Bob Evans Restaurants

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Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
Industry Restaurant
Founded Rio Grande, Ohio (1946)
Headquarters New Albany, Ohio, U.S.
Key people
Bob Evans, Founder
Steven A. Davis, CEO
Products Bob Evans Restaurants
Bob Evans Sausage
Owens Country Sausage
Mimi's Cafe
Revenue DecreaseUS$1.669 billion (FY 2012)[1]
IncreaseUS$107 million (FY 2012)[1]
IncreaseUS$72.85 million (FY 2012)[1]
Total assets DecreaseUS$1.066 billion (FY 2012)[1]
Total equity DecreaseUS$657 million (FY 2012)[1]
Number of employees
46,818 (Apr 2012)[1]
Slogan Down on the farm

Bob Evans Restaurants is a national chain of restaurants operated by Bob Evans Farms, Inc., a food service, processing, and retail company based in New Albany, Ohio. The company is named after its founder, Bob Evans (1918–2007).[3] Its food processing and retail enterprise products are manufactured and sold under the Bob Evans and Owens Country Sausage brand names.


The Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio with a Bob Evans restaurant (left)

The Bob Evans Restaurant chain started from a single truck stop diner near the Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio in 1946. The chain has grown to nearly 600 locations in 19 states, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern, and upper Southern states. All locations are corporately owned, not franchised.

The restaurant chain started up after Bob Evans began slaughtering and packaging his own sausage for his diner. Truck drivers and other patrons began telling him that his sausage was superior. He did not have the capacity to fill large orders. As a result, he contracted with his cousin Tim Evans of Evans Packing Co. to package Bob Evans Sausage products. In the early years of The Bob Evans History, Bob was known to have made his way across the Southern Ohio Hills seeking some of the best cuts of meat. He was very well known in a little town along the Ohio River by the name of Gallipolis, Ohio, where at the local Meat Market & Grocery Store he and Earl Nance created sausage recipes. Evans tried to sell his sausage to area restaurants, but they turned him down, saying that customers wouldn't pay more for quality. Evans felt differently and opened his own restaurant on his farm in Rio Grande in 1962.

Another relative, Dan Evans, served as CEO until his retirement in 2000.[3]

The company also offers pork products to the retail grocery market, as well as other prepared food products to the grocery and food service segments. Baked goods, snacks, greeting cards, and small gift items are also sold at some Bob Evans restaurants.

The primary theme is one of country living: "Breakfast is served all day."

Company operations[edit]

A typical Bob Evans restaurant
Bob Evans outlet in Lynchburg, Virginia

The company acquired Texas based Owens Country Sausage in 1987. The company branded its otherwise identical restaurants in Texas as Owens Restaurants due to trademark issues. By January 2006, all Owens restaurants were closed.[4]

The company operated a Mexican-themed restaurant called Cantina del Rio in the mid-1990s, a move which Bob Evans called "a disaster."[5]

The Evans family controlled daily operations of the company until 2000 when Dan Evans retired as CEO. After Dan's retirement, Stewart K. Owens (a former officer of the Owens Country Sausage company and later president of BOBE) assumed control of Bob Evans Farms Inc. as CEO. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Board. Company profits faltered under Owens' tenure. In August 2005, after corporate profits had dropped in eight of the previous nine quarters, Owens announced his resignation. Officially, the cause of Owens' departure was "personal reasons" but many analysts believed Owens' departure and Bob Evans disappointing results were more than a mere coincidence. After operating for several months under interim CEO Larry Corbin, the company hired Steven Davis, former president of Long John Silver's, as CEO in May 2006.

The Mimi's Cafe restaurant chain was a wholly owned subsidiary of Bob Evans Farms, Inc.,[6] with 144 locations throughout the US, until sold to the U.S. branch of Groupe Le Duff in 2013. They featured casual dining and American food with a French emphasis and decorative elements.

Arthur J. Simms (who headed the commissary at MGM Studios in the 1950s), his son Thomas Simms, Brian Taylor, and Paul Kurz opened the first Mimi's Cafe in December 1978 in Anaheim, California. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. purchased the Mimi's Cafe restaurant chain (operating under SWH Corporation) in July 2004 for USD$182 million.[7]

On August 17, 2009, Bob Evans opened a prototype restaurant in Xenia, Ohio.[8] This new restaurant has a more farm-like feel and resembles the Bob Evans farm.

In December 2014, Bob Evans announced CEO Steven Davis will step down from his position.[9]

As of Q4 2015, the chain announced its intention to sell 145 properties to Mesirow Financial Holdings Inc. for a total price of $200 million. The net proceeds are expected to be approximately $165 million and the deal is expected to close in Q2 2016.[10] The chain will lease back all properties under one single NNN master lease. The terms of the lease are as follows: 20-year operating lease with five 5-year renewal options. The total lease payments will amount to $15.4 million annually. Over the 20 year period, total lease earnings for Mesirow Realty will be approximately $308 million.[10]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]