Huge Restaurant Chain Now Down To Just 27 Locations As Bankruptcy Looms

By Dave Basner

April 9, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Plenty of retailers that once had so many stores it seemed like they might last forever have succumbed to the tough financial climate, either by shutting down some of their many locations, like Sears, Pizza Hut, CVS, Foot Locker and Walgreens have done, or by shuttering all their stores amid bankruptcy, like Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning and Christmas Tree Shops. Well Boston Market, which at its peak had a whopping 1,200 restaurants, seems to be circling the drain as, according to employees, the chain now only has 27 locations still open.

Most of the problems stem from Rohan Group, which owns Engage Brands, LLC, which acquired Boston Market in April of 2020. Rohan owner Jignesh Pandya had to declare bankruptcy personally, claiming liabilities in the range of $10-50 million dollars. A lot of those liabilities are due to judgements against him and another company he owns, Yum Brands, which is facing an $11 million penalty over legal issues with Pizza Hut locations. However, a judge recently terminated Pandya's bankruptcy and banned him from declaring again for six months.

Meanwhile, Boston Market is struggling with its own issues. Along with closing locations, their headquarters were seized due to $300,000 in unpaid taxes, and recently, officials in New Jersey ordered the closure of 27 stores in the state after regulators uncovered "multiple violations of workers' rights" like failure to pay wages. The chain was also fined around $26 million for that. There dozens of other outstanding lawsuits against Boston Market as well for failing to pay vendors.

One former employee told Restaurant Business that Boston Market locations "are closing every day." The company started 2023 with 300 locations and reportedly less than 10% of those remain open. As yet, only Pandya has declared bankruptcy, not the chain itself, but with the way things are going, bankruptcy for the brand might not be far off.

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