AVI and Bob Evans partner for non-commercial concept

Published in FSD Update

An artist’s rendering of a Bob Evans Express.

AVI Foodsystems and Bob Evans have teamed up to create Bob Evans Express, a concept designed for non-commercial locations. Kathleen North, senior vice president of operational excellence for Bob Evans, says there is currently one Bob Evans Express concept at a BMW plant in South Carolina, where AVI manages the foodservice. A second location is part of Bob Evans’ new corporate headquarters, which opened in mid-October.

“The partnership came about because we were looking for a vendor for our cafeteria in our new headquarters,” North says. “We really liked what AVI had to offer. Once our partnership on that account started growing, AVI came to us because they thought we might be interested in implementing a concept at their account for BMW. We saw that they were very good at formulating small spaces with the right equipment. Initially it was going to be more their project, then as those things go, we realized we needed to work together more closely, so I was brought in as the Bob Evans contact on the concept.”

Nuts and bolts: The location of Bob Evans Express at BMW serves a limited menu out of just 500 square feet. The menu includes Bob Evans’ No. 1 selling breakfast, the Rise and Shine, which features scrambled eggs, home fries, sausage or bacon and a biscuit. Other breakfast items include breakfast pot pie, biscuit sandwiches and French toast.

For lunch, the concept offers a signature Bob Evans entrée such as turkey and dressing, roast beef or a chicken pot pie, which rotates daily. Other lunch menu items include burgers, paninis, barbecue sandwiches, grab-and-go salads and a soup. North says most of the food is prepared in the larger AVI kitchen and then transported to the line and served in hot wells. However, the small space does have the capability to make biscuits and eggs. North says the concept has been doing between 250 to 350 transactions per day, and her team is very pleased with its success. 

Challenges: To ensure quality, North says Bob Evans sent its executive chef to work with AVI’s executive chef to provide training. “AVI also sent the person who is in charge of all their training to come to Bob Evans and complete our culture and leadership course,” North adds.

As far as challenges go, North says the biggest hurdle was getting all parties involved to align on the goals of the project. “There are so many different stakeholders to please,” North says. “But AVI have been great partners and we look forward to expanding the concept to other locations with them in the future.”

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
umass amherst food

Restaurateurs in Amherst, Mass., aren’t happy with UMass Dining .

Registered dietitian Dianne Sutherland told local NBC affiliate WWLP News in May that the high quality of food served on campus means students aren’t visiting neighborhood eateries as frequently as those businesses might like.

“Even our vendors who we work with, they get complaints from the restaurants that students are staying on campus,” she said. “They are already paying for the food; why should they [go] off campus to eat?” More than 19,000 Amherst students are on a meal plan—6,000 of whom live off campus...

Ideas and Innovation
lettuce eat dining

Forced to battle crumbling infrastructure and a constant churn of trends, sometimes the best way to save a foodservice operation is to change it entirely. As Steve Mangan, director of dining at the University of Michigan, puts it, “At some point when your building starts to fail, the cost of maintenance stands out.” But for operators with limited budgets, the challenge is discerning the right time to do so—and how far to take it.

At Jefferson High School, change came because little worked anymore. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school’s cafeteria hadn’t been updated since 1957; students...

Managing Your Business
farmer produce

The seeds of farm-to-table 2.0 have officially blown into noncommercial foodservice. Since the movement has caught the attention of the segment during the past decade, operators have broadened agricultural collaborations outside of just supply. As a result, a new strain of the movement has been created that treats farms as allies in events, training and innovative growing systems.

The 500-bed Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J., didn’t start out sourcing produce from local farms; instead, it administered its own growing programs, including an on-site garden and honeybee apiary...

Ideas and Innovation
fsd screenshot web

A full year has passed since we redesigned FoodService Director magazine, taking the publication from its longtime tabloid dimensions to a more convenient size and more creative design, and recasting the content to provide actionable, peer-to-peer insights and ideas for FSDs.

Now we are thrilled to announce that we’ve extended the makeover to our website as well. The new FoodServiceDirector.com has been redesigned to be more engaging and even easier to use. We’ve made it faster to find information, from recipes to HR best practices, that will help you run your facility better....

FSD Resources