Winter weather chills Cracker Barrel’s Dec. comps

LEBANON Tenn. Citing severe winter weather and continued pressures on consumers’ discretionary spending, CBRL Group Inc. said year-over-year same-store restaurant sales at its Cracker Barrel Old Country Store units fell 1.1 percent for the four-weeks ended Dec. 28. Guest traffic in December fell 4.7 percent from a year earlier, the company reported.

Severe winter weather in the Midwest and the Northeast was blamed for an estimated 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the traffic decline. Unable to offset the drop in traffic were guest checks that rose about 3.6 percent from a year earlier aided by menu price increases of 3.5 percent. CBRL’s same-store retail sales for December increased 1 percent.

CBRL operates 570 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants and gift shops.