AVI Foodsystems, Inc., in partnership with Bob Evans Farms, Inc., plans to open two Bob Evans Express locations in shopping malls this year, at Great Lakes Mall in Mentor, OH, and Millcreek Mall in Erie, PA. AVI already operates the first two units of the non-traditional restaurant concept in a BMW manufacturing facility in Greer, SC, and at Bob Evans’ corporate headquarters in New Albany, OH. Bob Evans Express was designed specifically for venues such as workplace cafés, universities, airports, malls, service plazas and hospitals.
The two mall locations feature an updated design and nearly twice the space of current units. At approximately 850 sq.ft., they are designed to feel like free-standing Bob Evans restaurants with traditional touches like a bakery area, while an optimized floor plan will provide quick and efficient service.
The Bob Evans Express menu continues to evolve as well. Traditional favorites such as Wildfire Chicken Salad, sausage gravy and fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits and slow-roasted turkey breast will now be coupled with new additions like fresh-baked biscuit breakfast sandwiches, Walking Waffles and signature savory mashed bowls filled with creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn, gravy, cheese and a choice of turkey, pot roast or chicken.
“The Bob Evans Express concept focuses on bringing Bob Evans food into new occasions to meet evolving consumer needs,” says Bob Evans Restaurants Chief Concept Officer John Fisher. "This is a wonderful opportunity for Bob Evans to bring great food to guests outside of the brick-and-mortar restaurant. We’re eager to bring guests high-quality, tasty Bob Evans food right where they are.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for AVI Foodsystems and Bob Evans to collaborate, synergize and build the next powerful quick-service brand,” adds AVI President/CEO Anthony Payiavlas. "I’m confident the Bob Evans Express brand will fill an incredible need in the marketplace."
Bob Evans had announced in its annual earnings statement on July 8 that it intends to open 10 new Bob Evans Express locations by late spring 2015, to be managed and operated by AVI.