Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (“Cracker Barrel” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:CBRL) has commenced mailing of its definitive proxy statement for the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on November 13, 2013. In a letter to shareholders, Sandra B. Cochran, Cracker Barrel’s President and CEO, provided an update on the Company’s strategic priorities, and highlighted the Company’s ongoing strong operational performance.
Ms. Cochran urged shareholders to elect the Company’s nine nominees to the Board of Directors and, once again, not to vote for the election of Sardar Biglari and Philip Cooley. She also urged shareholders to vote against the non-binding, advisory proposal on a $20 per share special dividend, which was publicly proposed by affiliates of Biglari Holdings Inc. on September 16 th. On September 26 th, the Company announced that the Board had decided to include the proposal in the Company’s proxy statement with a recommendation that shareholders vote against it.
“Together, the Board and management team have in place a long-term plan that is designed to fully realize shareholder value through the promotion of operational excellence and by providing the best possible experience for our customers. During the year ahead, we plan to continue to innovate our menu, refine our marketing message, improve the quality and breadth of our retail merchandise, and drive our margins,” Ms. Cochran wrote in the letter to shareholders.
During the 2013 fiscal year, Cracker Barrel delivered total shareholder returns of approximately 65%, including a 60% increase in the Company’s stock price and approximately 5% in quarterly dividends. In addition, since the announcement of the Company’s strategic priorities in September 2011, Cracker Barrel’s share price has increased 159%. This strong performance has been driven by the Company’s continued commitment to quality and service, resulting in seven consecutive quarters of positive comparable store traffic, restaurant sales and retail sales, and outperformance of the Knapp-Track™ casual dining index.