- Cracker Barrel plans to launch a beta test of it rewards program in July, CEO Sandy Cochran said Tuesday during the company’s fiscal Q3 2023 earnings call.
- The points-based program will incorporate all of Cracker Barrel’s channels, including retail, and feature gaming elements, Cochran said.
- The company expects its loyalty program to lead to higher frequency, boost brand loyalty and customer value while also providing robust guest data, she said.
Cracker Barrel’s rewards program could be particularly helpful in boosting traffic, which was down in April. This decline continued into the company’s fiscal Q4 2023, which Cracker Barrel’s SVP and CFO Craig Pommells attributed to “macroeconomic factors as opposed to our restaurant pricing increases.” The company’s comparable restaurant sales were up 7.4% during the quarter. This was driven by an 8.8% increase in pricing, of which a quarter was carried over from fiscal 2022, and three-fourths were new from fiscal 2023, Pommells said.
What may differentiate Cracker Barrel’s program is the ability for customers to earn points on both its retail and restaurant businesses. Customers can then redeem their rewards regardless of which channel the points were earned at, Jen Tate, SVP and CMO of Cracker Barrel, said.
“Our loyalty program is a key initiative and it's another way that we're extending our care and hospitality to our guests as part of our larger digital transformation initiative,” Cochran said. That digital initiative included the launch and improvement of its digital app, which occurred during the company’s fiscal Q2 2023, she said in February.
Cracker Barrel joins a growing cohort of casual chains to launch loyalty programs within the past year. The Cheesecake Factory launched its own program last week, while On the Border shifted its program to a tiered structure with two different levels at the end of May. P.F. Chang’s added a subscription tier to its loyalty program in September, offering benefits like free delivery for $6.99 a month.