Boston Market is reopening its N.J. restaurants

The state has lifted its stop-work order, saying that employees have been repaid. Restaurants are expected to reopen this week as deliveries come in.
Boston Markets reopening
Boston Market plans to reopen restaurants in New Jersey after the state lifted its stop-work order. | Photo by Lisa Jennings

Boston Market is reopening its New Jersey restaurants this week, one month after the company’s locations in the state were shut down over unpaid wages.

The New Jersey Department of Labor confirmed Tuesday that it had lifted a stop-work order at 27 locations in the state that it had issued last month over unpaid wages. The department said that the action “resulted in workers getting the money they were owed.”

Jay Pandya, who bought Boston Market in 2020, said that the stores in New Jersey had reopened. Employees at multiple stores said they have been paid, with one worker saying that stores are expected to reopen gradually this week as food deliveries come into the restaurants.

The state ordered the restaurants closed last month, saying the company owed workers $600,000 in back wages. It fined Boston Market $2.6 million.

The move comes amid major difficulties with the fast-casual rotisserie chicken chain, which has closed numerous locations around the country. More than two-dozen of the chain’s locations have closed this year, though more appear to be closing every week, based on local reports. Boston Market, which once operated 1,200 restaurants across the country, started the year with 300 restaurants.

Boston Market has been sued in three states over unpaid wages, including Arizona, Massachusetts and California. There are more than two dozen complaints about unpaid wages in California and complaints in other states.

Pandya, however, has insisted that all employees have been paid. “Every employee has been paid,” he said. “No employee has not been paid.”

Boston Market was sued earlier this year by US Foods, which said the company was owed $11 million. Boston Market has been sued more than 130 times since 2020, mostly over unpaid bills, including numerous lawsuits from landlords of the chain’s restaurants.

For more on Pandya and his operating history, check out the first story and the second story in our three-part series on the operator, who also bought Corner Bakery in 2020. That chain was sold out of bankruptcy earlier this year.

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