Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ: CBRL ) didn't quite finish 2013 with a bang. The company today reported its comparable traffic and sales figures for November and December -- the first two months of its fiscal Q2 2014. For the former month, comparable restaurant traffic slid by 0.4% against November of last year. The December fall was more pronounced, with the metric dropping by 4.7%.
The average restaurant check, however, saw advances in both months, rising by 2.9% in November and 2% in December. Also recording an increase was comparable restaurant sales for November, which grew by 2.5%. They fell the following month by 2.7%, however. Comparable retail sales dropped by 2.8% in both November and December.
In spite of the mixed results, the company reaffirmed its existing Q2 earnings guidance of $1.50 to $1.60 per share.
In the press release unveiling the numbers, Cracker Barrel attributed the drops to unfavorable weather. It didn't mention whether a controversy over Duck Commander merchandise it sold in its outlets was a factor in the December figures. Late that month, the store hastily pulled the goods following critical comments that Duck Commander founder and President Phil Robertson made to the media about homosexuality. Cracker Barrel abruptly restocked the wares and made a public apology after receiving customer complaints about the move.
Robertson and his family are the stars of the popular TV reality show Duck Dynasty.