The evolution of Boston’s system has created some support and distribution challenges, however. Having 23 locations spread across 16 states is a trying dynamic for a franchise system. Melnick says one of his first goals is to spend time in the field and figure out, from talking to operators, how Boston’s can better support its franchisees. “We want to make sure it’s world class,” he says. "Then we can come up with a growth strategy where we can build market share and relevance in some of the markets we’re already in.”
Melnick says there’s still due diligence to be done before outlining this strategy, but filling out markets is one that appears to fit. Boston’s wants to support and encourage current franchisees to grow, and that’s likely the best path to do so.
“Our No. 1 pillar, as far as being a brand in the U.S., is to support our franchisee profitability,” Melnick says, noting that streamlining purchasing and distribution is an opportunity given the current lack of scale. “To make sure this is a winning combination for everyone. So working around food cost and labor initiatives that will help with efficiency in the restaurants is a top priority as far as I’m concerned.”
Fittingly, Melnick’s first day with Boston’s—on April 30—was at the company’s franchise conference in Orlando, Florida. He was able to chat with franchisees from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, and gauge the brand’s progress and targets from a broad perspective.
“There is still a lot of excitement. It’s become multi-generational up in Canada for people who have supported the brand and handed it down to their children and involved them in the business,” he says. “And there’s a real passion for what Boston’s has to offer. That’s why I think it’s such a unique opportunity here in the U.S.”
“We have that resonance of our success in Canada,” he adds. “I think I’m blessed with the opportunity. The reputation for our Canadian success is really gaining interest in the states, and that’s something that we’re going to take advantage of.” In addition to guests, this carries weight with current and perspective franchisees, as well as investors, Melnick says.
Among Melnick’s realizations was the fact that Boston’s is ideally positioned to be a step above its casual competitors, which is exactly what guests look for in a marketplace flooded with more high-quality options than ever. When the food blurs between limited and full service as it does today, it’s the defining traits and experiential offerings that inspire loyalty.