The driving blast - a six decade-long period of steady increases in per-capita driving in the United States - is over . This also implies a negative effect on interstate driving. Toss in the effect of a resting economy and cash-strapped consumers, the situation gets harder for restaurants along highways. The far reaching weakness in sales and movement is reflected in the September 2013 report of Blackbox Intelligence for the three out of the last four quarters.
Notwithstanding, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NASDAQ:CBRL) continues to overcome the cynicism surrounding the restaurant industry generally, and it is also contending great with peers like Denny's and Bob Evans Farms. Cracker Barrel has the playing point of diversity on its side as it is a restaurant with a blessing shop as well, whereas Denny's is a burger joint.
Cracker Barrel banks on its national picture and reasonably-priced meals, and it has significantly outperformed its peers as apparent from the year-to-date gains on the Street.
Cracker Barrel was voted number one in the 2013 Consumer Picks survey Family Dining class, led by Nation's Restaurant News, and positioned first in nine of the 10 categories. It also won first place for the Food and Beverage class in Technomic's inaugural Chain Restaurants Consumers' Choice Award.
In every quarter of the year, Cracker Barrel attained positive activity, developed restaurant and retail sales, and beat the Knapp-Track casual feasting record . This is despite the strong headwinds that I said right before all else.
Amid Cracker Barrel's final quarter, comps increased by 2.6% because of a 0.6% increase in activity. What's more, because of revised menu estimating, normal check increased by 2%. On the retail location side, comps increased by 1.1% amid the quarter.
As a result of positive comps, an increase in activity and normal check, Cracker Barrel reported final quarter revenue of $674.1 million. This was 3.9% more than the adjusted revenue of $649 million in the former year quarter. Restaurant revenue soared 4.3% and retail revenue increased 2% as contrasted with the former year quarter.
Cracker Barrel was squeezed by the broad marvel of increasing sustenance item costs. For the quarter, nourishment merchandise costs were roughly 4.7% higher than in the earlier year quarter. Then again, higher data costs were somewhat offset by a decrease of 110 basis points in store payroll and related expenses. Cracker Barrel reported net income of $34.3 million, or $1.43 per weakened share, representing a 19.2% increase over the earlier year.
Going ahead, for fiscal 2014, Cracker Barrel expects revenue to be between $2.70 billion and $2.75 billion. This reflects expected increases in similar store, restaurant, and retail sales in the scope of 2% to 3% notwithstanding the positive effect of the normal opening of 7 or 8 new Cracker Barrel stores. Earnings are required to be in the scope of $5.60 to $5.80 per weakened share.
More than opening new stores, the organization is focusing on higher per-store profit through an extended retail item blend and the presentation of licensed products. Also, it is wandering outside the doors of its restaurants through licensing arrangements.
Barrel's diversity is favorable element, and peers such as Denny's also seem to be sticking to this same pattern. Denny's vigorously franchised business model helps point of confinement risk and capital requirements. Denny's operates around 1,686 franchised, licensed and organization restaurants in the family-style restaurant business space. The organization is also focusing on worldwide markets for development and expansion and it opened restaurants in three global locations amid the second from last quarter.
Going ahead, Denny's is planning to stretch its business globally. It as of late added a restaurant to its Latin American portfolio by opening an unit each in El Salvador and Chile. Its restaurant tally outside the U.s. is around 100. Denny's expects the amount of openings to be at the lower end of its previous direction of 40-45 franchised restaurants.
The restaurateur also intends to shut down 35-40 restaurants. Thus, by closing unprofitable locations and extending universally, Denny's is moving in the right course.
Evans Farms, an alternate full-service restaurant, is after an alternate strategy to achieve development. With over 50% of its 560 locations situated in Michigan, Indiana, and its home state of Ohio, the organization suffers from an abnormal state of store fixation. Be that as it may so as to increase movement, it is resorting to promotions and is giving "homestead fresh" meals at reasonable prices. Bob Evans is also stretching its brand into the bundled sustenance segment.
Evans has numerous locations experiencing a change in arrangement and this has resulted in lower number of sales days for the organization, as a result of which its profitability has been affected. Bob Evans, in any case, emphasized its full year earnings direction of $2.60 to $2.67 per share in the wake of having reported earnings of $0.58 a share for first-quarter for fiscal 2014 . This suggests that the organization is very certain of the transformation in its business and limited time strategies.
In any case Bob Evans' fixation in a few states takes away the separation advantage from it. Denny's, then again, is closing sure stores, which means that its land office may not be as productive as Cracker Barrel, which is focused on opening more gainful stores. Also, Cracker Barrel is slightly cheaper than Denny's with a P/E proportion of 22.6, and it also has a profit yield of 2.70%.
Consequently, investors would be better off by considering an investment in Cracker Barrel as it is moderately cheaper furthermore pays a decent profit.