Struggling Boston Market announced Wednesday that it has been acquired by Engage Brands LLC, a Pennsylvania-based operator of Pizza Hut and Checkers & Rally's.
Engage Brands, headed by real estate investor Jignesh Pandya, purchased the chain from Sun Capital Partners Inc., according to a news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last summer, Boston Market closed 45 of its fast-casual rotisserie chicken restaurants to improve the company’s “long-term sustainability.” The closures represented about 10% of the chain’s total units.
Its systemwide sales declined nearly 10% from 2018 to 2019, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. It lost 14% of its units during that time, falling to 390 stores in 2019.
“We are very pleased to partner with Engage Brands as we embark on our next chapter of growth,” Boston Market CEO Eric Wyatt said in a statement. “With the strategic and financial backing Jay and his team bring, we will continue to focus on key operational initiatives to improve guest experience, menu development, and focus on the growth of our brand. We are now well-positioned to achieve future success during a period of unprecedented disruption for our industry."
Pandya, who is also a real estate investor, was sued last year by a lender who claimed he defaulted on his loan payments and failed to properly run his franchises of Pizza Hut and Checkers & Rally's in Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Alabama.
Boston Market was founded in 1985 and quickly grew to become a fast-casual leader, known for its homestyle, family-friendly meals of roast chicken, meatloaf and mashed potatoes.
Recently, the chain had worked with consulting firm Hilco Global to renegotiate leases.
Wyatt became the chain’s CEO in February, taking over for Frances Allen, who left the brand after less than two years.