Dan Evins could have probably remained prosperous in his family oil business, but he wanted to serve a different market. Dan turned to the restaurant industry and identified something missing. He saw the new interstate system being built and realized there was an opportunity there. Dan could have just created another car hop or fast food restaurant, but he wanted more. He focused on two things; his childhood memories of eating dinner together and the country stores, trading posts or general stores he visited as a child. All the same type of store just with different names depending on what part of the country you visited them. He combined those two childhood memories and created something in Cracker Barrel that is still unique today.
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: Family Style
Restaurant Type: Family Dining
U.S. Locations: 640
States: 45 states, Cracker Barrel Locations
Company Slogan: Eat. Shop. Relax.
Questions: Contact Information
Phone number: 800-333-9566
Email: Contact Form Only
Blog: Cracker Barrel Blog
Who Owns Cracker Barrel? Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc
Headquartered: Lebanon, TN
Email/contact page: Contact Information
Address: PO Box 787, Lebanon, TN 37087
Do They Franchise? No
What Is It Like To Work At Cracker Barrel?
3.7/5 or 74%; 7,003 Reviews (indeed.com)
3.3/5, or 66%; 2,604 Reviews (glassdoor.com)
What to expect when working at Cracker Barrel (job-applications.com)
The History of Cracker Barrel
Original Location: 401 TN-109 (Highway 109), Lebanon, Tennessee
Founded: September 19, 1969
Founded By: Dan Evins
Dan Evins Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
Dan Evans (wikivisually.com)
Dan Evins (legacy.com)
Founder’s former estate sells for $4.6 million (tennessean.com)
Name Origin: The term “Cracker-Barrel” was first used in 1916 and was inspired by the barrels of crackers that sat on the front porch of the old time general stores. Individuals would sit around those barrels talking, passing the time and talking about the news. If you look at their logo, you will see this setting. (Southern Living – Where did Cracker Barrel get its name?) In addition to that, Webster defines “cracker-barrel” as “suggestive of the friendly homespun character of a country store.”
History Page: Company History Page
Historical Timeline (crackerbarrel.com)
Where Did Cracker Barrel Get Its Name? (southernliving.com)
Charity Focus: Community and Armed Forces Families
Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found
Commits to 100% Cage Free Eggs by 2026; 100% gestation crate-free pork by 2026 (cagefreefuture.com)
Pledges To Stop Supporting Gestation Crates (humanesociety.org)
Store Bolsters Animal Welfare Program; The HSUS Supports Efforts (humanesociety.org)
Discounts At Cracker Barrel
Rewards Program: Cracker Barrel does not have a rewards program
Do Kids Eat Free at Cracker Barrel?
Summary: Cracker Barrel does not offer kids eat free discount.
Does Cracker Barrel Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: They currently state on their website the following –
On Veterans Day, November 11, all military veterans receive “a complimentary slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake in thanks for their service. Dine in only.” and “Between October 30 – November 11, Cracker Barrel will donate 20% of the sales price from online and in-store purchases of select Lodge cookware to Operation Homefront. Lodge items available include cast-iron skillets, pans, griddles and more. Funds raised will be donated in the form of gift cards to help provide holiday meals to military families across the country.”
What Does Cracker Barrel offer for My Birthday!?
Summary: At this time they do not have anything on their site regarding birthdays but the following resources state –
“Free dessert when you tell your server” (urbantastebud.com)
“Tell your server it’s your birthday and they usually bring you a free dessert” (bradsdeals.com)
“This may not be your first-choice venue for a meal on your birthday, but what if we told you I’d give you a free dessert and a song? C’mon, at least stop by for a pregame pancake…” (thrillist.com)
“Free dessert when you tell your server, no sign up necessary.” (people.com)
Does Cracker Barrel Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: No resources found
Does Cracker Barrel Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: Cracker Barrel does not offer a senior citizen discount. The FAQ section of their site states the following –
In an effort to provide food and merchandise of the highest quality and value for the money to everyone, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store does not offer discounts or coupons to our guests.
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits?
Summary: No discounts are being offered.
Order Online: Online Order
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: No
Catering: Cracker Barrel Catering
Open 24 Hours: No
Cracker Barrel & Related Items on Amazon
Customer Reviews of Cracker Barrel
Yelp: 3.2/5 or 63%, 2,827 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 4/5 or 79%, 2,693 reviews sampled
Overall (weighted) Average: 3.55/5 or 71%, 5,520 reviews sampled
Food & Nutrition
Menu: Cracker Barrel Menu
Kids Menu: Cracker Barrel Kids Menu
Most Popular Menu Item: Hash Brown Casserole
Coke or Pepsi: Coke
Does Cracker Barrel Serve Alcohol: No
Nutritional Information: Cracker Barrel Nutrition Guide
Vegetarian | Vegan Options:
145 Vegan Chain Restaurant Menus Every Vegan Needs to Know (urbantastebud.com)
Vegetarian Menu Options (approvedeats.com)
Vegan Menu Options (approvedeats.com)
Vegan Menu (realmenuprices.com)
Vegan Options (veganfoodlover.com)
Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO:
Clean Eating Gluten Free Foodie On The Road (ceglutenfreefoodie.com)
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
The Absolute Worst Dishes (eatthis.com)
Cracker Barrel (goodfoodhunting.net)
Best and Worst Menu Items (verywellfit.com)
8 Things You Should Never Order (delish.com)
Allergen Information: Cracker Barrel Allergen Guide
Gluten Free Options:
Gluten-Free Menu (stockpilingmoms.com)
Gluten-Free Menu (nogluten.io)
Cracker Barrel: A Southern Tradition (glutenfreespirited.com)
Cracker Barrel (glutensniper.com)
Dairy Free Options:
Cracker Barrel Dairy Free Options (godairyfree.org)
Restaurant Guide For Dairy-Free Dining (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options: No resources found, but the following may be helpful to you.
Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Does Cracker Barrel Have Any Secret Recipes?
Secret Recipes: (over 40!)
Chicken & Dumplings (topsecretrecipes.com)
Cole Slaw (topsecretrecipes.com)
Macaroni n Cheese (topsecretrecipes.com)
Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake (topsecretrecipes.com)
Fried Apples (copykat.com)
Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole (delish.com)
Grilled Chicken Tenders (copykat.com)
Coca-Coca-Cola Cake (copykat.com)
27 Cracker Barrel Copycat Recipes (tasteofhome.com)
Did You Know?
Dan Evins worked in his family oil business, but with the new interstate system coming across America, he wanted to offer travelers a better option than the fast food restaurants that were popping up.
When first opened, they sold gas as well as food.
Evins grew up in the same small town of Lebanon (just east of Nashville) where the chain is still headquartered today almost 50 years after it began. (source)
Evins borrowed $40,000 in 1969 to open the initial store, and it brought a profit the very first month. (source)
The rocking chairs on the front porch are not only for sale but are all handmade in the U.S.A. (source)
All the items you find hanging on the walls of your local store are authentic regional vintage items. When Dan created the original store in 1969, he used a local antique shop to find the things he wanted for this store. The couple who owned that store, Don and Kathleen Singleton’s son, Larry runs the current store warehouse that’s full of over 90,000 artifacts where he and his team restore them. He has decorated all 650 stores. (source)
They serve 217 million guests and 57 million pancakes and 220 million eggs a year.
Each store has its local antiques, but there is consistency with a few specific items. Every store (around 650) have the same items: an ox yoke and horseshoe hanging above the front door, a rifle over the mantle and a telephone next to it, a traffic light leading you to the restrooms and of course a checkerboard game in front of the fireplace. (source)
The restaurant isn’t associated with the cheese you buy at the grocery store that bears the same name. Kraft has owned the brand of cheese since 1954 and even sued Cracker Barrel in 2013 for name infringement. (source)
An excellent article by the Atlantic in how the stores tie back to American history and culture can be found here (also listed below).
Where Did Cracker Barrel Get Its Name? (southernliving.com)
12 Things You Didn’t Know (countryliving.com)
10 Things You Didn’t Know (eatthis.com)
Cracker Barrel’s Oddly Authentic Version of American History (theatlantic.com)
Cracker Barrel & Related Items on Amazon
Followers (as of August 2018) –
Better Options: Coming Soon
Cracker Barrel is a place every family should try if they can. So much of their appeal is the uniqueness. How many restaurants can you visit that has good quality merchandise (gift) store especially one with a throwback to kids toys of years gone by? If you have ever been to a Mast General Store, it has that feel to it in specific ways. They go above and beyond what most restaurants don’t, and that is creating something more than an environment greater than merely dining. The only negatives I have about them is that it can be a bit pricey for families on a budget and the food quality isn’t always consistent.
I hope you found the information on Cracker Barrel helpful and insightful; I know I did. The more we know and understand about the restaurants we eat at, the better decisions we can make of where and what we should eat. If you found this article helpful, would you please help others by sharing this with your friends and family. If there is anything you would like to see about a restaurant that’s not already listed or if there is anything I can do to make your restaurant experiences better, please leave a comment below, I would love your feedback! You can also email me at anytime backofthemenu @ gmail.com. Thanks so much for your time, I know how valuable it is.