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This Popular Southern Restaurant Chain Will Raise Menu Prices By 7% This Year

While known for value, the chain will be passing some cost pressures down to customers.

Inflation continues to impact restaurant prices. While chains like McDonald's have found ways to navigate price increases without losing customers, others are struggling to find the right balance. 

Southern-themed restaurant chain Cracker Barrel is working to find that harmony. The company just announced it will be raising menu prices by about 7% this year, according to an earnings call that took place on June 7.

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Craig Pommells, Cracker Barrel's chief financial officer, said the first price increase will occur in late June and will be "followed by another in early August."

"Clearly we plan to offset some of our cost pressures over the remainder of the calendar year," Pommells said. "While we've seen some guests managing checks, our plan is to take price increases in a staged and thoughtful manner."

Additionally, Pommells noted the price hikes might not stop there if inflation does not ease up.

"We will continue to monitor the consumer and inflation environment and maintain the flexibility to take additional pricing if we believe it would be prudent to do so," he said.

Cracker Barrel is known for offering value-driven menu items. Currently, most of its breakfast items go for less than $10, and daily specials are under $10 as well. The company indicated on the call it will protect its "perception of value."

The chain said seniors over 65 years of age have been slow to return to in-house dining. But the push to attract Millennials, which the company put in motion in 2016, has been successful. About a third of Cracker Barrel's guests are now between the ages of 25 and 44, according to senior vice president and chief marketing officer Jennifer Tate

As a continued effort to grow sales with the younger demographic, the company plans on expanding its digital offerings, mobile payments, and loyalty program.

Additionally, Cracker Barrel plans on adding some higher-priced, luxury items for customers that want to "splurge," as it has seen more demand for premium options and beer and wine from that age group.

Amber Lake
Amber Lake is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! and has a degree in journalism from UNF in Jacksonville, Florida. Read more about Amber