- On Monday, restaurant chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store announced its CFO, Jill Golder, will retire on Dec. 31, 2020.
- Cracker Barrel has appointed Doug Couvillion as Interim CFO, effective upon Golder's retirement. Couvillion currently serves as the company's senior vice president of sourcing & supply chain.
- "Jill has contributed significantly to the success of Cracker Barrel over the last five years, and has been instrumental in helping us navigate through the pandemic as successfully as we have," Cracker Barrel president and CEO Sandra Cochran said in a statement. "Cracker Barrel is an outstanding company with a talented leadership team, and I am proud of our accomplishments, particularly over the last nine months," Golder said.
Golder, who has served as senior vice president and finance chief since 2016, will continue assisting the executive team on a variety of matters following her retirement, including aiding in her successor's transition, the company said in an 8-K filing.
Over Couvillion's two decades at Cracker Barrel, he has served in various finance leadership roles, including corporate controller and principal accounting officer.
A new CFO will have plenty of immediate challenges to deal with at Cracker Barrel, including ongoing pressure from activist investor Biglari Holdings, which has been unsuccessfully pushing for the appointment of a board member for several quarters. The chain has also faced ongoing double-digit same-store sales declines since the start of the pandemic. At the end of the company's fourth quarter ending Oct. 31, 2020, same-store sales declined 39.2%, recovering to a negative 16.4% during the company's fiscal Q1 2021, according to an earnings release.
The company has expanded into off-premise with third-party delivery, takeout and curbside pickup, and that area of business now makes up 25% of sales as of Q1 2021 after increasing 122% from Q4 2020, according to Nation's Restaurant News.
Despite continued pandemic-related shutdowns and indoor dining limitations, Cracker Barrel currently operates 660 restaurants, including the Maple Street Biscuit Company, which it acquired in 2019, across 45 states.
Representatives for Cracker Barrel declined to comment beyond the content of the press release.