How A Weekend Shutdown Might Have Saved Bob Evans

The Bob Evans brand we know today is two things: A popular frozen food brand and a restaurant chain with nearly 500 locations stretching across 18 states. The Bob Evans name grew famous because of sausage. Evans actually owned a farm with a small restaurant, where he often served passing truck drivers. According to its website, though Evans was seemingly satisfied with his business, he wasn't thrilled with any of the sausage products available to serve.

It prompted Evans to make a change. He owned a hog farm, and he decided to take his own hogs and try his hand at creating a whole new sausage product. He wanted to serve his customers a high-quality product and felt he had no choice but to make it himself — and it was a hit. Customers loved the sausage, and truck drivers passing through even began purchasing it in large quantities to bring home to their families.

A weekend shutdown helped Bob Evans flourish

When the sausage took off, FundingUniverse reports that it brought Evans so much success that he started distributing the sausage as its own product rather than only serving it in his eatery. However, Evans could only sell the product during the colder months for storage reasons. That meant he had to find another way to keep his earnings consistent throughout the rest of the year.

Bob Evans opened up a second restaurant on his Ohio farm in 1962. Evans initially wanted it to be a fast-food place, but the business wasn't holding up the way he'd expected. When that happened, his team shut the restaurant down for a weekend to do some damage control. They redesigned the restaurant, turning it from a fast-food spot to a sit-down eatery, and hired waitresses to serve customers. They also readjusted the menu. The change ended up being the best decision they could have made for the restaurant. It began seeing much success, which set the stage for Bob Evans' restaurants all around the country.