Cracker Barrel Set to Open July 11
The billboard on southbound U.S. 1 at Youngs Road says it all — Cracker Barrel is opening its newest restaurant on U.S. 15-501 in Southern Pines on July 11.
“That date is correct,” says Jeanne Ludington, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in Lebanon, Tenn.
Cracker Barrel is hosting a grand opening Monday, July 11, that will follow a “friends and family” training session the previous weekend.
Under a growth strategy that focuses in part on off-Interstate locations, the new restaurant will employ between 100 and 120 workers once it becomes operational.
Ray Ogden, executive director of Moore County Partners in Progress, and Gene Norton, manager of the Aberdeen office of the N.C. Employment Security Commission, have both hailed the new jobs, especially amid an economic recovery that has been slow to reach fruition.
Construction began last January after Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores Inc. paid $1.25 million for the 1.62-acre former John’s Barbecue and Seafood Restaurant site, and $400,000 for .48 acres of the adjacent 3.05-acre lot owned by the State Employees Credit Union.
The restaurant will be a new company prototype, offering more day lighting and skylights around the restaurant so employees do not feel stuck in the dark while working shifts in the restaurant’s dimly lit cozy, cabin atmosphere.
It will also be smaller. A typical Cracker Barrel has 7,900 square feet of dining space and 2,100 square feet of retail space, while the Southern Pines location will have 5,770 and 3,190, respectively.
The company’s off-Interstate growth strategy is evidenced by the nearest Cracker Barrel, which opened in September 2009 at the intersection of N.C. 87 and U.S. 401 in Sanford.
Although the company is not fully saturated on Interstate highways, its off-Interstate locations help ensure future expansion.
A typical restaurant serves 6,900 guests per week and has annual sales of $4.06 million.
Every Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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