COLUMBUS Ohio Bob Evans Farms Inc. said Tuesday that same-store sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 26 declined at both of its brands, the family-dining chain Bob Evans Restaurants and the casual-dining chain Mimi’s Cafe. Declining guest traffic at both concepts offset increased menu prices, the company said.
Same-store sales dipped 1.9 percent at Bob Evans Restaurants compared with the same period a year ago in spite of an average menu price increase of 1.8 percent. Comparable-store sales for the Mimi’s Cafe chain fell by 0.8 percent from a year earlier. Average menu prices at that 92-unit chain rose 3.7 percent in October.
Sales were softer than expected, said Steve Davis, Bob Evans Farms’ chairman and chief executive, who cited a challenging consumer environment for the disappointing results, as well as tough comparisons from positive sales a year ago at Mimi’s Cafe. He expressed a positive outlook, however, for the rest of this calendar year because of seasonal and holiday promotions, including Deep-Dish Dinners at the 538-unit Bob Evans and a Thanksgiving To-Go Feast at Mimi’s Cafe.
At family-dining rival Cracker Barrel, same-store sales for the five weeks ended Nov. 2 rose 1 percent, aided by an average price menu increase of 3.8-percent that was able to offset a 2.6-percent dip in traffic, the parent company, CBRL Group Inc., reported. Headquartered in Lebanon, Tenn., CBRL Group operates 567 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants and gift shops.