Cracker Barrel closing stores 2023

Cracker Barrel closing stores 2024? Why Cracker Barrel Shut Down?

Is Cracker Barrel Closing Down in 2024? If you love homestyle food, you know Cracker Barrel. Lately, however, rumors exist that it might be closing down. So, is it true? Is Cracker Barrel closing its stores in 2024?

The good news is that Cracker Barrel is not closing completely. It’s been around for a long time and is known for its tasty Southern-style dishes and all-day breakfast. Despite facing challenges, Cracker Barrel has always bounced back.

However, some Cracker Barrel stores have closed, especially in Oregon. This might worry fans, but don’t panic! The closures are not happening everywhere. It’s more like a strategic decision in specific locations.

Cracker Barrel had to close some stores in Oregon and other places. They couldn’t fully recover, leading to closures in Bend, Tualatin, and Beaverton, Oregon.

But here’s the critical part: Cracker Barrel is not closing its entire business. It has several active stores, and recent revenue growth shows it is not planning to shut down anytime soon.

So, while it’s true that some locations are closing, the whole Cracker Barrel brand is not going away. They’re facing challenges, but they are not closing down completely.

So, you need to look no further than Cracker Barrel if you’re seeking a spot to enjoy the holidays! They have many holiday specials scheduled. They also offer all-you-can-eat holiday meals, like roasted turkey dinners, and their regular menus.

They will discover something that suits their holiday palate, whether they wish to delight in traditional Cracker Barrel dishes or try a new one. The holiday hours at Cracker Barrel have already been made public for 2023. Let’s dive in!

Did Cracker Barrel Close Stores In 2023?

Since its opening, Cracker Barrel has had more than 660 stores across 45 states. The cafe comes from an accurate cracker-filled barrel previously popular in country stores. It has a variety of rustic decor and a reasonably priced home cooking menu. 

But throughout its lengthy existence, Cracker Barrel has faced more controversy than is fair. Also, criticism is familiar to the company. In addition, the chain frequently tries out unsuccessful new menu items. Also, it sells millions of servings of foods that nutritionists would prefer were never served again when it isn’t facing lawsuits or complaints. In other words, it’s a brand that separates people.

Since opening its first location in Tennessee in 1969, Cracker Barrel has been around and is still in business. Along America’s highways, Cracker Barrel offers visitors and residents a spot to grab a homestyle dinner. The company may play a game of checkers while rocking back and forth.

It was rumored that the iconic Cracker Barrel, famed for its country store and homestyle comfort food, might shut down in 2021. It turns out that there is nothing more wrong.

How Did Rumors Spread About Cracker Barrel Closing?

In the time of computers and the internet, news spreads quickly. Some people started talking about the restaurant possibly closing, and it all began with stuff online.

Someone made a headline that said, ‘Saying Goodbye: Stores Closing in 2021 Across The Nation,’ and they even put a picture of Cracker Barrel. But when people read the article, they saw that Cracker Barrel wasn’t on the list. So, it turned out the headline was trying to get attention, and Cracker Barrel wasn’t closing.

Many people believed this rumor because the restaurant had been in legal trouble before, facing accusations of mistreating people.

How Did Cracker Barrel Begin and What’s on the Menu Now?

In 1969, Danny Evins started Cracker Barrel. It is a place for travelers to stop and enjoy food that’s not fast food and get gas. He also wanted them to be able to shop for fun things in a gift shop. The first Cracker Barrel opened in Lebanon, Tennessee. It offers Southern specialties like Country Ham, grits, biscuits, and more.

Now, Cracker Barrel’s menu has lots of options, including:

  • Breakfast all-day
  • Chicken tenders
  • Shrimp platters
  • Meatloaf
  • Country fried steak
  • Chicken
  • Dumplings

Why Did Cracker Barrel Close Some Stores?

In 2023, Cracker Barrel decided to close some of its stores because they weren’t doing well in terms of sales and customers. In the middle of 2022, they announced plans to shut down about 50 stores, which is around 8% of all their stores.

The goal behind closing these stores is to eliminate those not making much money. This helps Cracker Barrel make its overall brand and business more robust. The resources for these less successful stores can now be used to make the remaining Cracker Barrel stores work better.

They didn’t provide an exact list of which stores would close, but it happened across the country throughout 2022 and 2023 as the leases for those stores ended. Some people thought places with many Cracker Barrels, like Florida and Tennessee, might have seen more closures. However, even smaller places along highways could have been affected. Employees who lost their jobs received severance pay and help to transition to new careers.

What Happened to Employees and Towns?

When Cracker Barrel closes stores, employees lose their jobs. Even though the company gives some help, it’s still tough for many employees.

Also, small towns where Cracker Barrel shuts down might feel the impact. These stores were not just places to eat but also places where people gathered, and losing them could hurt the town’s economy and community.

Cracker Barrel’s Financial Problems

The growing costs took a deeper bite out of their budgets. Cracker Barrel cited pricing for a decline in the number of silver-haired patrons at the chain’s country-themed restaurants, the business claimed.

In an earnings report with analysts in 2022, the firm reported that customers who were 65 and older skipped the popular highway stop throughout the summer. Chief marketing officer Jennifer Tate added, “We always see them holding back trips.”

Sandra Cochran, the CEO, stated that the company is “having to face the difficulty of managing an environment of reduced consumer demand.” Also, increased expenses are mixed with the uncertainty of when either of these factors may become less potent.

Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Mullan cited Cracker Barrel’s statement that its dine-in revenues were down 10% compared to pre-COVID levels. This was analyzed in the most recent quarter. Also, dining room visitation was down by at least the mid-teens.

Cracker Barrel’s promotion of plant-based sausage has been criticized as “woke.” Mullan also mentioned rising menu prices as a possible “traffic barrier” for fiscal 2023, which the firm intends to boost by 8%.

The business still recorded growth during the most recent quarter, aside from losing elderly diners. Without providing further information, Cracker Barrel claimed it had “got momentum” with customers aged 44 to 55 and millennials.

However, a facility in Oregon was permanently closed in 2022 due to security concerns. According to a article from August 9, 2022, security concerns caused the sudden closure of Jantzen Beach Cracker Barrel. The staff at the Oregon branch needed more advance notice of the closure.

The company confirmed its plans to open 12–23 restaurants in 2023. It announced this while outlining and admitting its significant financial difficulties. Cracker Barrel has not closed as many locations nationwide as other large restaurant chains.

Financial experts are asserting that specific locations will likely be strategically closed in the year to come based on Pommells’ words. Thus, it is probably due to problems with an unsustainable lack of performance relative to operating costs. However, it should be noted that the company has neither confirmed nor denied those statements.

What’s Next for Cracker Barrel?

Cracker Barrel is closing some stores that aren’t doing well, but they still plan to open 8-10 new ones yearly. They want to be more careful and thoughtful about it, not as quick as before.

The new Cracker Barrel locations might have different ideas, like food you can quickly grab or get delivered. They want to ensure these new places match what people like to eat and how they like it.

Cracker Barrel is doing more than just closing some stores. They’re changing their menu, using new technology, hiring more people, and updating their places’ looks to improve them.

They want to keep the cozy feeling and yummy food people love and add healthier and more modern choices. This way, they hope more people, no matter their age, will enjoy coming to Cracker Barrel.

But if things don’t improve, Cracker Barrel might close more stores. Some experts think Cracker Barrel grew too fast before, and they might need to make more changes in the future. Cracker Barrel will monitor how many people come and how much money they make, especially if things get harder economically. If some stores don’t do well, they might have to close them too.

How Many Cracker Barrel Stores Are There In The US?

Recently, it was noted that there are 662 Cracker Barrel restaurants in the United States. The state with the most Cracker Barrel locations is Florida, having 60 restaurants, which is about 9% of all Cracker Barrel restaurants in the US.

Top 3 States with the most Cracker Barrel restaurants:

  • Florida: 60 restaurants (9%)
  • Texas: 55 restaurants (8%)
  • Tennessee: 51 restaurants (8%)

How Are Other Restaurants Doing Compared to Cracker Barrel?

Not every restaurant is doing well, even though Cracker Barrel makes more money after the pandemic. Many big restaurant companies, like Steak & Shake, Applebee’s, Ponderosa Steakhouse, Red Robin, Krystal, Joe’s Crab Shack, and Golden Corral, are closing many locations to reduce losses. Two of these, Joe’s Crab Shack and Ponderosa’s owner Metromedia Steakhouses, have even filed for bankruptcy.

Concluding Thoughts on the Cracker Barrel Closure

In conclusion, there hasn’t been an official announcement from Cracker Barrel about more closures in 2024. However, it faced some problems, and a few of its stores closed in 2023. But the whole company is not closing down. They closed specific places as part of a plan to make the overall business better. Cracker Barrel still wants to provide tasty home-cooked meals and keep its cozy atmosphere. They are considering opening new stores, but not as quickly as before. The COVID-19 situation, what people like to eat, and higher costs influenced these changes. Even though some stores have closed, Cracker Barrel is trying new foods, using more technology, and opening more places. People who love Cracker Barrel can still enjoy their favorite foods, and the company is working hard to stay open and keep serving delicious meals.

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