Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cracker Barrel welcomes stockholders to annual meeting

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store shareholders journeyed to Lebanon headquarters on Thursday for their annual meeting.

Chairman of the Board Jim Bradford opened the meeting. After taking care of business, which included the election of nine directors to the board, he introduced Chief Executive Officer Sandy Cochran.

Cochran said every day she is proud to work for Cracker Barrel. Cracker Barrel hosted 200 million guest visits at locations across America this year.

Back in 2012, a strategic plan was outlined for Cracker Barrel restaurants, which contained three essential goals: enhance the core, expand the footprint and extend the brand.

Their footprint expanded this year by opening first locations in the state of Nevada, with plans to open three stores in Oregon by summer 2017.

They also opened Holler & Dash Biscuit House locations in Alabama and Florida. Cochran said Holler & Dash targets a younger customer, but still serves up southern favorites.

In 2016 they launched a Campire Flavor menu and marketing program. Cochran said the meals were promoted on over 1,600 billboards, as well as television advertisements and on social media.

"Campfire meals unwrapping now at Cracker Barrel" commercials aired for 10 weeks on 24 networks, and targeted females who typical chose where the family goes to eat.

Cochran said they have also taken steps to expand their music selection. Acts like Dolly Parton, Josh Turner and Joey & Rory have had CDs available at Cracker Barrel.

This year the Front Porch series aimed to collaborate traditional artists with newcomers. A video was played of country music legend Dolly Parton singing her hit "Jolene" with a Capella group Pentatonix.

"That performance had over 10 million views in the first week," Cochran noted.

She concluded by showing stockholders how retail and holiday bulk meals, serving 6-10, can integrate Cracker Barrel into family traditions.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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