Boston Market said Monday it closed 45 stores as it proceeds with its “multi-faceted transformation plan” amid declining sales in recent years.
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The fast-casual rotisserie chicken chain closed six locations on June 30 and another 39 restaurants on Sunday, Nation’s Restaurant News reported. The closures represented 10 percent of the chain’s 454 U.S. locations.
Boston Market CEO Frances Allen sent an email out Monday to employees, saying the closures were an “unfortunate, but necessary decision.” All affected employees were notified ahead of time and offered another position at a Boston Market location or received a severance package.
“We must take steps to ensure our operational structure will support long-term sustainability,” Allen wrote in the letter, which was obtained by FOX Business. “Part of that effort involves continuously analyzing our geographic footprint and real estate portfolio to assess the ongoing viability of locations.”
“The dynamics of geographic areas can change dramatically over time, sometimes impacting the performance of a location. Similarly, when leases are up for renewal, we must decide whether to renew the lease or exit the location,” Allen added.
The chain’s sales have declined in recent years. Boston Market saw a 1.3 percent decline in 2018, Nation’s Restaurant News reported.
Boston Market announced last month it was shaking up its menu for the summer season and adding new sandwiches and two salads to compete with other restaurants. Allen said in a news release at the time that the chain was confident its new sandwich offerings, complete “with real, hand-carved chicken right from the rotisserie [would] devour the competition.”
The menu change was part of the transformation plan to give customers more variety and options during different meal times, Allen said Monday. She added the chain still dominated the rotisserie category compared to other restaurants.
Allen said although the restaurant industry is facing challenging times, she was optimistic about the Colorado-based chain’s future.
“Our success is not going to be defined by the number of stores; it’s going to be driven and measured by our ability to execute our agenda, ensuring the Boston Market brand continues to be relevant with existing and new customers and delivers exceptional dining experiences,” Allen said.