The Unexpected Connection Between Boston Market And Blockbuster

There is an immediately noticeable difference between Boston Market and Blockbuster: One is still in business, and the other is not. However, beyond that, there is one surprising similarity. Boston Market was originally launched as Boston Chicken back in 1985 after founders Arthur Cores and Steven Kolow came up with the idea to sell rotisserie chickens at low prices. According to The New York Times, Cores and Kolow wanted to make life easier for customers by offering meals they wouldn't have to cook at home.

Boston Chicken started out only serving a few options. Rotisserie chicken and sides such as mashed potatoes and cornbread were on its menu. Over the years, though, it expanded into other dishes, eventually causing its name to change to Boston Market. Today, Boston Market has more than 500 locations and offers plenty of menu items, including prime rib and baby back ribs. But perhaps the most surprising part about this chain is that Blockbuster played an integral role in its growth.

Blockbuster executives purchased Boston Market

Though Boston Chicken's concept was simple, it brought in plenty of money due to the crowd it catered to. According to The Balance, it caught the attention of a few important people in 1991: Blockbuster executives Saad J. Nadhir and Scott Beck. At one point, Boston Chicken was so popular that lines were coming out of the store. Nadhir and Beck liked what they saw, and they wanted in on the popular chicken joint. As a result, the duo bought the chain. The Balance reports that by the end of 1992, Boston Chicken had expanded nationwide to 217 stores, and it was raking in a whopping $154 million annually in sales.

Throughout the 1990s, Boston Chicken, which was changed to Boston Market in 1995, continued to expand. However, the chain found itself in debt while trying to expand internationally, and McDonald's purchased it in 2000 for $173 million as a result. McDonald's expanded Boston Market into the grocery store's frozen food section, which helped get it back on its feet. McDonald's later sold the company to Sun Partners in 2007.