Cracker Barrel closes Medford, OR location

ClownLoach
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Re: Cracker Barrel closes Medford, OR location

Post by ClownLoach »

jamcool wrote: April 16th, 2024, 10:56 pm I know a lot of restaurants and other retailers who won’t go into California.
And lots more companies that want to expand in California over all other markets.

One of the issues with the largest national chains is size, the physical buildings are way too large to open anywhere in California and turn a profit at any level of business. So you don't see a sprawling, 8,000 Sq ft Bahama Breeze in LA for example as three restaurants could occupy the same size space. And when chains do try to adapt, they usually cannot figure out how to operate in the smaller size boxes. For example Bonefish Grill tried to expand into California and opened a store in Tustin at The Market Place (one of the oldest and best performing big box centers in the nation). They made a compact format store and it was always busy but apparently the menu was smaller than the chain due to reduced kitchen size and they eventually gave up on further expansion and closed the outlier in Tustin. It was replaced by a experienced California operator, Pacific Catch who seems to be doing just fine in the same space.

The cookie cutter operations of most companies force them into the middle of the country and off either coast where they have to adapt their operations to the space available.

Many retailers and restaurants have expanded into California to great success because they were comfortable with deviating from cookie cutter prototypes and standardized menus. They took a chance and adapted and did well. Some examples from the last decade of great California growth stories include Raising Cane's, Hobby Lobby, Aldi, and Five Below. All worked with the sites available and adjusted their offerings as needed to work here. In some cases they learned so much that now they're making the rest of their national chains more like the California units, for example Hobby Lobby opened many stores half their usual size in SoCal and realized they could be more profitable with a heavy SKU reduction. Now they are downsizing stores nationwide, walling off sales floor and relocating to smaller buildings to emulate their California success. Raising Cane's learned how to also custom build their boxes to the reduced available space in California and from the minute they arrived this became their #1 grossing area. The first SoCal store in Costa Mesa became their #1 store in the chain the day it opened (and despite flashy flagships opening in Dallas, Times Square and the Vegas strip I think it's still their top grossing location).

I expect we are going to see some more businesses come here and struggle. Bojangles is allegedly coming to LA and I don't expect it to work out. Cracker Barrel has pretty much fizzled and I expect them to vacate the West Coast by end of Summer except maybe Victorville. Rumors of White Castle never materialized outside of Las Vegas. But Zaxbys has quietly reached all the way to Phoenix suburbs and I expect them to make it to SoCal in the next 3 to 5 years. Texas Roadhouse continues to quietly build up a fleet of extremely busy SoCal stores doing so much business many have required expensive outside portable freezer and refrigerator trailers. The first couple of Longhorn Steakhouse locations in California are doing well (Temecula and Rancho Cucamonga) and they supposedly are going to expand.

So sure, lots of businesses who don't want to come to California. And lots of great opportunities for businesses who do. Their success is entirely based upon their ability to adapt and change to meet the needs of their customers. It's like playing poker at the high stakes tables.
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Re: Cracker Barrel closes Medford, OR location

Post by J-Man »

Both Santa Maria and Sacramento-Howe are closing. https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/cal ... 410166.php
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