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Mediocre food, but good policies?

About 20 miles north of me, near I-84 and the super Wal-Mart (WMT), there’s a Cracker Barrel (CBRL) that my in-laws once dragged me to. I don’t remember the meal — other than the fact that it was fried and that the four of us ate for well under $40 including dessert — and I haven’t been back since.

I was reminded of that meal when I read the proxy statement that CBRL filed late last week. Now, normally, things filed late on a Friday mean there’s something pretty juicy there. But that wasn’t the case here. And while I’m not impressed by their food, I was impressed by this part of the proxy:

Named executive officers do not have use of a Company vehicle;
Named executive officers may not schedule the Company aircraft for personal travel;
We do not have a defined benefit pension plan or SERP; and
We do not provide a number of perquisites that are provided by other companies, such as club memberships, security, drivers, or financial and legal planning.

Now compare that to a similar casual restaurant chain, like Applebee’s (APPB), which handed over the G-5 to its former CEO, Lloyd Hill. Suddenly, Cracker Barrel doesn’t taste as bad.