COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Bob Evans Farms Inc. has announced a partnership with AVI Foodsystems Inc. to develop and license a new prototype concept Bob Evans Express.
The first unit opened at the BMW Manufacturing Co. LLC manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, S.C., on Aug. 19, where AVI is the foodservice provider.
Bob Evans Express is a nontraditional restaurant concept designed for venues such as workplace cafes, universities, airports, malls, service plazas, hospitals and more.
Bob Evans co-developed the concept with AVI after selecting AVI as its foodservice provider for Bob Evans' new corporate campus in New Albany, Ohio. The second Bob Evans Express location will be introduced at the campus' employee cafe this October.
Each Bob Evans Express will offer a menu of portable Bob Evans fare such as Wildfire Chicken Salad, sausage gravy and biscuits, slow-roasted turkey and other items.
"This new Bob Evans Express concept was a natural evolution of our relationship with AVI after discussing plans for our corporate campus. AVI has significant experience and expertise in nontraditional food venues, making them an ideal partner," said Bob Evans Farms chairman and CEO Steven A. Davis. "We're pleased that two great Ohio companies are partnering together on this new innovative concept, which is full of possibilities for both companies."
Anthony J. Payiavlas, president and CEO of AVI Foodsystems Inc., said, "We are focused on providing our customers the family difference in hospitality services, making a quality brand such as Bob Evans a perfect fit. This is a tremendous example of synergy--two Ohio-based companies creating a winning concept that capitalizes on our core strengths."
This project allows Bob Evans to leverage its brand and explore opportunities in nontraditional locations, and the arrangement will initially provide AVI with exclusivity. The concept's footprint is a fraction of a traditional Bob Evans restaurant at just 500 square feet, and will be managed and operated by AVI.
"This is the perfect opportunity to focus on the strengths of both companies. We're looking forward to further developing our partnership," added Davis.
Founded by Payiavlas in 1960, Warren, Ohio-based AVI Foodsystems provides customized hospitality and foodservice solutions for thousands of clients and millions of customers throughout 34 states. AVI offers hospitality services in business, manufacturing, education, leisure and healthcare settings, including a complete offering of onsite dining, vending, micro markets, catering, concessions, office coffee and environmental services.
Bob Evans Farms owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans Restaurants brand name. As of July 2013, Bob Evans Restaurants owned and operated 560 family restaurants in 19 states, primarily in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Bob Evans Farms, through its BEF Foods segment, is also a leading producer and distributor of refrigerated side dishes, pork sausage and a variety of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items under the Bob Evans and Owens brand names.
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