Cracker Barrel has actually dotted the sides of U.S. Interstates due to the fact that 1969. With a loan that $40,000 (that rotate a benefit within a month), the restaurant"s founder Danny Evins, an oil jobber native Lebanon, Tennessee, opened the very first Cracker Barrel ar with a gift shop enclosed — meaning the gift shop is simply as OG as the restaurant — turn off Interstate 40 in his hometown. Evins had actually a hunch that the restaurants would certainly be a hit amongst travelers trying to find a pitstop food alternative that wasn"t fast food, add to they could gas up your cars at the on-site pumps. Move over, McDonald"s, Cracker Barrel and also its basic store bursting v novelty items was right here to stay. 


Since the time, the company has opened over 650 locations in 45 states across the nation (as of might 2019). Customers love the hearty food and friendly service. Of course, despite its huge success, Cracker Barrel hasn"t to be drama-free every these decades.

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Want to find out more? resolve in for part juicy gossip and fun facts around the household chain that also the many avid that Cracker Barrel enthusiasts might not know. This is the untold reality of the American road pilgrimage staple, Cracker Barrel.


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The hatchet "cracker barrel" is a double entendre, yet not the sexy kind. Follow to Southern Living, Cracker Barrel isn"t just offering homage to the literal barrels of soda crackers it supplied to have accessible for acquisition in the country stores at every restaurant. The actual Merriam-Webster definition of "cracker-barrel" is one adjective meaning "suggestive of the trusted homespun personality of a country store." Ah yes, it all provides sense now, doesn"t it?


So Cracker Barrel aimed to be a place where diners could have a cracker-barrel endure in an environment adorned by barrels through crackers in them, or cracker barrels. The renowned logo because that the interstate staple indeed features a gent in a rocking chair leaning ~ above a barrel complete of what one deserve to only assume space crackers. Cracker Barrel is a name the recognizes the brand"s history and mission, and also one the reminds us we need more adjectives prefer "cracker-barrel" in our continuous lexicon. 


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Cracker Barrel does no mess about when it comes to the rocking chairs decorating the patios of its numerous outposts. That sticks come the friendly southerly front porch theme and also nothing will protect against it. Southern porch aesthetic aside, the iconic rocking chairs serve one more purpose: You require somewhere funny to sit because the wait time to obtain a table at Cracker Barrel can be quite long. 


Those rocking chairs are produced Cracker Barrel by a source in Springfield, Tennessee (so yep, also the chairs are southern). The source is the Hinkle Chair Company, a family company that has been in the furniture-making biz because that eons — well, at least because their triple-great grand started a next hustle indigenous his farm nearly 180 years ago. The company makes around 200,000 rocking chairs a year for Cracker Barrel restaurants. You deserve to buy chairs with Hinkle directly, but if you desire the "signature Cracker Barrel Old country medallion" on her rocker, you"ll need to buy the from the Cracker Barrel store for $170. It"s nice to understand Cracker Barrel is true come its roots even with the furniture, i beg your pardon is not just American made, but additionally Southern made.


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In 2017, the shooting of one Cracker Barrel employee caused legions of internet trolls and also memes poking funny at the down-home country restaurant chain. A guy named Bradley Reid Byrd posted to his Facebook web page that he was livid v Cracker Barrel because that terminating his wife, who had been working at the restaurant because that over a decade. He entrusted his on facebook followers v going to the Cracker Barrel on facebook page, calling them out, and also asking "What"s up with you shoot our boy Brad"s wife?" — or something follow me those lines. The net really delivered due to the fact that from that minute on, anything the restaurant post on its social media was lambasted v comments about Brad"s wife"s firing. It even birthed the hashtag #JusticeforBradsWife. In ~ a week, over there were lots of memes inspired by the event, and offers of employment because that Brad"s wife, Nanette. 


As the July that 2019, there space still folks trolling Cracker Barrel"s Facebook through #BradsWife jokes and memes. For this reason if you watch it referenced on any kind of of the restaurant"s society media, currently you know — Brad"s mam was a real person and her firing motivated a whole generation of meme makers.


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Let it be known: Cracker Barrel isn"t in the service of doling the end gratis grub. In fact, one of their employees to be fired for giving a homeless man a muffin and some condiments in ~ a Cracker Barrel location in Venice, Florida. The worker, Joe Koblenzer, a 73-year-old military veteran, asserted the male came in questioning for tartar sauce and also mayo come consume with the fish that was food preparation (lot of questions there but we"re rolling through it), for this reason Koblenzer obliged through some totally free condiments together with a corn muffin for an excellent measure. Then the general manager the the Cracker Barrel canned Koblenzer because that violating a policy that prohibits offering away complimentary food. 


To be fair to Cracker Barrel (and Koblenzer acknowledges this, too), that had already broken some rules before the tartar sauce incident. Therefore legally, if someone"s had actually a couple of slaps ~ above the wrist already, they are within their right to fire him. Still, Cracker Barrel does sort of come off like the negative guy for telling a worker to deny someone in need of a very minute quantity of totally free sustenance. However them"s the rules, and also CB"s got a service to run. It appears as though southerly hospitality only goes for this reason far.


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You may have actually thought you to be a Cracker Barrel at sight fan however you"ve acquired nothing top top Wilma and also Ray Yoder native Goshen, Indiana. The octogenarian couple have do it their mission to walk to every Cracker Barrel in America. In respectable 2017, castle met your goal once they hit an Oregon Cracker Barrel the was, at the time, the place that marked a grand full of 645 restaurants for the chain. 


Of course, the Yoders" goal is never really finish as Cracker Barrel continues to add much more locations every year. The couple"s 649th avoid was in January 2018, in ~ a brand-new Cracker Barrel in Victorville, California, among several California locations that had opened because they hit your unofficial last location. In might 2019, they were at "first breakfast" (a treat before the really restaurant opening exclusively for mega fans) for a location opening in Rialto.

Ray Yoder started hitting the restaurants over 40 years earlier when the was working for a company that ceded recreational vehicles all over the country. He states the visits alleviated the tediousness of his trips. His wife Wilma started accompanying him and after three years of the duo"s treks, the chain began to recognize their loyalty. The firm even celebrated the couple"s arrival at the 645th restaurant in Oregon, offering them totally free aprons and a hearty welcome from the staff. Let the Yoders be a class — over there are certainly perks to staying loyal to a brand.


If you"re planning come dine at Cracker Barrel, might we not indicate the southerly Fried Chicken? Health-wise, it"s conveniently one the the worst items on the menu. It weighs in in ~ a lining 1,640 calorie (you far better save those weight Watchers clues up for this), and also has 100 grams of fat (23 the which space from saturated fat), and also an astounding 4,730 milligrams of sodium — and also none that those numbers even include the 2 sides and also endless biscuits. 


And if you"re dining ~ above Sunday, watch the end for the featured distinct — the Homestyle Chicken. The Lord"s job is absolutely not the heart"s day in the instance of Cracker Barrel. In fact, Eat This, not That! ranking the Homestyle Chicken as one of the worst points you deserve to order from the Cracker Barrel food selection (besides, of course, the abovementioned Southern Fried Chicken). It weighs in in ~ 1,350 calories and 92 grams of fat.

Of course, you have the right to order this chicken bowl if you"re simply dying to provide them a try, however we absolutely wouldn"t introduce making that a weekly event. If you"re walk to take it the plunge, maybe separation the meal with your fellow Cracker Barrel patrons?


If you"re thinking, "To heck v cooking sophisticated Thanksgiving enjoy the meal this year, let"s take the totality fam come Cracker Barrel instead," you"d much better get in line. Cracker Barrel confirmed in a push release the Thanksgiving day is, in fact, their many jam-packed job on the year. Across the country on this feasting holiday, CB approximates that it serves 650,000 pounds of turkey and also 1.1 million slices the pie. The other Thanksgiving staples it slings out in massive quantities incorporate 8 million ounces the gravy and also 1.6 million ounces of cranberry relish.


This has carry-out turkey job meals, and dine-in grub. The food selection all-stars on this day space the Homestyle Turkey "n Dressing meals offered at the restaurant, yet the warm n" offer Holiday household Meals To-Go and also Homestyle Turkey n" Dressing family members Meals To-Go are also really popular. 

Bottom line: If you plan to eat Cracker Barrel this Thanksgiving, arrangement accordingly. Friend won"t it is in the just one.


Cracker Barrel is an extremely deliberate through its decorations. All of the areas are full of authentic antiques and also the team at CB plan the layout that each brand-new restaurant v a most care. In fact, over there is even a mock restaurant in the headquarters in Lebanon come lay the end the decor of new locations.


General stores provided to be the surname of the video game in the so late 19th and early 20th century, when they began to exist as a systems for peddlers noble of being on the road. Basic stores in the landscape were nothing sophisticated but they did serve as a one-stop shop the a most your basic needs, which explains why the items because that sale in the Cracker Barrel store selection from Cheerwine come gospel music CDs. 

While the historic vibe might not be exactly what the keep vibe was a century ago (they varied depending on what region of the country you were in, and today"s Cracker Barrels have actually both Northern and also Southern general store attributes), the restaurant"s appointment to preserving the American nation general store, through both its retail items and its decor, really serves together a living museum that American history. And that museum additionally happens to have actually some quite legit nation fried steak. 


Beware the pineapples at Cracker Barrel, and we"re not talking about a next of fresh, tropical fruit that can be easily accessible to go through your eggs. Apparently, the decorate Driftwood Pineapples that Cracker Barrel selling in its nation store room armed and dangerous. 


The U.S. Consumer Product safety and security Commission authorize a recall the the fruit-themed knick-knacks in 2018 because the metal "leaves" of the product were slicing people"s fingers. One customer even had to acquire stitches together a an outcome of the residence decor injury. Cracker Barrel readily available refunds to any kind of customers who had actually bought the pineapples, either virtual or on-site in ~ the restaurant, in between June and also August 2018. While this occurrence was more strange than it is alarming or gross, it"s never great news when the restaurant has to attend to the implications of a product getting The Scarlet Letter of the word "recall" branded top top it. 


Oh, girlfriend know Cracker Barrel to be going to obtain in on the fast-casual movement. In 2016, the company opened Holler & Dash, the means hipper young cousin to Cracker Barrel, i m sorry was designed through the millennial generation in mind. The "biscuit house" serves up breakfast, brunch, and lunch, with a titillating array of savory and also sweet options. The menus vary by (southern) city, however the vibe is decidedly minimalistic and also industrial. The Holler & Dash areas are very un-Cracker Barrel-esque, because they"re trying come say, "Hey, we room not a cheesy chain restaurant yet this breakfast is still the bomb.com, right?" — or something follow me those lines. 


Holler & Dash is usually the restaurant variation of youngsters asking their parents come drop lock off roughly the edge so lock aren"t seen with them (at Cracker Barrel). You understand it"s a millennial trap when the menu has a section labeled "Bowls." if the fate that the Holler & Dash spin-off is unknown because that the long-term, props to Cracker Barrel for trying to do biscuits a novel concept.


Cracker Barrel has a little of a sordid reputation as soon as it comes to progress on part hot button American issues. According to the New York Times, in 1991 there to be a company-wide directive come fire any type of Cracker Barrel workers "whose sexual choices fail to demonstrate normal heterosexual values." 16 employees were fired, and many declared this to be a blatant action of discrimination versus gay people, which at the time was not only still legitimate but also sort the under-the-table tolerated at countless American establishments. Cracker Barrel gaining blasted for it was among the first visible plot of push-back. 


Stock holders (the firm had unable to do public in 1981) for Cracker Barrel organized resistance. Cracker Barrel founder Danny Evins ultimately apologized and also retracted the policy, but the new York City employee Retirement device (the shareholder leading the charge) insisted he do the forbidding that discrimination explicitly official in Cracker Barrel that company policy. 

This was the early on "90s, prior to social media and also widespread internet access, for this reason we have the right to only imagine how poor the push would it is in if this type of actions by a restaurant was exposed today. Cracker Barrel got some negative attention that plagued the brand for a while, however perhaps the agency has evolved, since in June 2019, Cracker Barrel was in the news because that refusing come let a minister who"d to express anti-gay sentiments (that"s putting it mildly) from holding an event at among its restaurants.

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Cracker Barrel hasn"t always been ~ above the appropriate side of history when it involves race relationships in America. In the at an early stage 2000s, the Justice department accused the company of acting with racial bias on numerous occasions. A polite rights investigation revealed instances of mistreatment of afri American patrons at Cracker Barrels throughout several states in the southern an ar of the U.S. Employees the participated in the investigation admitted that practices such together seating afri American patrons after ~ white patrons who arrived later than them, and not responding as conveniently to complaints from black customers about poor service, to be basically urged by management. What"s the many alarming part? This was in 2004. A rep for Cracker Barrel in ~ the time stated they didn"t believe the accusations, yet nonetheless were going to relocate forward with an aggressive plan to address the complaints. 


We"re no really sure how much that acquired them though. In 2018, Randy Freeman, an afri American man and veteran of the U.S. Wait Force, to be at a Cracker Barrel in West Virginia and was accused by a manager the cursing at a server. Witnesses at his table evidenced no together thing had actually happened. Freeman took Cracker Barrel come court end the behavior, and the agency is yet again handling some extremely negative press. Hope the firm is functioning to deal with the systematic worries that have actually plagued the company.