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Boston Market Opens New Stores, Markets New Image

GOLDEN, Colo. - Known for its home-style meals, Boston Market Corporation is opening new stores for the first time since 1997 with a new store right outside of Boston, where the company started more than a decade ago.

Timed to open in late-November right before the start of the Thanksgiving holiday -- Boston Market's busiest time of year -- the new store on the Massachusetts Turnpike is yet another sign of the company's continued strong growth since it was acquired by McDonald's Corporation in May 2000.

The Framingham, Mass., location on the turnpike is one of 40 stores that Boston Market plans to open by the end of 2002, with another 80 slated for 2003. But expansion is just one part of Boston Market's increased focus to grow and renew its business, which presently includes more than 650 company-owned restaurants in 28 states. The company's marketing strategy of introducing consumers to the "New Boston Market," which includes new menu options, a new decor and new catering services, is already contributing to mid single-digit sales increases vs. a year ago.

"We're bullish on Boston Market's growth potential and the early successes we're seeing with some of our initiatives," said Mike Andres, president and CEO of Boston Market Corporation. "Our current strategies enable us to leverage Boston Market's strong customer loyalty and brand recognition, expand deliberately and methodically in markets where we already have a presence, enhance the dining experience for our customers and ultimately drive our continued profitability."

The "new Boston Market" improvements were recently introduced at company restaurants in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla. The changes will be rolled out market by market with 200 restaurants converted by the end of the year and system-wide completion targeted for early 2003.

"We're still early in the process, but in our most recently converted markets we're seeing double-digit sales increases as a result of these changes," said Andres. "Our new grilled items are the second most popular protein after our signature rotisserie chicken, which clearly shows our customers like the new items. And perhaps the most telling thing has been our customers' reactions. Customer surveys in those markets indicate that customer satisfaction ratings in nearly every category -- food, service, comfort -- have gone up substantially after we've introduced the 'new' Boston Market."

The company also recently announced plans to open a restaurant at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, as well as four restaurants in Canada and Australia.
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