Boston Market thinks it may have found a way to get cash-strapped consumers to visit its restaurants. The fast-casual chain today (Wednesday) rolled out a nationwide promotion, dubbed “$2.99 Market Meal Deals,” which offers smaller portions of four menu favorites at $2.99 each. In an interview with Brandweek, Boston Market CEO Lane Cardwell said the price point would attract consumers who have cut back on their restaurant purchases and those who can’t afford to eat out at all. (Restaurant traffic was down three percent last year, per a new report by The NPD Group.)
Cardwell, a restaurant vet with 31 years of experience who was brought in to run the chain, previously owned by McDonald’s, discussed the promotion and why restaurants are among the last industries to recover.
Brandweek: How exactly would you describe the promotion you’re kicking off today?
Lane Cardwell: What we’re offering, for a limited time through March 21, is the chance for our guests to eat four smaller portion meals for a great price of $2.99. It features [foods] that we’re already known for [on our menu], but we’re just trying to package them together in a way that gives people a chance to lighten their economic load.
BW: It’s the lowest value meal Boston Market has ever introduced. Are you worried you won’t make as much of a profit off this?
LC: We won’t make as much money, but [promotions] like this are an investment in [consumer brand] loyalty. We know that times are hard for people . . . so we try to do things like this on a regular basis to keep the bond with our guests.