Bob Evans Selling Off All Restaurants For $565M To Focus On Packaged Foods

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

The house of Bob Evans is about to be divided between the packaged foods business and the company’s restaurant brand: Bob Evans Farms Inc. says it’s decided to sell off its eateries to a private equity firm for $565 million and throw its efforts into selling sausage and side dishes in grocery stores.

After the restaurant chain has struggled in recent years, the company will be committing itself to its profitable packaged food division, BEF Foods, Nation’s Restaurant News reports, while Golden Gate Capital will take over the 523 Bob Evans restaurants in the U.S.

BEF Foods will also be acquiring Pineland Farms Potato Company for $115 million, perhaps so it can sell hash browns alongside those sausages.

“It’s a great, three-team trade,” Bob Evans Restaurants president John Fisher told NRN Tuesday.

Amid weak same-store sales recently, Bob Evans Restaurants has tried to focus on improving service and updating the menu, as well as touting the popularity of its breakfast. Those efforts have resulted in an uptick in same-store sales and customer feedback, the company says.

The chain’s new owners do have experience in restaurants: Golden Gate owns California Pizza Kitchen, and bought Red Lobster from Darden Restaurants in 2014 for $2.1 billion. It’s also bought and sold several other eateries over the years, NRN notes.

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