Boston Market announced Tuesday (May 1) that Frances Allen, formerly president of Jack in the Box, was named chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Allen, Jack in the Box’s president since October 2014, takes the place of retiring George Michel.

“Serving as CEO of Boston Market has been an honor and the highlight of my career,” Michel said in a statement. “I would like to thank the entire team for their tireless effort and commitment to making Boston Market a success and a great place to work. Frances is both a strategic and operational leader and I am confident that Boston Market will benefit greatly from her deep experience and expertise.”

Frances retired from Jack in the Box in late January after chief executive officer Lenny Comma said the company was taking “the opportunity to flatten our organizational structure” following the sale of Mexican fast casual Qdoba. The company dealt the 700-plus unit chain to Apollo Global Management, LLC for about $305 million in cash.

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According to Comma, Allen suggested the elimination of her position so Jack in the Box could “more quickly begin restructuring the brand’s leadership.”

“Frances was instrumental in refining the brand’s strategy and positioning, with an emphasis on improving the quality of the food and transforming the business model to be more asset light through refranchising,” he said at the time.

Allen added that “the appointment of a new COO [Marcus Tom] is the right time for me to exit, and I am excited to embark on the next phase of my career.”

Before Jack in the Box, Allen spent four years as executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Denny’s, and was instrumental in the company’s repositioning as “America’s Diner.” Earlier, she held roles at Dunkin’ Donuts and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, PepsiCo, and Frito-Lay.

“I am delighted to join the Boston Market team and lead this great company into its next chapter of strategic growth, brand building and culinary innovation,” Allen said in a statement. “No other restaurant concept is more responsible for the rising popularity of rotisserie cooking and we see significant runway for further building the Boston Market brand.  I am proud to lead a team whose top priority is serving high-quality, delicious, healthy and affordable home style rotisserie meals to our guests.”

“Under George’s leadership, Boston Market launched its ‘Quality Guarantee,’ which acts as a continued commitment to all guests that Boston Market will serve all-natural and fresh, never frozen, gluten-free, whole chicken with no added hormones, steroids, antibiotics or MSG,” Allen added. “In addition, we have become the first national chicken-specialty chain to reach the goal of serving our customers 100 percent antibiotic-free rotisserie chicken. These commitments to transparency, ethical business practices, and quality are critical to building trust and brand loyalty with today’s consumer. We will build on the strong legacy that Boston Market has established since the 1990s to further improve our relevance with today’s busy families.”

Boston Market has more than 450 U.S. locations. The company named George Michel its CEO in October 2010. Before that he was president and CEO of Timothy’s Coffees of the World, Inc. Michel succeeded F. Lane Cardwell.

In January 2017, Boston Market  launched its “Quality Guarantee,” which acts as a continued commitment to all guests that Boston Market will serve all-natural and fresh, never frozen, gluten-free, whole chicken with no added hormones, steroids, antibiotics or MSG. 

Employee Management, Fast Food, Story, Boston Market