Boston Market to open more than 25 restaurants in the Middle East

Boston Market is back in expansion mode, planning to open as many as 30 restaurants in the Middle East, the Golden-based chain announced Monday.

 

A development agreement with Al-Ghunaim Trading Co. Ltd., which will bring Boston Market restaurants specializing in rotisserie chicken to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The first of 25 to 30 stores is expected to open in Kuwait later this year or early in 2017, officials said.

 

It will be the first Boston Market overseas since former owner McDonald’s sold the company more than a decade ago, closing outlets in Canada and Australia.

 

CEO George Michel said the Middle East is the perfect place to start expanding because rotisserie chicken — its signature dish — is popular and American brands are in demand there, both among locals educated in the U.S. and expatriates living in the region.

Michel speaks Arabic and previously worked in the Middle East for Burger King and Brinker International, overseeing Chili’s and Macaroni Grills in the region.

Al-Ghunaim manages a variety of casual dining and fast-casual restaurants in the Middle East and Asia, including Johnny Carino’s Italian, Chili’s, and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

 

Boston Market will make some changes to its menu to comply with Islamic dietary rules, including replacing its pork ribs with beef, and will offer delivery to compete with other restaurants.

 

After a seven-year pause, Boston Market has put a renewed focus on restaurant development. The restaurant chain, which opened three restaurants in 2014, is planning to open 12 restaurants this year. Boston Market has 457 restaurants in the United States.

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