How This Family Farm Inspired The Design Of Bob Evans Restaurants

Bob Evans didn't start out as the successful frozen food and chain restaurant brand that it is known as today. Instead, the brand was launched by Bob Evans himself as a small restaurant adjacent to his family farm. According to the Bob Evans website, back in 1948, Evans owned a small, 12-stool restaurant, where he mainly served passing truck drivers. Though the restaurant itself was doing well enough, Evans was dissatisfied with one of his most popular products: sausage. Evans didn't love the sausage quality he was serving his customers, which prompted him to use his own hogs from the farm to create his own.

Evans' sausage was a hit, and it eventually led him to distribute it on a broader scale. The brand started to grow, and his sausage business was doing well. Still, Evans wanted to expand his restaurants, and it turns out he knew exactly how he wanted them to look.

The Bob Evans restaurants look like the family's farm

The original restaurant didn't look like the modern restaurants we see today. These days, Bob Evans restaurants are much larger than the 12-seater space he and his wife opened up decads ago. According to Funding Universe, Evans and his wife opened up a second restaurant in 1962 as a means of keeping a steady income during the months when Evans could not distribute his sausage. And in 1968, a third restaurant came along. This became known as the pilot restaurant for the future chain that was about to unfold. 

The exterior was designed to be reminiscent of the Evans family farm. It had a red exterior with white trim, similar to the farm, and it became the prototype for how Bob Evans restaurants appear today. Though today's restaurants are more modern looking (some even have brick exteriors), that red and white signature look is still visible.