The Steak 'N Shake And Cracker Barrel Feud You Never Knew Existed

Feuds and rivalries between restaurants are a common sight in today's world of social media-driven marketing, but it's typically fake, no different than a storyline you'd see in a WWE match, and done in a joking manner. The Wendy's Twitter accountant its quips about McDonald's is a prime example: There is no real fight going on between the brands. It's all just marketing and, as Better Marketing explains, it works.

But there are some online feuds that you probably never expected. A Wendy's tweet about McDonald's fries makes sense because both are fast food hamburger restaurants, but what if you saw the official Cracker Barrel Facebook firing off about how overpriced and overhyped Steak 'n Shake is in between pictures of kids enjoying pancakes and customers eating meatloaf? Or Steak 'n Shake's Twitter ranting that Cracker Barrel serves nothing more than microwaved hospital food under the guise of being a stereotypical general store?

These are hypothetical examples that did not actually happen, but according to Restaurant Business Online there has been a sort of quiet feud between the hamburger chain and the old country store. It's not just to be sassy or draw in customers, however — it appears to be an attempt to gain more control of Cracker Barrel through influencing its board of directors.

The Steak 'n Shake CEO wants more power in Cracker Barrel's management

As Restaurant Business Online explains, Steak 'n Shake owner Sardar Biglari has made several comments blasting Cracker Barrel's chain of command, including some choice words for Cracker Barrel's CEO Sandy Cochran. What could the owner of Steak n' Shake seek to gain from taunting a store that is built around Americana country? The reason is simple: Biglari wants more say in Cracker Barrel operations.

San Antonio Business Journal reports that Biglari owns a rather impressive share of Cracker Barrel's stock and has been looking for ways to gain more say in how the company operates. One of Biglari's attempts to gain more influence involved nominating co-CEO of the Briad Group Raymond Barbrick to the restaurant's board of directors Cracker Barrel, however, didn't seem too eager to invite Barbrick on, although the brand did claim the board would "evaluate Mr. Barbrick's candidacy and make a recommendation to shareholders in due course."

While one could argue that Biglari simply wants a fair say in a company that he owns stock in, some may see it as Biglari wanting to bite off more than he could chew. In 2021, Restaurant Dive reports, Biglari was ordered to pay $1.4 million by the U.S. Department of Justice for "violation of antitrust laws." Whether or not Biglari is an up-and-coming business mogul is yet to be seen, but as for now, both Cracker Barrel and Steak n' Shake remain two separate entities.