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Boston Markets Phasing Out Antibiotics


If you’ve followed my work here at Franchise Times, you probably notice I’m an advocate for franchised food brands upping their game in the food department—especially when it comes to more humane, healthier meat products. The latest franchisor to jump on the train is Boston Market, which will serve antibiotic-free rotisserie chickens by the end of Q1 2018.

According to the Colorado-based chicken chain, its goal is serving 100 percent antibiotic-free rotisserie chicken as soon as possible—with currently more than 75 percent of its chickens being raised without the use of antibiotics.

"We couldn't be more proud to become the first national chicken-specialty chain to reach the goal of serving our customers 100 percent antibiotic-free chicken by early next year," said George Michel, CEO of Boston Market and also known as "The Big Chicken." "Boston Market has  already committed to the use of no antibiotics to stimulate growth in  our rotisserie chickens for quite some time, and transitioning to all antibiotic-free chicken was the next logical step in the 'Quality Guarantee' we promise our guests."

This move is part of Boston Market’s “Quality Guarantee” it unveiled at the beginning of the year that includes moving to more natural, never frozen whole chickens that are farm raised without hormones or steroids, and no MSG or gluten along with the ban on antibiotics.

"Since our founding over 30 years ago, we have always been committed to providing our guests with the highest levels of food quality and transparency, which was reaffirmed when we launched our guarantee last month," said Michel. "While the rest of the industry continues to play catch-up in achieving milestones we've already accomplished, such as serving rotisserie chicken with no MSG, Boston Market is further elevating our standards by removing all antibiotics from our chicken by this time next year. I challenge other national chicken-specialty chains to remove MSG and commit to antibiotic-free chicken."

As I’ve said before, and happily repeat, better food and improved transparency is the new normal in a world where Chipotle, Panera, Nature’s Table and many others are offering high-quality food at affordable prices.

With McDonald’s recent announcement about improving its brand image, customer convenience and food quality, it’s only a matter of time before restaurants serving low-grade meats are the exception rather than the norm.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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