ from fast food and the quality from casual restaurants,” said Sara Bittorf, chief brand officer, Boston Market. “Clearly we’re proving the strength of this idea with our ribs.”