Delivery and takeout have become as important as table turns for casual-dining chains since the pandemic began. And while Chili’s and Applebee’s have snatched a lot of headlines with their off-premise efforts, Cracker Barrel has been as active as anyone in developing its to-go business.
Takeout and delivery accounted for 20% of the chain’s sales in its fiscal first quarter, a number that has not changed much even as customers started returning to its dining rooms. It has doubled down on the channel with a pair of virtual brands as well as its first ghost kitchen, all of which it views as ways to generate incremental sales.
“The strategic intent behind it was to appeal to guests who would otherwise not be coming into a restaurant, who might be shopping for a certain type of food instead of a brand, and who we believe would be a completely incremental piece of business,” said CEO Sandra Cochran on an earnings call with investors Tuesday.Restaurant Businessonline