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Is Cracker Barrel heading for a turnaround?


Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. is continuing to struggle under new leadership, as new CEO Julie Felss Masino talked about a long road ahead to recovery and long-term profitability for the Lebanon, Tenn.-based casual-dining brand. Cracker Barrel reported a 4% decline in traffic and modest same-store restaurant sales growth of 1.2% with a more than 5% decline for retail sales for the second quarter ended Jan. 26, 2024. The second quarter is generally one of the strongest for Cracker Barrel, as it includes the Thanksgiving and holiday seasons.

Part of the strategy for keeping customers coming back is the attention paid to the new loyalty program, which was just announced in September. Masino said that it’s a unique offering for the restaurant industry because customers can earn points and rewards on both the restaurant and retail end of the Cracker Barrel business simultaneously. She added that loyalty members are steadily growing and accounted for half of the Thanksgiving heat and serve sales.

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