Contact: Margaret Standing
Office: (614) 492-4921
For Immediate Release
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. and University of Rio Grande
Introduce Innovative Management Training Program
University Coursework and Restaurant Experience to Generate Hospitality Jobs
Columbus, OH (March 9, 2012) – This fall when college students return to the
University of Rio Grande in Southeast Ohio, they’ll find a new curriculum on the menu –
the Bob Evans Hospitality Management program. The innovative new management
training program is being developed in partnership with the Ohio-based restaurant and
food products company, and will be offered at the University of Rio Grande in the fall.
The program will offer accredited bachelor’s and associate degrees through the
University of Rio Grande with the opportunity for students to work full-time for Bob
Evans Farms while pursuing their degree. So while they’re learning the basics of the
hospitality industry in a classroom setting, they’ll also work-study in the company’s
restaurants for real on-the-job experience.
Not only will students earn credit for their coursework and real-world experience with
one of the service industry’s leaders in true hospitality, they’ll also be able to earn
academic credit in Bob Evans’ training programs – a unique program feature that makes
the cost of a degree much more affordable.
Bob Evans Farms Executive Vice President of Human Resources Joe Eulberg, who leads
the company’s training and development efforts, says the program will be mutually
beneficial. “The program will give students a skill foundation in an industry that
continues to hire and grow despite the lagging economy,” says Eulberg. “It also
provides a solid pipeline of management candidates for Bob Evans.” Eulberg also serves
as a trustee for the University.
The hospitality industry and restaurants in particular have been a steady source of jobs
in a struggling economy, explains Eulberg. Currently 524,000 jobs in Ohio are in
hospitality, generating $16 billion in sales for the state. And the numbers are growing –
hospitality jobs are expected to increase more than five percent in 10 years. Bob Evans
Farms employs more than 40,000 people nationwide.
“We want to help build and reinforce the understanding of restaurant management as
an important career field in a growing industry,” he says.
“This is a one-of-a-kind program with national potential,” says Bob Evans Farms CEO
and Chairman Steve Davis, also a board member of JobsOhio. “I’m very proud that Ohio
is going to incubate such an innovative solution to job creation and to employee
The program will appeal to a wide range of students – from high school graduates
looking to start a career in hospitality, to Bob Evans employees interested in obtaining a
degree, to anyone interested in getting an affordable college degree without securing
hefty student loans.
“I applaud Bob Evans Farms’ leadership for recognizing the critical importance of co-
ops and internships. We intend to make the Hospitality Management program one of
the best in the country,” says University of Rio Grande President Dr. Barbara Gellman-
Danley. “The ten-year strategic plan for the University of Rio Grande and Rio
Grande Community places partnerships as central to our mission.”
Gellman-Danley explains that the university intends to bring national organizations into
the collaboration and indicates that several have expressed interest in the program as a
model for all of higher education.
“Not only does this program give us a new avenue of educational opportunity for the
students,” says University of Rio Grande Board of Trustees Chair Gary Roach, “it also
allows us to partner with one of the most successful Ohio-based businesses with roots
right here in Gallia County. We see this collaboration as an exemplary educational
“Bob Evans’ alliance with the University of Rio Grande is a visionary approach for the
future,” says Larry Kidd, president and CEO of Reliable Staffing Services and member of
both the JobsOhio and Rio Grande Community College boards. “Such partnerships meet
corporate needs while providing wonderful career opportunities that would not
otherwise exist. Our community appreciates Bob Evans’ dedication to the university, the
Village of Rio Grande and to Southeastern Ohio.”
The University and restaurant/food company have had ties for many years – the
original owners of the Bob Evans Farm and Homestead, Nehemiah and Permelia Wood,
helped found the University and donated the land for the institution. The University
owned the Homestead until the 1950’s, when Bob Evans purchased the land and then
featured it in his advertisements for his delicious country sausage. The two properties,
which sit across the road from each other, share a symbiotic relationship to this day.
“No other company is closer to our identity than Bob Evans Farms; this is a natural
marriage whose time has arrived,” says Gellman-Danley.
About Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans and Mimi’s Café
brand names. At the end of the third fiscal quarter (January 27, 2012), Bob Evans owned and operated
564 family restaurants in 18 states, primarily in the Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions of the
United States, while Mimi’s Café owned and operated 145 casual restaurants located in 24 states,
primarily in California and other western states. Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is also a leading producer and
distributor of pork sausage and a variety of complementary convenience food items under the Bob Evans
and Owens brand names. For more information about Bob Evans Farms, Inc., visit www.bobevans.com.