How A Long Line For Chicken Became The Inspiration For Boston Market

Today, Boston Market is known for its variety of meat dishes, from roasted turkey to prime rib. The chain made a name for itself because of its high-quality, affordable menu items. The idea was the brainchild of both Arthur Cores and Stephen Kolow, according to The Balance. Cores and Kolow, both from the Boston area, wanted to partner and launch a small business. Since the area was full of college students, both men thought it made sense to open a food establishment that catered to those looking for low-budget, fast-paced meals.

The founders decided to purchase an empty storefront in Newton, Massachusetts, where they installed rotisseries for chickens. They mastered a few solid side dishes and opened up what was then known as Boston Chicken in 1985. Little did the two men know at the time that they were about to leave an everlasting mark on the fast-casual food market.

One man bought Boston Market because of its line

Boston Chicken wasn't in business for too long before it totally took off. Each day, the line was out the door, as the founders' vision of serving high-quality food to those on lower budgets was a success story. And one of then-Boston Chicken's customers was George Naddaff. Funding Universe reports that Naddaff, who lived in the Boston area, was sent by his wife to purchase chicken from the store, and he couldn't believe the line.

Naddaff was fascinated with the Boston Chicken business model, and he approached founders Cores and Kolow about purchasing the business. The two men partnered with Naddaff, and by 1991 the Boston Chicken brand was pulling in $21 million annually in sales. By 1995, Boston Chicken's menu had expanded to include other meats, prompting its name change to Boston Market. Though the restaurant hit a roadblock when it filed for bankruptcy in 1998, it's still going strong today with 344 locations across the U.S., per its website.