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Boston Market is now serving ribs

The chain best known for its chicken is now serving bone-in smoked St. Louis Style ribs. 

In its biggest new food launch in six years, Boston Market is betting that the barbecue favorite will help bring new customers into its restaurants.

The ribs are smothered in the same barbeque sauce as its chicken. You can get a quarter chicken, a quarter rack of ribs, with 2 side orders and corn bread for $12.99 or you could get the half rack for the same price. 

"Our research shows chicken and ribs go well together, just like bacon and eggs," says Boston Market CEO George Michel.  "We want to broaden the appeal of Boston Market to attract new guests, and ribs allow us to do this. We want to push the boundaries of what a casual restaurant chain can provide its guests.”

In 2010, Boston Market refocused its efforts on operational execution and the guest experience. Restaurants were modernized and started using real plates and cutlery instead of plastic to further enhance the eating experience.

“What we found was the key, was to engage our people. So we went out and met with them coast to coast with all our employees all our GM’s and talked about what we need to change and about a that we need to now have a different attitude with our customers,” says Michel.  The feedback included another, more portable way to serve the food which is now implemented in the drive through windows.

Michel says he takes a personal approach to customer service, saying he looks at every email and comment that comes in. “I personally will email and call people to talk to them if there's any dissatisfaction, that's how much I believe in our restaurants and stand behind our mantra, 'love to serve.'”

The approach is working. Boston Market has experienced 30 consecutive months of positive same-store sales and after a 27-year roller coaster of rapid growth, an IPO, bankruptcy, purchase by McDonald's, sale by McDonald's, and, most recently, private equity ownership, the company has found its stride and is ready to open new locations for the first time in six years. They are now looking to break ground in Queens, N.Y., and Miami this year.