Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is a well-known restaurant chain that has been around for over 50 years now. With over 650 locations across the United States, Cracker Barrel is loved for its southern-style cooking and unique general store shopping experience. Behind this successful company is a group of dedicated individuals who make up the board of directors. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, the importance of a strong board of directors, and the role of the board in the success of the company. We will also introduce you to each member of the board, their leadership style, expertise, and the diversity and inclusion efforts of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's board.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was founded in 1969 by Dan Evins, who had a vision of creating a southern-style restaurant and store along the interstate highway system. The first Cracker Barrel restaurant opened in Lebanon, Tennessee, and quickly became a popular destination for travelers and locals alike. Over the years, Cracker Barrel has grown in popularity and expanded its menu to include breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that showcase Southern cuisine. Today, Cracker Barrel is a publicly-traded company with a market capitalization of over $4 billion.
In addition to its menu offerings, Cracker Barrel is also known for its unique retail store, which features a variety of country-themed items such as clothing, home decor, and toys. The store has become a popular stop for travelers looking for souvenirs or gifts, and many items are exclusive to Cracker Barrel. Additionally, the company has a strong commitment to giving back to the community through its Cracker Barrel Foundation, which supports a variety of charitable organizations and initiatives across the country.
A strong board of directors is crucial for the success of any company. The board's role is to provide strategic guidance, oversee the company's operations, and ensure that it is delivering value to its stakeholders. The board is also responsible for setting the company's overall direction, making key decisions, and overseeing risk management. Having a strong and diverse board can provide a wide range of perspectives and skills, which will ultimately benefit the company.
One of the key benefits of having a strong board of directors is that it can help attract and retain top talent. When potential employees see that a company has a strong and effective board, they are more likely to view the company as a desirable place to work. This can help the company attract the best candidates for open positions, and can also help retain current employees who value the company's leadership.
Another important role of a strong board of directors is to ensure that the company is operating in an ethical and responsible manner. The board should establish and enforce policies and procedures that promote transparency, accountability, and ethical behavior. This can help build trust with stakeholders, including customers, investors, and employees, and can ultimately contribute to the long-term success of the company.
The board of directors plays a critical role in the success of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. The board helps to set the company's strategy, oversees its operations, and ensures that the company is delivering value to its customers, employees, and shareholders. The board is also responsible for overseeing risk management and ensuring that the company is complying with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements.
One of the key responsibilities of the board is to ensure that the company is operating in an ethical and socially responsible manner. This includes making decisions that are in the best interest of the company's stakeholders, such as minimizing the company's environmental impact and promoting diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
Additionally, the board plays a crucial role in succession planning for the company's leadership. The board is responsible for identifying and developing potential candidates for executive positions, ensuring that the company has a strong pipeline of talent to lead the organization into the future.
Now, let's meet the members of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's board of directors. The board comprises ten members, including the company's CEO, Sandra Cochran. The other members of the board are William McCarten, Jill Dodsworth, James Bradford, Andrea Weiss, Glenn Murdock, Cynthia Niekamp, Robert Evans, Richard Dobkin, and Aylwin Lewis. Let's take a closer look at each member of the board.
William McCarten is a retired executive from Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he served as a partner for over 30 years. Jill Dodsworth is the founder and CEO of a consulting firm that specializes in marketing and branding. James Bradford is a professor of finance at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Andrea Weiss is the founder and CEO of The O Alliance, a retail consulting firm. Glenn Murdock is a retired executive from FedEx Corporation, where he served as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Services. Cynthia Niekamp is a retired executive from PPG Industries, where she served as the Senior Vice President of Automotive Coatings. Robert Evans is the CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated, a company that owns and operates horse racing tracks and casinos. Richard Dobkin is a retired executive from The Goldman Sachs Group, where he served as a partner for over 20 years. Aylwin Lewis is the former CEO of Sears Holdings Corporation and is currently the CEO of Potbelly Corporation, a sandwich shop chain.
Each member of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's board of directors brings unique skills and expertise to the table. William McCarten, for example, has extensive financial and accounting experience, having previously served as the CFO of Toys R Us. Jill Dodsworth brings years of experience in supply chain management and customer service, having worked at McDonald's. James Bradford has extensive experience in corporate governance and has served on the boards of several other companies. Andrea Weiss brings expertise in marketing and branding, having worked for several retail companies. Glenn Murdock has expertise in both finance and operations, having served as the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardees. Cynthia Niekamp has years of experience in the food and beverage industry, having worked for Nestle and Frito-Lay. Robert Evans is an expert in real estate, having worked as the CEO of Cushman & Wakefield. Richard Dobkin is an experienced attorney with expertise in corporate governance and board practices. Aylwin Lewis has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, having served as the CEO of Potbelly Sandwich Works and Kmart. Finally, Sandra Cochran brings years of experience in the restaurant industry, having previously served at various senior positions at Cracker Barrel before becoming CEO.
The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's board of directors actively promotes and supports diversity and inclusion initiatives. The board understands the importance of having diverse perspectives and experiences to bring a broader perspective to decision-making. Diversity can also help organizations to better engage with their customers and communities. To this end, Cracker Barrel is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within the company and the board of directors.
One of the ways that Cracker Barrel's board of directors promotes diversity and inclusion is by actively seeking out and recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds for board positions. The board also provides training and education to its members on topics such as unconscious bias and cultural competency. Additionally, the company has implemented programs to support the development and advancement of underrepresented groups within the organization. These efforts have not only helped to create a more diverse and inclusive board, but have also positively impacted the company's overall culture and business success.
The board of directors works closely together to make key decisions for the company. The board members meet regularly to discuss the company's strategy, financial performance, and other important matters. The board also has various committees, including an audit committee, a compensation committee, and a nominating and governance committee. These committees work to ensure that the company is meeting its obligations and acting in the best interests of its stakeholders.
One of the key responsibilities of the board of directors is to oversee the company's risk management. This involves identifying potential risks to the company and developing strategies to mitigate them. The board also ensures that the company is complying with relevant laws and regulations, and that it is operating ethically and responsibly.
In addition to their regular meetings, board members may also attend industry conferences and events to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in their field. This helps them to make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition. Overall, the board of directors plays a critical role in guiding the company's direction and ensuring its long-term success.
The board of directors of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has a significant impact on the community and beyond. The board helps to shape the company's strategy and operations, which can have a profound effect on the lives of its employees, customers, and suppliers. Through its commitment to diversity and inclusion and its adherence to ethical and sustainable business practices, the company and board help to create a positive impact in the communities in which it operates.
One example of the board's impact on the community is its support of local farmers and suppliers. Cracker Barrel sources many of its ingredients and products from local businesses, which helps to support the local economy and reduce the company's carbon footprint. Additionally, the board has implemented initiatives to reduce waste and promote recycling, which helps to protect the environment and create a more sustainable future for the community and beyond.
Under the guidance of the board of directors, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is poised for continued growth and success. The company has a strong brand and loyal customer base, and the board is committed to ensuring that the company continues to deliver value to its stakeholders. Through strategic investments in technology, operations, and marketing, the company will continue to grow and expand while maintaining its commitment to providing high-quality dining experiences and unique retail offerings.
In conclusion, the board of directors of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store plays a critical role in the success of the company. With their unique skills, expertise, and commitment to diversity and inclusion, the board members work together to ensure that the company remains competitive, innovative, and sustainable for the long-term. We hope that this article has provided an in-depth look at the history and background of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, the importance of a strong board of directors, and the role of the board in the success of the company.
One of the key areas of focus for the board of directors is sustainability. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is committed to reducing its environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices throughout its operations. The company has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce waste, conserve energy, and promote responsible sourcing of ingredients and materials. The board is committed to continuing these efforts and exploring new ways to promote sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Another area of focus for the board is innovation. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is constantly looking for new ways to improve its offerings and stay ahead of the competition. The board is committed to investing in research and development to identify new trends and opportunities in the market, and to developing new products and services that meet the evolving needs of its customers. By staying innovative and responsive to changing market conditions, the company will continue to thrive and grow in the years to come.
Join an Advisory Board
Companies are looking for executives just like you.
See what you qualify for with our 2-minute assessment