Cracker Barrel, the mixture nation retailer (aka present store) and southern-style informal restaurant, is an absolute favourite vacation spot for hundreds of thousands of People. Because it was based in 1969, the chain has grown to greater than 660 areas in 45 states. The eating places, named for a literal cracker-filled barrel as soon as widespread in rural shops, are embellished with eclectic rustic gadgets and supply a menu of well-priced consolation meals.
However over its lengthy historical past, Cracker Barrel has racked up greater than its justifiable share of controversies, and it is undoubtedly no stranger to backlash. And when not being hit with lawsuits or protests, the chain is commonly making an attempt out failed new menu gadgets or promoting hundreds of thousands of servings of meals that dietitians would like had been by no means served once more. In different phrases, it is a polarizing model.
Listed below are the secrets and techniques you did not learn about Cracker Barrel.
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In 1991, Cracker Barrel carried out an official hiring coverage that particularly known as for the firing of any staff who didn’t show “conventional American values,” which focused LGBTQ people. That is an precise quote from the coverage, shared through the Los Angeles Occasions reads as follows: “…it’s perceived to be inconsistent with these [values] of our buyer base to proceed to make use of people in our working models whose sexual preferences fail to show regular heterosexual values which have been the inspiration of households in our society.” Unsurprisingly, the chain confronted some severe backlash and shortly revoked the odious coverage.
Based on Nation Residing, Cracker Barrel serves 11 million orders of their famed Rooster n’ Dumplins yearly. Which means they’re serving 18,480,000,000 milligrams of sodium yearly, as every plate incorporates 1,680 milligrams of it. Based on Coronary heart.org, adults ought to purpose for a perfect most of 1,500 milligrams of sodium day by day.
Based on ABC13, in the summertime of 2011, a diner at a Texas Cracker Barrel obtained a meal with a aspect of fries partially coated in human blood. A prepare dinner within the restaurant’s kitchen had sliced open his hand however as an alternative of instantly ceasing to work, as rules mandate, he had continued cooking, and within the course of shed sufficient blood to be extremely seen on the fries and the plate beneath. In contrition, the restaurant provided the diner a free meal and a paltry $100 in present playing cards.
In 2014, Cracker Barrel was hit with a class-action lawsuit that exposed its handicapped parking areas at greater than 100 shops didn’t meet People with Disabilities Act rules, in line with the Chicago Tribune. In 2015, one other class-action lawsuit accused the chain’s areas in New Jersey and Pennsylvania of getting accessibility violations in parking heaps, loos, and gross sales counters. And in 2018, the Equal Employment Alternative Fee sued the corporate for its refusal to rent a deaf applicant for a dishwashing place at a Maryland location due to his incapacity.
A lawsuit alleges Cracker Barrel Inc. is in violation of the Honest Labor Requirements Act (FLSA). It goes on to accuse the chain of benefiting from its tipped employees by having servers deal with myriad non-tipped duties, akin to stocking fridges or condiment cabinets, whereas paying them at charges under minimal wage. Staff whose earnings is partially derived from suggestions are allowed to be paid at decrease charges, however solely when they’re actively concerned in service through which tipping is customary.
In the summertime of 2004, 21 folks got here collectively to file a $100 million swimsuit towards Cracker Barrel that accused the corporate of widespread racial discrimination, in line with CBS Information. The swimsuit asserted that the chain typically sat folks of shade in separate sections than it used for white clients, that black diners loved slower, much less attentive service, and that in some circumstances, black clients had been even turned away and denied service concurrently white clients had been seated and served.
Cracker Barrel’s simply acknowledged emblem is commonly a subject of dialogue, although not often for causes the corporate needs. In early 2017, after the chain fired his spouse, a long-time supervisor at Cracker Barrel named Brad posted on the corporate’s company Fb web page a easy query: “Why did you hearth my spouse?”. The put up went viral, and shortly the web created a number of memes that modified the corporate’s emblem to a “Brad’s Spouse” joke. Extra just lately, the emblem was making the social media rounds when a Twitter person claimed the emblem secretly contained the iconography of a whip, symbolizing slavery.
Not all the things on the menu goes to be a buyer favourite, in fact, however a couple of occasions in its historical past, Cracker Barrel has added new meals choices that failed so shortly they had been pulled again off the menu. These included bagels, added to Cracker Barrel areas within the Northeast, and tortillas, tried within the Southwest. Buyer response was so poor the additions had been axed and the chain caught with its tackle conventional Southern model meals.
It sounds just like the stuff of city legend however this one is all too actual: in 2007, a girl injured herself when she minimize her mouth on a fraction of a razor blade that was embedded in a hamburger patty served to her at Cracker Barrel. The chain responded swiftly, eradicating burgers distributed to a whole lot of areas, although how the steel object obtained into the meat was not established.
An earlier model of this text was initially printed on April 25, 2022.