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Broken Wing

Boston Market was supposed to be the McDonald's of the '90s. So why did the home-meal-replacement pioneer end up laying an egg?

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This story appears in the February 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

From the time its rotisserie first turned, Boston Chicken hadpeople salivating. Soccer moms, working singles and familiesnationwide flocked to the stores to buy this healthy alternative tofried chicken. Wall Street investors ate up Boston Chicken, too,buying its stock at ever-increasing prices. By 1993, 10 years afterthe company started, franchises were hatching across the country atbreakneck speed. With the restaurant chain's name changed toBoston Market, company officials and many industry publicationspredicted a rosy future.

But within five years, the Chicken had been fried.

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