Kicking over the Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is one my favorite stops along a travel route.

Now, it’s in the sights of a takeover guy whose formula is slashing costs.

Isn’t anything sacred any more?

A Buffett Devotee Riles His Targets .

He likes restaurants and insurers, runs a company called “BH” and writes long, self-effacing annual letters to shareholders.

Sardar Biglari,— the self-described Warren Buffett wannabe – runs the Steak ‘n Shake restaurant chain alongside stock investments and other holdings.

Today, entryways to Steak ‘n Shake restaurants, which he turned around in part by slashing costs and closing unprofitable locations, display large photos of a grinning Mr. Biglari.

Now, he has  set his sights on Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

“We blame the board for mediocrity,” he said in a Sept. 12 letter to Cracker Barrel shareholders. “I intend to raise expectations.”

Cracker Barrel, a down-home restaurant and gift store whose results have turned south with the slow economy, initially tried to accommodate Mr. Biglari’s requests.

But as his demands grew more intrusive, relations soured. The company recently adopted a poison-pill antitakeover provision, and Mr. Biglari launched a proxy fight to get himself elected to the board.

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