Steak 'N Shake's CEO Just Won A Years-Long War With Cracker Barrel

At first thought, Steak 'n Shake and Cracker Barrel seem like two franchises totally apart from one another. Steak 'n Shake is a fast food burger and shake chain that recently made a profit for the first time in four years, finding its groove by shifting to a grab-and-go service method rather than sit-down service. On another side of the food chain entirely, Cracker Barrel is a casual sit-down spot known for its Southern favorites like biscuits and fried chicken.

While the two seemingly have nothing to do with one another, there has actually been a feud brewing between them for years. Steak 'n Shake's owner and CEO, Sardar Biglari, has long held stake in Cracker Barrel but has been known to vocally put down the chain and its leadership, likely in efforts to increase his influence over its operations. It now seems that he has gotten his wish, as a lengthy legal battle just put one of Biglari's nominees onto Cracker Barrel's board of directors.

Biglari will have more influence over Cracker Barrel, but with limits

According to Nation's Restaurant News, the years-long feud between Cracker Barrel and Biglari Capital has finally ended with the announcement of an agreement between the two parties. A press release states that the two "have entered into a Nomination and Cooperation Agreement," thanks to which Cracker Barrel "has expanded the Company's Board to eleven directors and appointed Jody L. Bilney, one of Biglari's nominees, as a director, effective immediately." Cracker Barrel has also agreed to have its shareholders vote on whether to appoint her to further leadership positions.

On top of that, Cracker Barrel is also going to reimburse Steak 'n Shake mogul Biglari up to $500,000 for any expenses he garnered when figuring out who to nominate for the board. However, that didn't come without strings attached for Biglari: A standstill agreement effective through February of 2024 "effectively limits how [Biglari] can purchase or vote on stock in Cracker Barrel to stop any efforts of a hostile takeover," explains MSN. This is presumably meant to protect Cracker Barrel from further "dissident" actions or statements by Biglari.