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Bob Evans streamlines menu design

Smaller menu aims to be more user-friendly

Bob Evans Farms Inc. introduced a streamlined menu this month that aims to be more user-friendly.

The menu has some additional items, and a new dinner special that allows customers to upgrade every regular-sized dinner entrée to a three-course meal, with a choice of soup or salad and a dessert, for $2.

The menu is physically smaller, with once heavily laminated pages replaced with smaller, thinner ones. The menu also has fewer pages.

Bob Evans candied bacon
Bob Evans' menu revamp includes this candied bacon side dish. Photo: Bob Evans

“We did some consumer research, and we found that our menu was a little bit overwhelming to people,” said Sara Bittorf, who joined Bob Evans as chief marketing officer in August. “From a size perspective it was large — really just big — to hold in your hand.”

The menu has fewer photos, too, with a focus on pictures of items that underscore Bob Evans' strengths, such as the brand's signature Sausage Gravy & Biscuits, and a Border Scramble Omelet.

“Our previous menu was more democratic than we thought it should be, in that all things were created equal,” Bittorf said. “And we wanted to create a menu that really allowed people to see and find the great products that we’re known for [and that] will leave them highly satisfied.”

The menu also has some new items, including a candied bacon side dish, a proprietary recipe with caramelized brown sugar. The item is priced at $3.99 for five pieces of bacon.

Bob Evans is promoting the candied bacon on Wednesday by offering a free slice to anyone who orders an entrée after 11 a.m.

The chain has also introduced two new premium hamburgers made with 7 ounces of Black Angus beef. Each burger is priced at $9.99, at most locations.

The Bob Evans Burger is a bacon cheeseburger topped with a fried egg. The Steakhouse Burger is dressed with hardwood-smoked bacon, grilled mushrooms, onions, cheese and steak sauce.

Bob Evans also introduced a Veggie Omelet made with broccoli, onions, roasted mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, and Cheddar cheese, topped with tomatoes and green onion, priced at around $5.49.

Bob Evans burger
The chain has also introduced two new premium hamburgers made with 7 ounces of Black Angus beef. Photo: Bob Evans

“We’ve always had these vegetables, and we haven’t been getting enough credit for the work that we do in the back to bring in fresh food and cut it up,” Bittorf said.

Initial feedback on the menu has been positive from both customers and servers, she said, who “are better able to guide guests to where they think they want to go.”

Bob Evans has 522 restaurants.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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