Here’s How Cracker Barrel Is Trying To Recapture Its Mojo

The familiar chain might soon start to look a little bit different. Here’s How Cracker Barrel Is Trying To Recapture Its Mojo Giphy

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Whether or not you’ve actually visited one of its restaurant/country store combinations, you’re probably familiar with the Cracker Barrel brand. It’s known for serving down-home country meals in a laid-back atmosphere while catering to travelers with locations primarily situated near major highways.

But in recent years, a series of controversies, corporate missteps, and a general change in customer desires has taken a toll on the chain. Now, its leaders are pursuing some fundamental changes they hope will help it regain its prior status.

A new CEO takes over

Julie Felss Masino has been at the helm of Cracker Barrel for nearly a year, during which time she has offered some pretty blunt remarks about the hard work that needs to be done.

“We’re just not as relevant as we once were,” she recently declared.

And while fans of the restaurant have come to expect certain things — lots of wood, antique-looking knickknacks hanging on the walls, peg games on the tables, etc. — Masino signaled that some aspects of the experience must change.

She cited internal research that shows “the way we communicate, the things on the menu, [and] the way the stores look and feel” are all opportunities for the brand “to really regain relevancy.”

What it might look like

While the primary focus on good food for reasonable prices is expected to remain at the core of what Cracker Barrel does, early reports indicate many other features are on the chopping block. A few changes Masino’s leadership could usher in include:

  • More benches in the dining area instead of chairs
  • Bookcases replacing the lattice dividers
  • Brighter colors and more intimate settings

And there’s one change already underway that could appeal to cost-conscious consumers. From 4 to 6 p.m., restaurants are offering new early-bird dinners for lower prices.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee June 3rd, 2024
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