It’s a new day at the farm — Bob Evans Farms recently announced that not only will it have refreshed 121 restaurants before the end of its fiscal year in April, the brand has plans to refresh approximately 160 restaurants in the next fiscal year, as well as expand into its 19th state, Arkansas.
The Farm-Fresh Refresh restaurant revitalization program is an effort to update facilities, modernize the brand, and stay relevant with a changing demographic. Refreshes include an entirely new look to the interior and exterior of each restaurant, as well as features for busy families, like the Taste of the Farm™ Bakery offering a delicious array of baked goods, a dedicated carry-out area for quick meals to go, and gift card displays. Each refreshed restaurant also features a mural in the entryway depicting Bob Evans’ farm heritage. The dining rooms feature more modern furnishings and light fixtures and fresher, brighter color schemes for fabric, carpet and walls.
“Our guests use restaurants differently than they once did. While they still like to connect with each other over a family meal, they’re also looking for homestyle meals to go that can feed a whole family,” says Bob Evans Restaurants Chief Concept Officer Randy Hicks. “Bob Evans is meeting that need with our successful Family Meals To Go options, aided by our refreshed restaurants’ new carryout and bakery areas.”
The company began its remodeling campaign in 2010 with the 31-restaurant Dayton, Ohio, market, then in 2011, moved on to the Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich., market where 42 restaurants received refreshes. The Cincinnati (48) market is now underway, followed by the company’s hometown of Columbus in 2012. Ninety restaurants will be refreshed before the company’s current fiscal year ends in April 2012. The company then plans to refresh 159 restaurants in fiscal year 2013, with an overall goal of refreshing each of the 500+ restaurants over the course of the next three years.
“All our remodel markets are outperforming the chain’s same-store sales performance by approximately 5 percentage points,” says Steve Davis, chairman and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. “The refreshes both modernize the brand and stimulate the economy by creating both local construction and hospitality jobs. We’re proud that each growth project brings a positive message to the community.”
Refreshed restaurants are also donating their old cabinets, chairs, tables, lighting and other furnishings to local Habitat for Humanity chapters, helping the less fortunate in each restaurant’s local community with thousands of dollars’ worth of materials.
The company’s growth plans don’t end with the refreshes – Bob Evans also recently completed a $4 million renovation of the original Bob Evans Farm and first restaurant in Rio Grande, Ohio. And this spring Bob Evans will open two brand-new restaurants in Ohio, one in Florida, and two in Arkansas (Rogers and Fort Smith) — Bob Evans’ first new state in more than a decade.
“We’ve long said Bob Evans is a regional brand with national potential,” says Davis, “and we’re thrilled to be introducing the simple taste of the farm to our newest market in Arkansas. We look forward to even more new states in coming years, and to introducing our new look to our guests.”
Guests can keep track of the refresh program’s progress at http://www.bobevans.com/Project-Refresh.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi’s Café brand names. At the end of the third fiscal quarter (January 27, 2012), Bob Evans owned and operated 564 family restaurants in 18 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Mimi’s Café owned and operated 145 casual restaurants located in 24 states, primarily in California and other western states. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is also a leading producer and distributor of pork sausage and a variety of complementary convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit www.bobevans.com.