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Activist investor Sardar Biglari is seeking the replacement of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store CEO Sandra Cochran.

According to a release issued Monday, San Antonio-based Biglari Capital Corp. issued a letter to Cracker Barrel shareholders, contending the company continues to struggle. It is the latest salvo from Biglari in what is an ongoing effort of roughly 11 years.

“Unlike many of its peers, Cracker Barrel has struggled to return to pre-Covid profit levels,” the letter reads. “The company's average restaurant sales are still below those of the pre-COVID era. Among its peer group, Cracker Barrel has one of the worst operating earnings post-COVID in comparison to its pre-Covid performance.

“We believe management has neglected to focus on core issues relating to the company's customer traffic and store-level margins,” the letter reads. “In our view, there is no sound rationale for pursuing headlong expansion of new units when a significant productivity gap persists in existing units.”

In addition to the dismissal of Cochran, Biglari wants Cracker Barrel to return cash to shareholders via “an aggressive share repurchase program or through a significant special dividend.”

Cracker Barrel officials could not be reached for comment.

The Monday release follows a Biglari release in December 2021 requesting that Cracker Barrel alter its management and expansion strategies (read here).

Biglari Capital Corp. owns 2,055,141 Cracker Barrel shares, representing 8.8 percent of the Lebanon-based company’s outstanding shares, according to the release.

Biglari garnered local headlines in October 2020 when he attempted to spur Cracker Barrel brass to make board changes, his fourth attempt, at that time, since 2010. The company declined to institute the alterations (read here).

Cracker Barrel shares (Ticker: CBRL) were up 2.25 percent percent to $108.09 at the end of Monday’s regular trading session. The company's stock started 2022 at about $161.32 a share.

The company reported its financial results for the most recent quarter on Tuesday, noting that total revenues were up but that the economic environment is hurting the company’s results and that is expected to continue in the current quarter.

“A challenging macro environment, including deteriorating consumer sentiment and high inflationary pressures, impacted both our top and bottom lines in the third quarter,” Cochran said in a release. “Despite these challenges, our teams worked hard to deliver on our mission of Pleasing People and continue our strong retail and off-premise performance. Going forward, we are pursuing a variety of strategic initiatives to grow the business, including focusing on store-level execution to provide a superior guest experience, expanding Maple Street Biscuit Company, and positioning Cracker Barrel to be even more attractive to both our core guests as well as a broader audience. Despite the challenges of the present environment, we are optimistic that these initiatives will position us well for future growth, and I’m confident that our teams will deliver them for the benefit of our guests and our shareholders.”