Kelly’s Roast Beef opens new location in Dedham
Kelly’s, a Massachusetts staple since 1951, is undergoing a major expansion effort.
Kelly’s Roast Beef, Massachusetts’ iconic restaurant chain, has announced plans to open its seventh full-size location.
Customers will be able to get their fix of the roast beef sandwich at 825 Providence Highway in Dedham, the company announced in an Instagram post on Saturday. Construction is now underway and the new location should be open by the “end of summer”.
Kelly’s currently operates four locations in Massachusetts, in Revere Beach, Saugus, Medford and Danvers. There is also an outpost in Salem, NH and University Park, Florida. Two more Florida locations will be available soon, according to the company’s website.
As the company now says, Kelly’s started in 1951 as a “fluke.” Founders Frank V. McCarthy and Raymond Carey set up a hot dog shack just steps from Revere Beach. They named it after their best friend, Thomas Kelly.
As the story goes, McCarthy and Carey stumbled upon a million dollar idea while working for a special events venue next door. After a wedding was called off one night, the couple found themselves with a pile of spare roast beef. Instead of throwing them away, they took the meat to their hot dog stand and started selling thinly sliced roast beef sandwiches.
The roast beef sandwiches were an instant hit, and Kelly’s enjoyed success as a local favorite for decades.
A few years ago, Kelly’s set its sights beyond Massachusetts. The company announced major expansion plans in 2020 and began franchising its locations. Kelly’s said at the time that the goal was to open 50 franchises by 2025, The Boston Globe reported.
The origins of the franchise push date back to 2018, when the company struck its first licensing deal to open a location in Logan Airport’s Terminal B.
A company that until recently relied on word-of-mouth marketing and local name recognition, has embarked on a radical overhaul of the brand as part of the expansion process. Boston-based Marlo Marketing has been hired to lead this refresh, according to the World.
Marlo began a brand “audit” in the fall of 2021. This included site visits, food samples and menu inspections.
“We know a lot about making a great roast beef sandwich,” said Ray Carey IV, grandson of one of Kelly’s founders. World Last year. “That’s not to say we’re good at building websites…brand and style guidelines.”
Kelly’s decided to brand itself explicitly as a Boston company, changing its slogan from “Kelly’s: Roast Beef, Seafood, Sandwiches”. to “Kelly’s: Boston’s Legendary Roast Beef and Seafood”.
The logo has been tweaked to become clearer and more colorful, the World reported, and the company decided to look into marketing a signature sandwich known as “three ways.” This roast beef sandwich topped with American cheese, mayonnaise and James River BBQ sauce is well known to Kelly’s fans. But there was some concern over any potential innuendo that new customers might associate with the name of the sandwich.
Marlo Fogelman, who founded Marlo Marketing, said Kelly’s finally decided not to shy away from its famous “three-way” sandwich.
“In the world of people who are obsessed with roast beef, a trio is one thing,” she told the World. “It’s like, ‘get your mind out of the gutter, we’ve been doing this for 70 years.'”
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