Over the past three years, Boston Market, leader in the fast-casual restaurant segment popular for its juicy, slow-roasted rotisserie chicken and home style favorite side dishes, has experienced an exceptional turnaround. The consistent positive growth has led to the first new restaurant opening in seven years. On location in Hialeah, Florida, Boston Market’s Chief Brand Officer, Sara Bittorf, discusses how the brand’s 35 consecutive months of positive sales and the implementation of an elevated guest experience have led to this exciting point in the brand’s history. The Hialeah location is hosting a grand opening event on Friday, October 11 to celebrate its arrival in the South Florida market.
The following are excerpts from an interview with Bittorf during her recent appearance in Hialeah. To see the full interview, visit: http://chiefchats.com/boston-markets-chief-brand-officer-sara-bittorf-discusses-turnaround-and-new-restaurant/.
What changes have been made to the restaurant that the guest will notice?
“The first thing guests will notice when they come to this location is the décor package. It’s been contemporized with fresh cues all over the restaurant to demonstrate our position on fresh ingredients and high quality. They’ll be able to see our signature fresh, never frozen chicken being cooked in our rotisserie ovens all day long. They’ll notice a brand new service line, which is intended to help the customer get served a little more quickly with more customization.”
How did you log such an impressive series of positive store sales?
“We’ve had 35 months of positive comp store sales, of which we’re very proud. It started as a result of the enhanced experience that we introduced in 2010, and I think it’s been reinforced by the execution at the restaurant level. Our employees have played a major role in this turnaround, and the positive momentum continues to build on itself. When the excitement goes up, the service is better, and when the service is better, the customers respond. We have a lot of innovation in the future that we’re getting ready to introduce.”
How do you plan to reinvent the Boston Market brand?
“We have a great brand that was built on this idea of not just putting dinner on the table, but making a mom or a dad feel good about that meal and providing a great family experience. We want to bring the brand back to its former glory and bring that emotional connection back to our customers. The second task is getting the word out that Boston Market is back. We’re back and we’re back in a big way. We’re back with new products; we’re back with an enhanced experience. We’re open for business and we’re inviting people in to our restaurants.”
You haven’t opened a restaurant for the last 7 years. Why now? Why South Florida?
“Boston Market is opening our first new restaurant in seven years now because we’re positioned for growth. We’ve had almost three years of positive comp sales; we’re financially healthy again and we are ready to start building restaurants that drive people in to experience a great Boston Market meal. South Florida’s always been a great market for Boston Market. The people here love our product, and the business that we do here is very strong. We feel like we have a lot to learn from this market and a lot of business to do.”
What does the future look like for Boston Market?
“This is the first of many planned development opportunities for us, and we’re looking at various scenarios. We want to be where people are and where they can enjoy a great Boston Market experience, like airports, universities, neighborhood malls. All of those are on the table.”
The newest restaurant is located at 1001 W. 49th Street in Hialeah, Florida. The grand opening celebration is on Friday, October 11 at 10:30 a.m. There will be entertainment, games, and prizes, along with an appearance by Boston Market’s CEO, George Michel.
Boston Market Corporation, headquartered in Golden, Colorado, has given time back to busy families and individuals for more than 25 years with quality, home-style meals at a convenient value in more than 460 nationwide locations. A staple on dinner tables, Boston Market prepares its fresh, never-frozen, natural chicken in signature rotisserie ovens and features an extensive selection of home-style sides and made from scratch cornbread. In 2011, the company completed updates to locations across the country, adding new healthier menu items and enhancing the dine-in experience. As one of the country’s largest providers of catering services, Boston Market offers convenient, same-day orders and delivery for corporate and personal events of all sizes. For more information about Boston Market, visit www.BostonMarket.com.