Cracker Barrel's Key Metrics Decline to Close Out 2013

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.


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  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 1:51 AM, SecularHumanist wrote:

    Cracker barrel is where republicans eat. I don't particularly like the ambiance, decor and the deliberate temptations to buy stuff one doesn't need while waiting for a table.

    I eat at a "Silver Diner" restaurant, a local chain, when I want inexpensive food served by wait staff.

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 10:44 AM, harold43702 wrote:

    If you are a baker, stick to baking. If you are a butcher, stick to cutting meat. If you are a banker, stick to banking. Food chain restaurants should stick to cooking food, and stay away from political subjects and knee jerk reactions. I belong to a organization the goes to Cracker Barrel every weekend for breakfast and get together for conversation. That is 25 to 30 meal each visit. When the whole Duck Dynasty thing started we stopped our weekly breakfast meeting at Cracker Barrel and have been at Denny’s since and found that we get a better meal cheaper and the proportions and service are better. We will not be back to CB anytime soon if at all.

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 3:10 PM, mtsngnel wrote:

    They made a big mistake by reacting to soon without finding out all the facts concerning the Duck Dynasty fiasco. I, personally will not eat in their establishment again. They reacted to a select few who complained and if they only want the business of that select few, so be it. They crapped in their nest so now they need to sleep in it.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2014, at 1:58 PM, strifle wrote:

    That Cracker Barrel slop is one step ahead of Denny's, the worst restaurant food in America.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2014, at 2:01 PM, strifle wrote:

    So Hasold43702, you're saying you lowered your standard. Denny's? Really?

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Eric Volkman

Eric has been writing about stocks and finance since the mid-1990s, when he lived in Prague, Czech Republic. Over the course of a varied career, he has also been a radio newscaster, an investment banker, and a bass player in a selection of rock and roll bands. A native New Yorker, he currently lives in Los Angeles.

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