Several years ago the BE (Bob Evans) investors revolted, and one in particular made the statement that his investment has never made any money in 20 some years.
Well, there was much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and finally BE decided to do something.
For example they have:
- Built a new HQ in New Albany Ohio.
- Remodel, remodel and remodel restaurants.
- Change the restaurant menus over and over.
- Brought in new CEO.
- Changed food displays to make take-home food more attractive.
Talk about re-arranging the deck chairs to save the Titanic! These guys have done all that and less.
Improved management at the restaurants so customers have noticed? No.
Improved quality of food so customers have noticed? No.
Improved the wait staff so customers have noticed? No.
Improved the cleanliness so customers have noticed? No.
Except for shiny new display cases, everything is exactly the same (to the customer) as it was 35 years ago.
That means the table is wet when we sit down. The waiters are friendly but usually avoid eye contact during the meal, the food is great, not so great, and downrite horrible and when it is horrible, the manager either argues that you are “mistaken and that’s the way we always cook that here”, or gives you a refund for the item and apoligizes.
We customers go there for home cooked food, but we do so with all the above trepidations in our minds. That is why you don’t have growth. Not only do we not recomend BE, we don’t go there that often ourselves.