Cracker Barrel Making Big Changes, Raising Prices as Chain Continues to Struggle

Cracker Barrel is making changes after its most recent quarter showed it posting a loss.

Price increases, some new menu options and a new look are all in the cards, according to the New York Post.

“We’re just not as relevant as we once were,” CEO Julie Felss Masino said on an investor call last week, according to the Post. “Some of our recipes and processes haven’t evolved in decades.”

The planned investments do not expect a payoff until late 2026 or 2027.

Since the pandemic, Cracker Barrel has had a 16 percent drop in diners, and a 4 percent drop in sales in its most recent quarter.


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In its most recent quarter, Cracker Barrel’s revenue dropped $817.1 million — a drop of 1.9 percent from the same period last year. A 5 percent price increase is aimed at fixing that, the Post reported.

Although last year, the 700-store chain had a 7.4 percent increase in same-store sales year over year, this year, restaurant sales fell 1.5 percent and retail sales dipped 3.8 percent.

“As we indicated in our recent business update call, our third quarter results came in below expectations due to softer traffic than we originally anticipated, which underscores the importance of executing our strategic transformation,” Felss Masino said.

New items will be joining the menu, such as premium savory chicken and rice, slow-braised pot roast and hash brown casserole Shepherd’s Pie.

Do you like Cracker Barrel?

Truist analyst Jake Bartlett said that about 10 percent of Cracker Barrel’s customers never came back after the pandemic, forcing a change to attract younger customers.

With its stock down 40 percent for the year so far, Masino said Cracker Barrel  “has lost some of its shine,” according to CBS.

“[W]e are not leading in any area,” Masino said. “[T]he reality is we’ve lost some market share, especially at dinner.”

She said price increases in some areas will be part of a strategy that may lower prices in others.

“I want to emphasize that optimizing our price points across the menu doesn’t mean just increasing prices,” she said. “In several places, it may actually mean taking the opposite approach. We understand the lower-end consumer is challenged and value is and will remain an important part of the brand and we will work vigorously to protect it.”


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Remodeling existing restaurants will involve “a different color palette, updating lighting, offering more comfortable seating and simplifying decor and fixtures,” she said.

“The goal, simply put, was to freshen things in such a way as to be noticeable and attractive but still feel like Cracker Barrel,” she said.

“Historically, Cracker Barrel has made limited changes to our design aesthetic, and we’ve probably relied a little too much on what was perceived to be the timeless nature of our concept,” she said.

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