Hot numbers of the week: Bob Evans’ new leadership headcount; the nut of El Pollo Loco suit; a seismic shift in the Chicago market?


Number of top executives who will steer the Bob Evans Farms family restaurant chain until it finds a new CEO to replace Steve Davis, who stepped down in mid-December. The five-person Office of the Chair will be led by former Arby’s CEO and longtime Bob Evans director Doug Benham, who assumes the newly created but temporary post of executive chair. The set-up will dissolve once a new CEO is hired, the chain said.

$132 million

Value of the stock investors accuse El Pollo Loco insiders of dumping before disclosing the impact of a menu change they made because of a pending minimum-wage increase.  A class-action suit alleges the executives knew the discontinuation of a $5 value meal was hurting sales. The everyday-bargain item was dropped because the minimum wage rises to $10 an hour soon in the Los Angeles area, where 80 percent of the chicken chain’s revenues are generated, according to the plaintiffs. El Pollo Loco has yet to respond publicly.


Age of Sasha Petraske, the romantic who likely did as much as anyone to spark the mixology movement, when he was found dead last weekend at his home in upstate New York. The cause has yet to be disclosed. Through his proprietorship of speakeasy-like places such as New York City’s Milk and Honey, Petraske rekindled a cocktail culture that has swept across the restaurant industry in the last 15 years.

4.0 on the Richter scale

Possible quake in the dining world when celebrated Chicago chef Grant Achatz opens his first casual place, Roister, in the Windy City in coming weeks. “Casual” is relative; the average per-person ticket is expected to top $50. The United States’ missile-launch codes are easier to obtain than details about what will be on the menu created by Achatz, the kitchen master behind Alinea and Next.


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