The Cracker Barrel Restaurant and retail business has focused on the strategic differentiation of its products from other players in the market. Its differentiated concept is a difficult element to list in the America restaurant industry (Harvard Business School Press, 2006). In a bid to enable this strategy, Cracker Barrel has achieved several components that remain a unique combination compared to other casual dining restaurants within the industry (Dess, Lumpkin & Eisner, 2009).
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One of the different elements is the provision of complex menus and this beats other casual restaurants since they do not offer breakfast menu (Ireland, Hitt & Hoskisson, 2011). This enables Cracker to attract a significant number of family customers through communicating its provision of all-round menu. Its unique retail store serves as a separating element that differentiates it from other restaurants in the region.
Cracker continues to achieve a differentiated strategy through highly loyal staff offering friendly services unmatched with other competitors in the industry. Unlike the rest of the players in the market, Cracker Barrel does not serve alcohol in all its retail shops and stores.
Cracker believes that serving alcohol I its menu will take away the family facet that separates it from the rest of the restaurants (Harvard Business School Press, 2006). The ability of Cracker to maintain a highly customer friendly business environment has enabled it to serve over 200 million meals per annum. It is the belief of Cracker and its employees that their actions today influence the number that will visit Cracker in future.
Cracker Barrel is a place created to generate experiences for its customers as contrasted to the ordinary concept of offering meals. The home-style and comfort foods, fireplace, nostalgic décor, and virtually unique set of gifts coupe with a friendly service are elements that have generated an emotional connection between Cracker Barrel’s customers and the business. As such, Cracker Barrel remains a people’s restaurant of choice owing to its unique components in both quality meals and service of its employees (Ireland, Hitt & Hoskisson, 2011).
Strategic business expansion has proven successful for Cracker Barrel for the past few years. Cracker believes in taking services to the families across the region (Dess, Lumpkin & Eisner, 2009). Cracker’s phenomenal growth has enabled it to divest and expand its business.
The restaurant offers unique and expanded services not offered by other restaurants in the restaurant industry. The management believes that the ability of Cracker to build a strong brand lies in its strategic presence across the region. This element has enabled the business to witness increased sales returns following its expansion (Blanchard, 2011).
The last strategy employed by Cracker Barrel is the customer-led pricing to achieve affordable yet quality services for its clientele. It is worth noting that the restaurant industry exhibits minimal differences in terms of services provided. The restaurant believes that the shift in prices will yield minimal shifts in customer loyalty and as such, concentration on the quality and pricing would enable its success.
Therefore, Cracker Barrel endeavors to pursue price leadership in the restaurant industry within its target market (Dess, Lumpkin & Eisner, 2009). In analyzing the Business strategies employed by Cracker, it is critical to assess whether they conform to the business position based on the SWOT analytical study conducted.
Relationship between Cracker Barrel’s Strategies and the SWOT Analysis
The strategies pursued by Cracker Barrel correspond with the previous SWOT analysis. The analysis of the SWOT reveals that the strategies undertaken aims at harnessing from the strengths and opportunities while leveraging against the competing forces in the industry, either internally or externally (Dess, Lumpkin & Eisner, 2009).
For instance, its ability to remain the restaurant known for its quality service has enabled Cracker Barrel to pursue price leadership as a strategic placement. The inherent capacity presented by its strong financial base justifies their strategic business expansion pursued by the restaurant (Blanchard, 2011).
Blanchard, R. (2011). Creating Wealth with a Small Business: Strategies and Models for Entrepreneurs in the 2010s. New York, NY: iUniverse.
Dess, G., Lumpkin, T., & Eisner, A. (2009). Strategic Management: Text and Cases. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Harvard Business School Press. (2006). Essentials of strategy. New York, NY: Harvard Business Press.
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Ireland, D. R., Hitt, M. A., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2011). Understanding Business Strategy: Concepts and Cases. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.