The announcement late yesterday that Bob Evans Restaurants had sold all of its restaurant locations to the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital left diners with one overriding question: Is my Bob Evans going to shut down?
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The answer is “no.” Not a perfect, certain, no — restaurant chains are always evaluating the performance of each unit and shutting down poor-performing ones — but there are multiple reasons to believe there is NOT a huge wave of Bob Evans closures imminent. Those reasons include:
• A Bob Evans spokeswoman told this news outlet this morning that the new company “will continue to operate as Bob Evans Restaurants, with all current restaurants and employees.” Spokeswoman Samantha Bartlett added: “I certainly understand everyone wondering if their Bob Evans is safe. There’s been some confusion with yesterday’s announcement. I want to make sure you and your readers are aware that restaurants are not closing.”
• The chain already closed dozens of poor-performing restaurants in the last two years, prior to the sale. In April 2015, Bob Evans announced it was shutting down 20 restaurants. In April 2016, the company announced another round of closures, this time targeting 27 restaurants, including one at 1929 Harshman Road in Riverside that actually had shut down two days before the announcement.
• The new company went to great lengths to assure customers in its announcement that it will be “business as usual for our employees and guests.” It also emphasized that the current Bob Evans Restaurants CEO and its president will remain in place to oversee the transition AND following the completion of the sale. Companies that are seeking to break up a restaurant chain it just purchased and shut down a slew of restaurants usually bring in their own management team to do it.
Nothing is ever certain in the restaurant industry. But the early indications suggest Bob Evans Restaurants — including the one closest to you — isn’t going anywhere soon.
RELATED: Bob Evans to close 27 restaurants (April 2016)
RELATED: Bob Evans to shut down Riverside restaurant (April 2016)
RELATED: Bob Evans to close 20 restaurants (April 2015)