Plans For Cracker Barrel Closings in 2023

Joel Eisenberg

This week, the company went public with its financial struggles.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3DI04U_0jX0dnUq00
Cracker BarrelPhoto byShutterstock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: RestaurantClicks.com, Snopes.com, KGW.com, Google.com, and NRN.com.

Introduction

I write extensively about the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain for NewsBreak. Two of my prior articles are particularly relevant to this present piece: June 9th’s “Plans For Cracker Barrel Closings in 2022,” and December 2nd’s “Cracker Barrel Struggles Made Public in Current Financial Report.”

An analysis of the former article reveals that Cracker Barrel closings for the current calendar year have been largely based on rumor. To support the contention, I excerpted a RestaurantClicks.com article that directly addressed the longstanding innuendo.

The trade website’s March, 2022 article, “The Truth Behind Rumors of Cracker Barrel Closing,” stated: While Cracker Barrel was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic like many other restaurants were, the good news is that Cracker Barrel is as healthy a choice as one of its home-cooked vegetable dishes, or maybe even healthier. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store saw revenue growth year over year of more than 11 percent and total revenue of $862.26 million. Wall Street analysts rate its stock, CBRL, a hold. That doesn’t sound like a company that’s closing.

My article attributed the rumors to a general article that used a photo of the restaurant in its lead-off image. A Snopes fact-check explained the rest.

During 2022, however, an Oregon location permanently closed due to safety issues: According to an August 9, 2022 article published by KGW.com, “Security Issues Prompt Abrupt Closure of Jantzen Beach Cracker Barrel,” employees of the Oregon location were given little notice of the location’s permanent shuttering.

This week, though, the company reiterated expansion plans of 12-23 new restaurants in 2023 while disclosing and elaborating upon its substantial financial challenges as covered in my latter linked article, above.

Those challenges, it seems, have been highly compounded since publication of “Plans For Cracker Barrel Closings in 2022” despite across-the-board gross revenue gains.

Let us explore.

Cracker Barrel, 2022

According to a December 2nd article from trade site NRN.com, entitled “Cracker Barrel is Struggling and Inflation is the Culprit,” recent company gains have been largely mitigated.

As excerpted from the article: While Cracker Barrel’s revenues grew 7% in the first quarter ended Oct. 28, thanks in large part to multiple price increases (totaling 7.8%), profits were down as a result of astronomical commodity costs.

Again, though business across-the-board was higher by most indicators, inflation strongly impacted those gains.

As the article further stated: “We continue to operate in a challenging environment of economic uncertainty that makes predicting the balance of the year particularly difficult,” Craig Pommells, CFO of Cracker Barrel said during Friday’s earnings call. “Consumer confidence, recession risks, inflation and supply chain constraints are some of the things that, depending on whether, when, and how much they shift, can impact our business positively or negatively for the balance of the year… The overall sentiment, however, is that commodities and other external factors are “volatile” right now, Pommells said.

Though Cracker Barrel has not shuttered entities to the extent of other major restaurant chains on a national basis, as a targeted Google search will verify financial analysts are stating their belief that individual locations will likely strategically close in the coming year based on Pommells’ words, likely related to issues of untenable underperformance vis a vis costs of operation..

It should be noted, however, the company has neither verified nor dismissed those claims.

Conclusion

More often than not when such downcast reports are publicly released online rumors follow about the given company’s long-term future.

Cracker Barrel, for now, is continuing its expansion plans. Strategic permanent shutterings are not out of the question, though as of press time no new closures have yet been announced.

In the event of pertinent updates on these matters, I will share them here on NewsBreak.

Thank you for reading.

Comments / 223

Published by

I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA
157K followers

More from Joel Eisenberg

Comments / 0