What is in this article?:
- Bob Evans explores sale of Mimi's Café
- Remodeling to pick up the pace
Bob Evans recently announced a strategic review for Irvine, Calif.-based Mimi’s Café
Remodeling to pick up the pace
Bob Evans also announced that its Farm Fresh Refresh restaurant remodeling program would accelerate. The company is aiming to complete the reimaging of all 565 restaurants by the end of fiscal 2014, one year earlier than originally projected. By the end of fiscal 2013, 56 percent of the chain is expected to be remodeled.
Chief financial officer Paul DeSantis said Bob Evans would not only increase the pace of Farm Fresh Refresh remodeling but also would raise other goals for the program, including reducing the number of store days lost to closure, a faster realization of profitability and an overall lower cost to remodel each restaurant.
“We are at that critical point now, with enough refreshes under our belt that the overall positive effects will start to accelerate as we add more units to that pool of transition restaurants,” he said. “As we get more restaurants into completion, that’s where we see the sales and profit acceleration.”
DeSantis said the combined food and labor costs of remodeled locations that were open for all of fiscal 2012 are now running about 1.5 percent lower as Bob Evans begins to realize some of the intended efficiencies of the refreshes. Increased sales, new sales layers like bakery items and catering, and service enhancements from retrained staff are driving the margin improvements, he said.
“The real benefit of the five days we’re closed is in the retraining,” Davis added. “We couldn’t send our employees to refreshed units to practice when we began this program, but now we can send them to nearby ‘new Bob’s’ locations to learn. We’re getting a chance to practice with the new Bob Evans, and that’s why we’re getting off to a better start with each new refresh.”
He added that many of the company’s contractors are getting better at completing more remodels on a faster schedule as well.
Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans operates 565 namesake family-dining units in 19 states and 145 Mimi’s Café locations in 24 states.