Cracker Barrel wraps up strong fiscal 2015

by Eric Schroeder
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After a strong fiscal 2015, executives at Cracker Barrel have their eyes set on fiscal 2016.
After a strong fiscal 2015, executives at Cracker Barrel have their eyes set on fiscal 2016.

LEBANON, Tenn. – The strength of the differentiated Cracker Barrel brand and an ability to execute against strategic initiatives drove strong financial results in fiscal 2015 at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.

For the year ended May 1, Cracker Barrel had net income of $163,903,000, equal to $6.85 per share on the common stock, up 24 percent from $132,128,000, or $5.55 per share, in fiscal 2014. Total revenue advanced 6 percent to $2,842,284,000 from $2,683,677,000.

Now, company executives have their eyes set on fiscal 2016. Specifically, four initiatives have been put in place to keep momentum going. 

Sandra B. Cochran, president and CEO of Cracker Barrel
Sandra B. Cochran, president and CEO of Cracker Barrel

“First, we’ll focus on driving traffic and sales through advertising, menu strategies, and targeted marketing programs,” Sandra B. Cochran, president and CEO, said during a Sept. 16 conference call with analysts. “Second, we plan to apply technology and process improvements to enhance the overall guest experience. Third, we will implement cost savings initiatives to further drive operating margins. And finally, our fourth priority will be to invest in long-term growth through new unit expansion and the development of a fast casual concept.”

Cochran said the company will talk more about the priorities in the coming months, but she did note that targeted food management will be one of the company’s larger 2016 initiatives. It will include back-of-the-house process improvements such as a focus on food reporting and analytics, and a new food auditing process, she said.

In addition to recapping its fiscal 2015 and looking ahead to fiscal 2016, Cracker Barrel announced the retirement of Lawrence Hyatt as CFO. Hyatt, who has been CFO since January 2011, will retire by the end of the 2016 fiscal year. Cracker Barrel said he will participate in the search for his successor and assist with the transition.

“During his five years as Cracker Barrel’s CFO, Larry’s financial and business leadership have been instrumental to our company’s success,” Cochran said. “While we will be sad to see him leave, all of us wish Larry and his family the best in his retirement.”

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