COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After an enthusiastic response from guests and employees to the recently completed "Farm-Fresh Refresh" project in Dayton, Ohio, Bob Evans Restaurants is embarking on a broader effort, announcing two additional market-wide initiatives to "refresh" restaurants in the Detroit, Mich. and Toledo, Ohio, regions.
The next leg of the renovation project is expected to begin in August and be completed in November. The company is investing approximately $10 million to update 44 restaurants in both markets, improving the overall dining experience for guests while supporting the local economy. Each restaurant will close for a short time to allow for a farm-fresh "makeover" inside and out.
The company expects to remodel a total of 56 Bob Evans restaurants and complete six new builds during fiscal 2012 as part of its BEST to Invest initiative, which reinvests in the Bob Evans Farms heritage for a stronger restaurant brand, and invigorated employees and communities.
The Detroit and Toledo announcement comes as the company is currently investing nearly $4 million in the original Bob Evans Farm and Homestead and first restaurant in Rio Grande, Ohio. This spring, the company also opened two newly built restaurants in Florida in April and announced plans to build a new corporate campus in New Albany, Ohio.
"These projects not only modernize the brand, but also serve as job creation vehicles – creating construction and hospitality jobs in these communities, ultimately stimulating the economy," explains Steve Davis, chairman and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. "Each growth project brings a positive message to the affected area. We're especially pleased to bring our refresh program to areas that have been hard-hit by the economy, such as Toledo and Detroit."
The Toledo and Detroit markets were chosen as the second phase of this potential system-wide refresh project based upon an analysis of the local demographics and the condition of existing Bob Evans restaurants in the market.
"The feedback we received from the refreshed restaurants in Dayton, Ohio, has been extremely positive," says Davis. "Our recent surveys indicate that both our guests and our employees are pleased with the results of our investment. That was the motivation behind the refresh project and it is the reason we are excited to expand to additional markets. Our goal is to improve our restaurants to meet guest needs and expectations continually. So far we're very pleased with the response."
As part of the Farm-Fresh Refresh project, Detroit and Toledo restaurants will receive a new look and feel. Guests will find many new features for busy families, including a new Taste of the Farm™ Bakery featuring a delicious array of baked goods, a dedicated carry-out area for quick meals to go, and gift card displays and a redesigned retail area to pick up a gift for someone special. Each refreshed restaurant also features a mural in the entryway depicting the heritage of Bob Evans and the company's farm roots. The dining room will boast more modern furnishings and light fixtures and will feature fresher, brighter color schemes in the fabric, carpet and walls.
Area restaurants will also donate unused food to local soup kitchens and shelters through the company's recently launched "harvest" program.
"We're excited about this makeover and are looking forward to sharing our new look with guests – both new and regulars," says Davis. "The Farm-Fresh Refresh initiative is an extension of the work we've done to update our menu and provide our guests with more fresh, seasonal and nutritionally balanced meal options. Now, our restaurants will also reflect the forward-thinking mentality of the chefs who bring our menu to life."
About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi's Cafe brand names. At the end of the fourth fiscal quarter (April 29, 2011), Bob Evans owned and operated 563 family restaurants in 18 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the United States, while Mimi's Cafe 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.
SOURCE Bob Evans Farms, Inc.