If one food can capture the taste of summer, it’s the mouthwatering flavor of barbecued ribs.

While McDonald’s McRib sandwich isn’t back yet, ribs remain as popular as ever in restaurants. McDonald’s tantalizes customers with the limited-time McRib sandwich, and Burger King recently has introduced the BK Rib Sandwich to its menu.

Boston Market joined the trend in April by adding St. Louis Style ribs to its menu and since has enjoyed over a 16 percent increase in overall sales, with rib sales comprising 18 percent of total customer orders.

George Michael, CEO of Boston Market, is astounded at the success of St. Louis Style ribs.

 “Demand for St. Louis Style ribs at our restaurants has exceeded our greatest expectations,” he said. “I’ve worked in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and I’ve never seen a new product make such a sweeping impact. We ran through inventory for the entire eight-week promotion in about three weeks.”

The success of the St. Louis Style ribs has changed the dish from a temporary promotion to a permanent item on the menu.

Ribs have allowed pork to make a comeback in the restaurant industry. Eric Hirschhorn, vice president of global innovation at Burger King, observed, “It’s not just about beef anymore, but other proteins like chicken, turkey and pork.” With the growing success of ribs on the menu, it seems likely that ribs will start appearing in more restaurants.

Read Boston Market’s full press release here.