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Cracker Barrel (CBRL) Enhances Menu to Attract Customers

Zacks Equity Research
·4 min read

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. CBRL recently announced the launch of an updated homestyle Chicken Pot Pie recipe and a revised kids menu. This constitutes part of its multi-phased rollout of a simplified and refreshed menu. Additionally, items like Carrot Cake, Peach Tea and Pumpkin Pie Latte have also been launched.

The Chicken Pot Pie features slow-simmered chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots, celery and onions in a creamy sauce, topped with a signature flaky pastry crust. The product is also made available for curbside, pickup and online delivery. Meanwhile, the new kids menu comprises Mini Confetti Pancakes, Lil' Barrel Cheeseburgers, Dirt Cup Dessert and Milk n' Cookies Straw.

The new limited-time seasonal offerings are available at all Cracker Barrel Stores through Oct 11, 2020. Also, TV commercials regarding the same are likely to be attested in the coming week.

Cracker Barrel’s vice president of Culinary and Menu Strategy, Cammie Spillyards-Schaefer stated, "As we move into this next season and continue to navigate uncertain times, we hope that our new menu additions offer families new ways to connect and enjoy the craveable, homestyle cooking they've always loved here at Cracker Barrel."

Menu Innovations to Drive Growth

Cracker Barrel is continuously focusing on rejuvenating its menu, which serves as the backbone of the company’s riveting growth potential. It is also heavily focusing on seasonal promotions and limited-time offers to boost its top-line performance, as these are appealing to both regular users and less-frequent guests.

The company’s current menu promotion is centered on Cracker Barrel homestyle favorites such as chicken and dumplings, country fried steak and Grandma's Sampler. Moreover, it plans to strengthen the dinner daypart by introducing new signature craveable items. This initiative is likely to simplify the menu to increase its consistency in execution, as well as providing a more optimized menu.

Price Performance

Shares of Cracker Barrel have declined 20.5% so far this year against the industry's 1.2% growth. The dismal performance was primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the same, the company suspended its dividend and stock buyback program. Also, higher labor costs and a decline in traffic are likely to dent profits going forward. Notably, earnings estimates for 2020 have been unchanged over the past 60 days, depicting analysts concern regarding the stock’s growth potential.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Cracker Barrel currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Some better-ranked stocks in the same space include Papa John's International, Inc. PZZA, Jack in the Box Inc. JACK and El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. LOCO. Papa John's sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Jack in the Box and El Pollo Loco carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Papa John's has a three-five year earnings per share growth rate of 8%.

Jack in the Box’s 2021 earnings are expected to increase 17.7%.

El Pollo Loco has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 94.1%, on average.

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