Popular Chain Restaurant Closing Dozens Of Stores

By Dave Basner

August 22, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

This year, stores and restaurant locations you probably visited monthly, weekly or even daily have been closing up due to financial reasons. Giant retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning and Christmas Tree Shops have shuttered all their locations after declaring bankruptcy, while Sears, Pizza Hut, CVS and Walgreens are closing down locations as a cost-cutting measure. Now, another nationwide chain is following suit - Boston Market.

The fast casual eatery that was founded in 1985 and led to a rotisserie chicken craze in the 80s and 90s, at one point had over 1,200 locations across the country, but now they are down to fewer than 300, and this week, 27 were shut down, but not voluntarily. Officials in New Jersey ordered the closure of the stores after regulators uncovered "multiple violations of workers' rights" like failure to pay wages. In addition, the company was fined around $26 million.

In a press release, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development explained they issued the "stop-work" orders on the restaurants after discovering over $600,000 in back pay owed to 314 workers. The good news is that the locations can re-open when all penalties and wages have been paid.

For now, with the 27 New Jersey stores shuttering, it brings the total number of Boston Markets closed this year to around 50.

It's a tough time for the chain - it is facing lawsuits in Arizona and Massachusetts, which both also allege unpaid wages. The eatery was also hit with an $11.6 million lawsuit from distributor US Foods, who provide the chain with produce. US Foods claims that "beginning in 2022, Boston Market began to fall significantly behind in its payment obligations."

There is no word on if more stores will close or not, but with all the financial issues facing the company, its future could be in jeopardy.

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