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Why You Should Hate Cracker Barrel

Rob has traveled extensively through the United States, but somehow always ends up back at a Cracker Barrel.

Cracker Barrel is a popular road trip stop chain of restaurants.

Cracker Barrel is a popular road trip stop chain of restaurants.

Cracker Barrel is a restaurant known for serving home cooked southern style food in an old-timey atmosphere. I've traveled all over the US and found every Cracker Barrel to be very busy. This astonishes me because I hate Cracker Barrel, and I think you should too. Here's why.


Approaching Cracker Barrel

This billboard reads "Comfort. Food." with the slogan "Old Country Store." If this is trying to imply that Cracker Barrel is a comfortable place to dine and shop, someone needs to punish their advertising department by making them visit one of their restaurants.

The billboard above is a classic example of the kind of expectations Cracker Barrel sets up and then utterly fails to accomplish. "Comfort" is probably their most egregious claim. With their long wait times, crowded interiors, and completely useless gift shop, Cracker Barrel's atmosphere is more or less the opposite of comfortable. Every time I go there I turn into an anxious and frustrated mess. Here's a walk through of my Cracker Barrel experience. You'll see what I mean.

The iconic Cracker Barrel rocking chairs

The iconic Cracker Barrel rocking chairs

Getting Seated

Like I said before, every Cracker Barrel I've ever seen is busy from open to close. In my experience eating there, I've never witnessed anyone get seated right away. So, where can you comfortably wait for your table?

The problem: there are about 15 other parties trying to answer that same question. For each of these parties, there are two options: the rocking chairs and the store.

  1. The rocking chairs: If you just want to sit and relax, there are the iconic Cracker Barrel wooden rocking chairs in front of the store. Unfortunately, at least half of the 15 parties ahead of you already had the idea to sit down. It's rare to find enough open chairs for your party to sit and wait together. Of course, you'll probably need some alone time anyway to mentally prepare yourself for the ideal ahead.
  2. The store: Maybe you don't want to sit down. Your eye might have caught some fancy lookin' stuff in the store. Unfortunately, the other half of the parties ahead of you thought the same thing. To call it a "store" is quite a stretch. I highly doubt anyone goes to Cracker Barrel just for the shopping experience. This glorified gift shop is filled with useless novelties and lots of other hungry, annoyed people. The one section you think could be remotely interesting is already being browsed by another patron. So, you aimlessly squeeze your way around other people in the store until your party is finally seated.

The golf tee game. Note the screaming child in the background: classic Cracker Barrel.

The golf tee game. Note the screaming child in the background: classic Cracker Barrel.

Ordering Your Food

The "friendly" hostess leads you through a maze of tables, chairs, people, and screaming little children, to your very own wooden table and bare wooden chairs. You find your place at the table and pull out your chair, which bumps the person sitting at the table behind you. In fact, the tables are so close together, the little kid behind you can't get up to go play checkers without their chair bumping you. It's probably best that they get up though because no one should have to be that close to someone else's screaming kid. Did I mention the chairs are bare wood? Outdoor picnic benches are more comfortable than these chairs.

You open your menu and consider your options: you have a wide variety of "comfort foods" to choose from. The term "comfort food" has a negative connotation to me. It implies that the food isn't necessarily for nourishment, but rather for some sort of emotional crutch. This sounds like an abuse of food to me, but I can understand wanting something to make you feel comfort after the lack of it thus far. You order your comfort, the waitress says, "I'll have this out for you in a few minutes," and walks away.

So far, so adequate. You look around for something to pass the time, so you reach for the classic golf tee game. The object of the game is to finish with the fewest tees possible, and it gives you an equivalent intelligence to your score. You almost always score 'idiot', which is probably right because you decided to eat at Cracker Barrel. Even if you beat the game, you're still an idiot, because you've spent way too much time at Cracker Barrel figuring it out.

Comfort food at Cracker Barrel

Comfort food at Cracker Barrel

The Food

After an eternity of staring at golf tees, your waitress serves your food. Cracker Barrel's food itself isn't bad, but when I go out to eat, I want something I can't have at home. The food they serve is the kind of food most people would say their grandma makes, but I'd bet most would also say their grandma makes it better. If you're eating at a Cracker Barrel, you're probably already on a road trip, since almost all of them are located next to an interstate. Why not just go to Grandma's house instead? I bet you'd be a lot more comfortable there.

To conclude, while Cracker Barrel's food is adequate, the entire ordeal required to get it is in no way worth the greasy mac and cheese and boring backed potato you're likely to get at the end. Do yourself a favor and make it a home, go to your grandmother's or frequent literally any other establishment. You'll thank me later.

Restaurant or Hell? You decide.

Restaurant or Hell? You decide.


Another Joe on March 25, 2020:

I randomly fell into this blog while searching for something completely different. I have never read so many comments from people across the spectrum who are clueless as to how the restaurant business operates. ALL restaurants are open to make money! Nobody opens a business with the hopes of losing money and not trying to increase sales goals over time. So of course everyone smiles at you because if they did not, a complaint would be made or a tip lost. Not to mention these folks are in the customer service industry. People complain how bad customer service has gotten and now people complain because they received a smile! Yes, the employees work hard and often long shifts but that is no excuse for complaining how difficult a place it is to work. Most of us born without the silver spoon do actually have to work hard to have what we have. Nobody forces anybody to work at The Barrel so if it is too much, maybe try McDonalds or Chik-fil-A or Macy’s or Dillard’s. Just like any other workplace, when you are supposed to be working, generally supervisors expect you to be working and producing or otherwise you might be sent home for the rest of the shift.

I worked as a server at The Barrel in the early 90’s after high school and thru college. That was a big time of growth for the company and yes things were different then and different from store to store as I worked at two different locations in different cities. The company had very strict policies about everything from the number of earrings that could be worn (as a young man I only had a single piercing so I removed my earring before each shift) to never walk on the floor without a tray in hand, all small dishes were to be placed on saucers and never did one refill drinks while the glass sat on the table. That was also before Point of Sale systems and we had letters and numbers for everything on the menu which we would hand write, then hang that ticket in the cook’s window and later run a receipt. Our computers were programmed by the numbers and letters for items so you had to be on game. Add to that all the temp checks, adding water to steamers, making tea and coffee and yes, when the biscuit or corn muffin drawer was low we had to grab pans of fresh and add them to the drawers. At that time, bread was brought to the table often before drinks. Oh and were to never walk off the floor with an empty tray as we were expected to pre-bus our tables and our fellow servers.

Thing do change over time, but The Barrel’s idea of offering a consistent meal at any of their locations across the nation has not. Do I think it’s the best food in the world? No, I don’t think it’s the best but it’s also not the worst. It’s not Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s or CheeseCake Factory or Olive Garden. But this chain isn’t trying to be those others. It has it's own identity which has served it well for many years. No, I don’t still work there or the food industry, but if I’m traveling and want catfish and okra and dumplings I will stop at The Barrel because they are a trusted brand in my opinion.

Tony Danza on February 17, 2020:

I’ll tell you one thing, they pay me too damn good to cook food I love! I love cooking the food and am super happy people actually show up to eat it! I’m not gonna lie and say it’s the best workplace ever and the management is either incompetent, burned out, and/or evil. That being said, I agree with everything in this article. I’m 100% just there for the money and my love of cooking and, God, I can’t wait to graduate from college

Tina on December 19, 2019:

For some of us who do not have Grandparents houses to go to anymore, Cracker Barrel is comfort for me. It brings me back to my childhood in northern Wisconsin. My Grandfather had a cabin and barn up there and he filled it with antiques and vintage treasures he found around the area, which is very similar to how they have decorated at Cracker Barrel. My husband and I take our kids there, often. If you don't like the crowds, just go during the week when its less crowded. We also think the food is pretty damn good too. Servers are friendly and the little country store as the most unique and fun items I have ever seen. Don't listen to this author. I highly recommend Cracker Barrel for families and couples. The best thing is to go and try this chain yourself. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

Desiree on August 23, 2019:

This may state it's for comedic purposes, but there's too much truth to this blog. The Cracker Barrel's food is tasteless, the atmosphere is cramped and very noisy... people crammed together and god-forbid someone brings their yelling kids.

One of my acquantances Mother loves this place (she was in her 70's.. no taste bud left), so we went. I found it to be the worst of anyplace I had ever been to. I truly believe either Americans have been the stupidest people on the planet, or they're all like me and "just trying it out" and never return.

It's the worst.. really. Hospital food has more flavor. The prices are high, the food all tastes the same, it's noisy. What's to go there for?

They should improve it all with food that has flavor, farther spaced tables, better partitions for sound control, and then market themselves again.

Anonymouse on August 22, 2019:

I won’t eat there again because of how they treat their employees and I’ve patronized them in several cities.

Twisted T on July 23, 2019:

I have worked at Cracker Barrel for a little over 2 years now. Now all you see is smiling faces and what you believed to be a happy employees this couldn't be any further from the truth. When we go behind that little space that you can see that smiles are quickly erased for it is the worst place I have ever worked in 20 years of restaurant service.

At first you think it's great they treat you like family it's all good and it's all going after about a year you start to see it's really not all it's cracked up to be.

My managers at my store know we have no AC on the grill on and when we had a heat index of 105 I mentioned how prisoners had it better than we did on the grill I and my manager literally looked at me and said yeah they really do and walked off I ended up getting so hot I vomited I even made it home that day they didn't care.

2 days later it is me and one other person by herself trying to manage one of the busiest locations in our area a probably about 15 stores I asked the manager for help and I get told no I'm not doing your job you have another cook coming in he wasn't doing for over a half an hour and we were running 30 minutes check times which means it was taking 30 minutes for us to cook the food and get it in the window to be served to the guest. So know when your food takes over 30 minutes and there's not 15 parties waiting the chances are that store is severely understaffed in the management doesn't care.

I am about to call corporate it is so bad and my store and give them a whole list complaints like the fact that they do not give their minor employees actual breaks they just clocked them out so it reflects on the time cards they got a break even though they actually never get one. You're only given a break if you're a smoker and you ask to go and even then it's maybe a 5-minute break if you're lucky. Half the time you're lucky to be able to go to the bathroom before you pee on yourself because you can't get anybody management was to come in and cover you for 5 seconds so that you can go relieve yourself. I'm already in search of another job and which is terrible because it's one of the best paying jobs I've ever had but even the amount they pay me isn't worth half of what I put up with. Not to mention after two years of faithful and terrific employment that i have given then, that someone with absolute no cooking expirence can walk in starting off more then what i make being a 3 star cook. I am trained in 7 different jobs in my store and they picked a person who just got out of jail has to attend NA meetings and can't stay sober more than 5 minutes to be a shift leader, basically one guy under management. He's come in 2 days in a row slurring his words and instead of being sent home he sent out to talk to the guests like that I'm just waiting for the day that they come in and shut our store down because we're violating OSHA laws or violating people's safety were violating so many things like minor break laws I mean it's ridiculous so they may make you feel like family in the commercials and orientation however they don't make you feel like that behind the scenes

Hoffman on May 16, 2019:

My head cocks to the side with curiosity whenever I hear someone say the Cracker Barrel has good food. Seriously? Their food is barely edible.. I've had food from under a heat lamp in a hospital cafeteria that was better. Cracker Barrel is bland, barely average at best. The only people who rave about Cracker Barrel are mouth breathing, simpletons, who are easily distracted by shiny trinkets.

Bird woman on April 11, 2019:

Food is okay but agree with complains about dining room, also while the food tastes ok the portions are very small. I don't have a large appetite but usually feel like I should have ordered two portions of everything.

Peggy Grigsby on November 20, 2018:

I work at Cracker Barrel,for one,its a wonderful place of employment,number two,its a family oriented restaurant,number three,Cracker Barrel,does help with chatitied,succh a the military,financially.Not a bad place,at all.

Bamagirl2717 on November 20, 2018:

I work at the cracker barrel in Dickson Tn store#92. I am a prep cook and so is my mother. We are the only two prep cooks there. I was working 7 days a week. The only way for me to have one day off is for my mom to work a double on sunday. The GM wanted my mom and I to cook sweet potatoes that were in a box with other molded sweet potatos. The GM told me that mold on food is different than mold on walls. Both my mom and I refused to do it. The servers are rude and lazy. Im always hearing about how guest ate food and didnt tip them....but instead of bringing the guest their salads before their meal, the servers are in the break room texting on their phone.Mean while I've put their salads in the window, the servers see the salad in the window, they head to the break room leaving the salads to sit in the window for 5-10 min. On November 19, 2017 I worked from 8 am-7pm with out a break or anything to eat. The Manager that came in to close knew how long I've been there and she didnt even offer me a break. They will not hire another prep cook but expect my mom and I to do a two person job. They are the worse company to work for. I'm on a hunt for another job. I won't work for a company like this. The GM should care about the guest health then saving money!!!!!!!

Junco on October 13, 2018:

You forget about the high noise level and the really fat women. I am not tiny or slender but this place gives women license to cram it in without embarrasment. The coffee was horrible. My grandma cooked good white trash food not this dreck.

Anonymous on September 11, 2018:

They need to change the uniforms.

Adman on June 11, 2018:

Cracker barrel advertises it's southern food. Down here we eat green beans, carrots, collards... Why are you getting a baked potato here? It seems to me you ordered the wrong thing!

Justins Fan on January 05, 2018:

I absolutely love the comment below me. Thank you Justin for an honest answer. haha. Love it!

Justin on January 01, 2018:

I have never experienced any of these things at my local cracker barrel. The gift shop may not sell things I want to buy, but it gives you something to do rather than stare at a wall while you wait. You are a terrible critic, and clearly only write from one perspective. I can tell from your writing that you are single, do not have children, and most likely expect everything in this world to be handed to you.

Brenda on December 19, 2017:

I’m working there and I hate it, I’m sent home often because they have too many people working the retail store. It’s so fake the happy smiling people, they don’t give breaks and waitresses only make 2.65 per hour! It really sucks.

Cameron on December 10, 2017:

This article is absolutely retarded you know what you’re getting yourself and for when you go to Cracker Barrel why would you go and expect nothing less.

I mean why would you go to Cracker Barrel if you wanted something that you could cook at home

Peter Browne on October 25, 2017:

We go to Cracker Barrel often, the food is very good, the servers are very pleasant. And to add it is very inexpensive, if you want to spend ten times more go to an exclusive restaurant with all the bells and whistles. Stop complaining because I am sure you complain about every thing you have to deal with.

G handzic on June 28, 2017:

What kind of stupid, no, retarded, article is this? Instead of concerning yourself with the growing preference for fast food and the lack of patience that people have for a nutrient rich meal, you take your time and write this bs!

You can have an amazing meal at CB, this is coming from a fitness guy that's used on eating at fancy restaurants... I literally love this place, very affordable, amazing food and service is a delight. Do us all a favor and find a different job, writing critics isn't your cup of joe!

Anonymous on June 17, 2017:

It's a senior citizen/after church magnet. In the Midwest, especially, that equals $$$$. Id rather go to a drive thru.

KennL on May 24, 2017:

I once worked at a cracker barrel store and it really is a bad place to work. The managers are rude and cold hearted, they do not care about your feelings at all. Employees are treated as being expendable. Their food isn't the best and is over priced just like everything in their gift shop is. Me and many others know you can find better food at better restaurants at better prices. Cracker barrel doesn't treat their employees and customers like human beings, and that's a shame

Anon on April 06, 2017:

I work at one of the top 5 cracker barrels in the country for sales. Let me tell you I do my job with integrity and I do it well. But that's all I will say. Otherwise all the managers except one continues have unrealistic expectations of the staff. We are constantly over burdened and when told about inadequate people and their skills, I'm met with the sarcastic remark of "he thinks the same about you."or "not everyone can be as fast as you" When obviously they know who produces more. I am a dishwasher and they force us to bus tables. Let me tell you. Their goal is to be the best restaurant in the country. Well I ask in what respect when you treat your best workers like dirt. They had the best and I hoped they enjoyed it. Because I'm going back into construction in only 22 and I'll tell you. Operating machines is hell of Alot less stressful then being a high volume cracker barrel dishwasher. They are the modern day slave drivers. Quite literally. And I hope someone subjects them to a huge investigation. But undoubtedly the people will get paid off from all the corners they have cut. Hope this comment bought some of you to a realization. I give cracker barrel negative 5 stars. Those SOB's

Grammar Nazi on October 24, 2016:

Funny and so true. The CB stores in Georgia along I-75 are the worst. Learn to use spell check, please.

No You Can't Have More Biscuits on May 16, 2016:

I hate Cracker Barrel. I hate the food. I hate the managers. I hate the stupid, fat, slow customers. I worked at the Altamonte Springs, FL store and let me tell you, I'd rather be a hooker than work there again. The managers work you like a dog. You're expected to do the work of 3 servers all while taking care of your lazy, white trash customers. Oh, and make sure you answer the take-out phone. The employees are dumb too. It's filled with old, grumpy women who have never made anything of themselves so they actually feel priviledged when they can boss a new person around. Sorry, but you ladies are all losers who will work until your 80 at the Cracker Barrel. Big accomplishment. The food is disgusting, the cooks are disgusting. I'd rather eat a fart.

SGT Anthony on February 06, 2016:

There are a few places that I will stay away from. Number one goes to Cracker Barrel. It was pretty obvious that me and my family was not welcomed there.

Clayton on January 11, 2016:

Used to Work for the company for 2 years everything these people say is true Cracker Barrel is The WORST PLACE TO EAT11 Period. DOnt say oh well i know i had a great time.... LOL i used to work there u even know how most of there food is made??? or how nasty there Dishes are? or how many of there employes ACtully wash there hands before serving ur food? this is by far the worst place to eat do Your self a Favor and Dont eat here... For the love of god this place is a Disaster....

Cracker.Barrel.Employee. on December 24, 2015:

I've worked at Cracker Barrel as a host for about a year now. I absolutely love this job. I love the servers, the managers, even the bussers. Everyone is just trying to do their job. I work in Mt. Vernon, IL. And every single manager I work for strives for the best customer experience we can give. As a host, we're supposed to ensure the customer enters AND leaves with a smile on their face. In the time that I've worked there, I've only seen 3 parties leave unhappy, and all three were due to not getting their food quickly. We do our best. We're just working class people trying to make money for our families or for some like myself, trying to pay for an education so we don't have to spend our whole lives in the food industry. To be honest, I've cried because of a customers rude comments. But I have never felt insulted by a comment by a fellow employee.

Nick on October 20, 2015:

Your daft as hell. You have no idea how restaurants work, especially Cracker Barrel. If it's not your cup of tea so be it, but your slandering a company that presents an honest product and service. I'm sorry, but your just wrong.

unknown on July 15, 2015:

I work at cracker barrel. I love my job. I'm a cashier retail and a shift leader. No job is perfect and if your boss is yelling at you for not suggestivly selling they are doing something wrong. My team loves me and my rm. It's a job . Its not always sunshine and rainbows. Be happy you have one. so many are unemployed.

roxanne on May 15, 2015:

Worst breakfast I have ever had. I have been there several times and they only seem to get worst. The grits at 10 seem to have been waiting since the night before. The over easy eggs always have crystalized butter on the edges. I hate burnt eggs. A group of my friends always meet there and I always dread it. Bottom of the fast breakfast chain for me.

Dibella on May 03, 2015:

I, As well, can not stand CB. I have been there several different times and locations, and as always, huge crowd of slow old people and a long wait. I always go with others who want to go here, but I never wanna go with them, I just go to be nice. When I need to use the restroom, I Cant ever get past the herds of old people blocking each corner and I have to wait for them to head out. Not a fan of the food Either, I just plan on not going here again, And avoid being talked into going again.

U Wot M8 on April 26, 2015:

"Backed" potato? For some reason that made me think of Kim Kardashian.

bob on April 15, 2015:

I love a good backed potato

my two cents on April 15, 2015:

If you think Cracker Barrel cares about their employees or guests you are sadly mistaken... As a guest the second you walk thur the door the employees see walking $$$$$ (they are trained that way) you are guided thur the old country store which 99% of the overpriced nicknacks are from China. While waiting for your table with little Johnny an employee is praying little Johnny will be grabbing candy and start crying for his mom to buy it. The store employees must meet a quote everyhour or risk getting hours cut. If you look at something to closely an employee will be right there telling you how they have that object in there house (ha ha right) if you don't buy it the retail manager will be yelling at the employee what did you do wrong that the guest didn't buy it. Employees have been pressured themself to buy something to make quote. The cashier is their with so much candy and junk on the stand and must sell you something. It doesn't matter if the line 10 people deep, they will go on and on about why you need this ____saying no ready doesn't mean no. The employees do not enjoy pressuring you but if they don't they risk being yelled (in front of anyone and everyone) or just lose their job. WELCOME TO CRACKER BARREL

Flash on April 12, 2015:

Dear writer,

Your an idiot!

doncook on October 06, 2014:

I have been with Cb for a long time, and I am so disappointed in how the company has changed over the years..it's all about the almighty dollar now. They don't care about the employees at all. They say they want you to have a great employee experience at the same time they are cutting everyones hours and sending you home early. Almost everyone at my CB has a second job, no one can survive on 2 days a week! Also the ETC and Gm get in trouble if the new people quit, but what do they expect? also they cut labor, so we are always understaffed, which creates alot of stress on the people who are scheduled...you are working your butt off.Very poor management also does not create a good work environment. I am seriously considering quitting because of all this.

Lev on September 23, 2014:

Okay so I am a server at cracker barrel and I neither like working there or dislike and here is why.

First off countless people complain to me why there bread doesn't come out before the meal. Cracker Barrel apparently saves $2 mil a year serving the bread with meal. If you want bread simply ask, although its very frustrating when people ask for 10 million things with their bread, while 3 other tables are equally demanding and not tipping you accordingly. Yes its our job, and we will smile through whatever hell you give. That's the life of customer service, please be considerate.

The ticket times for food is supposed to be no more than 12 min or the check goes red and the store gets hounded for that. That's not to say there might only be 3-4 cooks in the back during a busy night or morning. Cracker barrel can't control how many cooks they have nor can any other store. Not to mention a moderate turn over rate of experienced cooks and servers. Another common complaint I have is food cold or they didn't like it. Half the time the people that complain their food is cold have broken taste buds or they spent to much time talking and didn't eat their food when it was hot. For people that didn't like the food, don't eat the food and expect to get a free meal. It's hard to justify a complimentary meal when your plate is clean. Otherwise, eat somewhere that makes you happy enough not to have to read this post.

Would you like to know why cracker barrel is busy all the time?

It's because large parties of 8+ come in unannounced and expect all of their food to come out at the same time and quickly... it is physically impossible unless you want cold food.

Didn't like your service? Maybe that server has been working for 8 hours straight, serving grumpy old people and picking up pegs of the floor for the last hour. Maybe, you have an inexperienced server, that has only been working for a month and can't hold your hand when you order something incorrectly on that huge menu. Its possible you could have a rude server, but from my experience of 3 years I have only met 4.

The reason why I put up with these obnoxious ordeals is because for all the terrible "guests" I serve, there a lot of really nice and interesting people you come across. Sometimes you get no tip and sometimes you will get a random 10$ bill, I make enough money to be satisfied while going to college and better my public speaking skills. I don't plan on serving for very much longer. Serving has taught me a lot about people, and how to handle difficult confrontations. But in the event you do visit Cracker Barrel treat who ever is serving with manners like you would anyone else.

Nick on September 11, 2014:

I ve worked for cracker barrel for 7 years as a grill cook, and I agree that it all depends which one u go to, or work at. I ve worked for 3 diff locations, and all the experiences are diff. I ve worked at 2 of them where some of the managers were assholes, but thats anywhere u work. The one I work at now in owasso, oklahoma is awesome. Ive never had a manager disrespect me, raise there voice, or deny a requested day off. And those saying u make 9 50 that might be based on your performance, I started working at the owasso location 1 year ago, and had to start at the base pay of 9.15, im now to 12.00, I was also given courtesy raises in between par raises. Apparently all of yalls managers suck. And as for saying theres only a certain amount of rockers to wait, have u been to any other restaurants? Cracker barrel as more seats for waiting then alot of other restaurants, and they have the store to kill time, plz tell me what other store has that. Well none I ve ever been to. The food at my store is fresh and good, I shuld know I cook it. I worked at alot of high pace volume restaurants amd also ran my own kitchen for 600 employees and I can say cracker barrel is fresher and more accommodating than any other big chain restaurant I worked for or have been to... I have worked at other cbs that urge goal hours, but for the last yr I have worked at my current location I have have never heard anything about goal hours, employees that had been there for yrs didnt know what it was til I told them. Cb is not the best place to work, but it is a pretty good place to work, at least the owasso location. We ve had people that couldnt cook to save there lives or handle the rushes, but instead of firing them my gm moves them to diff positions to try to find them something they can handle.

Again its where and who u work with, if u dont like it find another job

Nick on September 11, 2014:

I ve worked for cracker barrel for 7 years as a grill cook, and I agree that it all depends which one u go to, or work at. I ve worked for 3 diff locations, and all the experiences are diff. I ve worked at 2 of them where some of the managers were assholes, but thats anywhere u work. The one I work at now in owasso, oklahoma is awesome. Ive never had a manager disrespect me, raise there voice, or deny a requested day off. And those saying u make 9 50 that might be based on your performance, I started working at the owasso location 1 year ago, and had to start at the base pay of 9.15, im now to 12.00, I was also given courtesy raises in between par raises. Apparently all of yalls managers suck. And as for saying theres only a certain amount of rockers to wait, have u been to any other restaurants? Cracker barrel as more seats for waiting then alot of other restaurants, and they have the store to kill time, plz tell me what other store has that. Well none I ve ever been to. The food at my store is fresh and good, I shuld know I cook it. I worked at alot of high pace volume restaurants amd also ran my own kitchen for 600 employees and I can say cracker barrel is fresher and more accommodating than any other big chain restaurant I worked for or have been to... I have worked at other cbs that urge goal hours, but for the last yr I have worked at my current location I have have never heard anything about goal hours, employees that had been there for yrs didnt know what it was til I told them. Cb is not the best place to work, but it is a pretty good place to work, at least the owasso location. We ve had people that couldnt cook to save there lives or handle the rushes, but instead of firing them my gm moves them to diff positions to try to find them something they can handle.

Again its where and who u work with, if u dont like it find another job

Brian on August 31, 2014:

You're right, I could go to Grandma's house if i wanted a delicious home cooked meal, but after I eat at cracker i'm not obligated to stay the night. Cracker Barrel doesn't talk to me about NASCAR and then ask me about the girlfriend I don't have. Cracker Barrel doesn't ask me about my school work and everything that's happened in the past few months. Cracker Barrel lets me eat and leave. Only Cracker Barrel understands me.

John miller on August 02, 2014:

When you quit Cracker Barrel do you turn your time card in and apron?

CB experiences on July 28, 2014:

I have to say, at first I thought all these bad things was just in my store, but I see it's at many. Plus, I've studied the history, and it's bad. Not to mention, all the posts about go back to school, get a degree, blah, blah...... I'm a server, WITH a BA in business, there are MANY servers with degrees. Older ones, and ones that have graduated while working there. GET a CLUE about the economy! and, I couldn't agree more with CB being a joke. That's what comes to mind constantly. Dysfunctional!

unknown on July 16, 2014:

At cracker barrel not only is it the highest paying job my managers are awesome everyone in my town loves it we have 45 min waits every night and if people didnt enjoy they HOMEY comforting enviroment well then they wouldnt be waiting. Who ever wrote this is stupid it makes no since. Iys a restaurant your going to wait yoir going to.be around kids. Get over it or go home.

Jim on July 14, 2014:

Thanks to Stephanie Holden and Tyson Smith I will never eat in a Cracker Barrel again. Discrimination once more rears its ugly head again at Cracker barrel.

Emily on July 01, 2014:

I've been a server at CB for almost four years now, just while I'm in school (hopefully... these jobs have a tendency to suck you in and not let go). I get that it can be a shitty place to work. I mean, what serving job doesn't have it's horrible times? But I also don't think that it's the worst job ever. If you just put in the effort to be a decent person to others--guests, coworkers, managers alike--you should have a decent time there. I know that guests can be beyond ridiculous and a pain in the ass... I think the CB patrons are some of the most entitled, holier-than-thou people out there... but you just need to kill 'em with kindness, then you can go vent to your coworkers back on the server isle. You should know going into it that any job in the service industry is going to be thankless and rough, so you shouldn't be surprised that you get shitty customers and the occasional shitty manager. It comes with the territory. Do your research.

It's not just the coworkers and managers, though. One thing that I will never understand about the high and mighty Cracker Barrel guest is the need to throw an absolute fit over a simple meal. This can go for customers of all restaurants, but here's a reminder: it's just food. Just. Food. CB, particularly, serves stuff you can easily make at home. If your pancakes weren't extra-crispy enough or your eggs weren't fluffy enough, I invite you to buy a box of our pancake mix on your way out and make your own food at home. And if you're in a bad mood, do EVERYONE a favor and stay at home. There's absolutely no need to take your bad day out on a complete stranger who is just trying to do their job.

The way I see it, it comes down to mutual respect. Guests, respect that your server is there to bring you your drinks, bring out your food, and make sure that you have everything you need. They don't cook the food, they don't control the prices, they can't change the menu. These are just people trying to make it through their shift. Treat them like humans, please. And servers, respect that your guests come into CB with certain expectations of dining out, and try to meet them to the best of your ability. It's your job.

wow on June 27, 2014:

yes I work for CB, I was told about this site and after a few days of reading all I have to say is WOW... All this time I thought it was just me. Yes the management treats the employees like kids or dogs, and no there is no age discrimation they talk to 70 yrs old employees like kids, wonder if they would let someone talk to there mothers or grandmothers like that. Im a server and one of the perks is I can go in the dinning room to get away from the screaming in the service area, boy I have learned to love busying talbles. I reallyt feel for the cooks there is no where to go, they are barked at for hours . You got a manager in the window yelling I need that food now, there are a couple things that do really have to cook on a grill. Then the managter is yelling I need a runner now. stop everything you doing and run, its not your tables food so now they need refills mayo etc you have to get it. In the mean time your table never got there drinks, and if you do what CB wants done your table may alreally have there food and no drinks, but again that is your vault as there server. Now there gone to pay not only is the line long to cash out but the cashier is trying to sell you anything, so by the time they pay they have had it and you pray there is no conplaints cause it will always be the server.

Biscuit on June 19, 2014:

My god, I cannot believe the bitching and complaining from some of these workers and ex co workers. If you want to know what a job from hell is like I have a suggestion. Go to Belk and work there a while. Trust me you will learn a new meaning to the word! How bout you quit your bitching and do your job, stop worrying about your coworkers and how much favouritism they get. Sounds like a lot of pettiness and jealously. Trust me this craps everywhere. Grow the hell up and do your best at your job to the best of your capabilities. No one is perfect, and for the cutting of jobs and shifts that goes on everywhere too. If you are under the assumption that it doesn't. All I can say is you might want to ask some of those massive Cracker Barrel druggies for some of their stash

Meaghan Edwards on June 19, 2014:

Cracker Barrel holds a special place for me as it was among the restaurants we'd stop over on our overnight stays while on vacation; usually South Carolina or Florida. Once we had a cold meal there and they were more than happy to give us a free meal the next time we'd come in.

I have to say, though, that said this article did make me smile :)

Jack Packages on May 22, 2014:

Lmao Any server that says they don't make minimum wage is a shitty server. For you to blame the company or the guests is stupid. It's because you Suck. I've been a server for 17 years and I'm not a server at a cracker barrel in the worst location in the world and I make close to $1100 a week. And that is while dealing with all the same things you guys are crying about. Your managers are hard on you because you Suck. End of story. And I hate people. Get in, eat and gtfo! And seriously if you don't like the place don't eat there lmao. Dumb asses. Way too many People saying they hate it and you can tell they go there often. Idiots.

Hostess on May 19, 2014:

Also, to the server complaining about the fact that the managers want people to eat and leave quickly. It's not like they force people out the door once they're done eating, parties will sit and talk for hours and that's fine. The faster your tables are eating and leaving the faster the hosts can seat you again and you will make more money. The restaurant will make more money.

It's a win win situation really.

Cracker Barrel hostess on May 19, 2014:

To all the employees and ex employees complaining on here. You probably should have called home office or someone higher than your managers and complained about the mistreatment you were receiving instead of posting online about it.

And to the lady who said she was discriminated because of the table she was sat out. The hostess having a seating chart with where all the servers are and we go in rotation so no one servers gets more tables then the rest so chances are that server was next in the rotation. You weren't be discriminated against.

new employee on May 16, 2014:

Were did you get serviced at? You need to report that. The number is on the menu. They have a whole day and a half section on profillin and steriotyping. It almost made me hate being white. But yea you need to report it.

That one guy on April 30, 2014:

Have you ever been to a CB in a town/city where white people are the minority? Well let me tell you. The only people who work there are white, if you're a customer and you're not white good luck on getting any type of service. If you do get service, it's service that makes you wanna walk out on your ticket. I've given CB many chances over the few years, and I must say, never will I go back. Almost like the place is ran by some racist religious group *cough*kkk*cough

FairyToes on April 30, 2014:

During long trips, I find CB a comforting place to stop. I've never had a long wait for a table or been made to feel rushed. I enjoy all the old-timey stuff on display, especially as it is different everywhere I go. The restrooms are clean, the food is simple, and usually served promptly. Only once were we served food that was too salty to eat by a surly waitress who said if we didn't like lots of salt we were in the wrong place. That unfortunate incident was long ago and taught me to choose my food more carefully. I usually go in for breakfast anyhow.

Alea on April 29, 2014:

I've been at CB for about 2 years now as a Server. I've read through some of these comments genuinely concerned for some of these other people who say their managers treat them so coarsely. I've worked at 2 different Barrels and niether of them have had disrespectful managers. Of course when you are dealing with CB clientelle they are gonna be angry, at the very least agitated.

I've only ever encountered one of my managers actually angry, and he apoligized for the issue next shift.

Every manager I have had has wanted to help and not hinder their staff. And of course there are those of them who've never worked in our shoes and don't understand the disrespect and humiliations we recieve from our customers. But there are some truly awesome guys behind the scenes too.

C on April 10, 2014:

I'm not sure what's wrong with all the complaints but I LOVE working for Cracker Barrel and I've been here for 6 years and everyone is treated greAt and is happy to be here. And managers do not get bonuses for goal hours I think people just make stuff up just to talk.

cracker barrel emp. on April 06, 2014:

As everyone is intitled to your opinions! I have almost 17 yrs with this company as a server skill trainer...like every place it has its ups and downs..I've transfered to 5 different states with the barrel and not many places do this...as far as the food is well lets face it, its country cookin.some is good some is not.....I make 2.52 an hour plus tips and really how many times have you totally kissed ass only to be stiffed? And yet there is still the ones that complain because they know it gets them a free meal but the same people keep coming back! If its that bad stay home! Clean up your own mess your kids leave...as far as a company well I've never seen a company that was perfect..I've seen the good side and the bad side! Its every where people

SOKYjayran on March 23, 2014:

I have worked at Cracker Barrel since November of 2013. I'm late on this post but I find it quite interesting. Like any job it has it's ups and downs. For instance, I'm a cashier, cashiers are expected to ask each guest "how was your meal and service?" If a guest was not satisfied with the quality of their meal or service most of the time they do not think twice about telling me what was wrong. This bothered me at first because what can you say when someone you don't know starts complaning to you? At first I could have cared less if our guest was happy with the time they spent with us, however I've gotten much better at my job with experience and I can say with full honesty that every guest that enters the building may have a different opinion that I do and I may not complain if there is a problem but we all have one thing in common: WE ARE ALL HUNGRY WHEN WE GO INTO A RESTAURANT. I am now a two star employee and also a trainer. I open on cash which means I have to to be there from 6am-1pm 5 days a week and I work an 11:30-7:30 shift one a week also. This normally puts me at 46 hours per week saying that I don't have to stay over because we are busy. I can tell all of you all that Cracker Barrel is very seldom busy at six o'clock in the morning. So if you want to be seated immediately and have extremely fresh food and a great server and not be bothered by a retal personnel to buy the whole store, you should go in at 6am. I enjoy working at Cracker Barrel and have worked through the Christmas season once, and since then I feel invincible. I say if you don't like something change it. I have my days where I could care less about what anyone in the crack shack thinks but don't we all? Sometimes our working conditions are not the best ie. too warm because of the fire, we have no matts behind the cash stand and I stand up there for 7 hours a day 6 days a week...but once you get past that you'll bounce back. Just don't put your work clothes in the same closet as the rest of your clothes and you'll be fine.

pissed off grill cook on March 17, 2014:

you are totally write and if you think dining there is bad you should work there. the employees are always stabbing another in the back and the whore waitressess are always trying to get you in trouble and never take one in the freezer to fuck them bc shit gets wet down there then your stuck to the box of "made from scratch biscuit dough" and i got lucky and the only one i liked brought us some hot water. the food is nasty and when someone sneezes they make sure its on the wholesome sides. and it seems like all the managers are idiots and hire 16 year old girls just to fuck some young girl and ive seen it many times then threaten if they tell they will lose there job. and the waitressess never wash there hands and never do the cooks. there is not a skillet pot or pan one it is a burger king set up and i dont understand the menu it is dark and gray and the few black and white pics look like someone took a shit on a plate and the messages are so is to figure out they just want your money. i would just advise everyone to eat at mcdonalds bc at least they have a charity and and are not tight enough to put in a commercial i mean has anyone ever seen a cb one. they use the profits to snort cocaine and hire five hookers at one time. so before yo eat there you have the right to go back and see the food before they cook it and i would advise it bc you will have nightmares about the other times you ate ther. the comment is based on true facts an are in no way as good as i described them. but enjoy comfortable assholes

Kirsten Chavis on February 25, 2014:

I recently quit my serving job at Cracker Barrel. Does this mean that the paycard they provided me is now voided?

jack matthews on January 27, 2014:

i have talk to every manager for time nothing has been done, can i file a grievance?

jack matthews on January 27, 2014:

i work at cracker barrel , and dont get but 3hours a week

I hate this place on January 26, 2014:

What a shithole. I was embarrassed to even tell people I worked at Cracker Barrel and thank God I don't have to anymore. Sunday mornings consist of you being triple sat for 5 hours straight, at the same time being screamed at to run food, do your setups and take all the orders at once. Fuck you Cracker Barrel! Oh and now let's seat you with an 8 top of black people who are demanding raspberry lemonade and cornbread every 5 minutes. But guess what? You won't get to keep that big $2

tip they leave because you have to share 8 tops with another server. Not only do I regret working there, I regret not knocking my asshole managers the fuck out before I quit. Just glad I walked out on a Sunday morning and let them deal with the white trash customers that come in there.

Christian on January 20, 2014:

I like Cracker Barrel. The servers are great and fellow employees treat you well. I do however think they need a better management system. Our store has a general manager and 5 other managers. One runs the kitchen one the dining room and one the stoor. The GM orchestrates the operation and ensures it runs smoothly. That works well on the weekends but during the week that system is not followed. When it is slow there might be only one manager which is far to much responsibility put on one person. Not when it is slow, but when you get those unexpected buses, or say there was a big event and now you have 70 people sitting at one time it is over whelming for everyone. There time management sucks instead of using Monday to prep for tuesdays lunch rush they draw back production because God forbid Something that has a 3day hold time doesn't get used 8hrs after its made (I understand the concept of country fresh but it's not country fresh to smash the crap out of your food with grill weights , fry fish and french fries in the same grease or hold food a 180 degrees for hours}. Sometimes you get managers who obsess over labor costs and don't run full dish crews when they should or cut higher payed cooks early. They over work backup cooks, the people that make all the baked and side items. Backup cooks are the most vital cook in the restaurant without them they would not make money, or have guests for that matter. Yet they treat them like crap. We prep cooks have the easiest/hardest job depending on the way you see it. We spend our time chopping, mixing, weighing, slicing, baking, portioning, listening to servers complain that it takes 6minutes for fried tenders for there salad, and building said salad. we are the jacks of all trades consoles of the disgruntled and the only ones faced with the dilemma I'm out of ranch; the servers need more lemons; grill needs sandwich-sets; backup needs roast beef; the manager asked me to sweep my area; and the backed potato timer is going off, but I have to make a milk shake; 3 side salads and two tender grilled salads first. That my friends is my experience at cracker barrel so far. I love fast past environment which is why i like the job, but come on 9.75/hr to make $10000 worth of food (its printed on our production chart). At the stander 32percent food cost that’s $6800 profit and your paying me $60 I think that’s despicable. Prep runs a higher food cost than that but it's no more than 5o% or it wouldn't be on the menu. A lot of complaints for a place i like but, I really do like my coworkers and the pace is ok. I love the smell of the burning wood in the winter. I grew up in a wood heated home, so it brings back good memories.

Samantha W. on January 20, 2014:

WOW! The negative comments on here make me feel like these are all ex employees from the store I worked at because it is the complete truth. Management sucks. Period. There were two managers that I liked a lot at the Altamonte Springs, FL store. As for the rest of them, if they were on fire and I had a glass of water, I'd drink the water before helping them. I've been a server for years and I've never, EVER been treated as poorly as I have there. They literally work you like a dog, favortism is given to the people that obviously will be there forever and they know aren't going anywhere. If a customer doesn't get their breakfast in 3 minutes and they complain, it's your fault and you are incompetent. Oh and let me tell you about some of the servers. The ones that have been there forever and feel they are curing cancer by bringing dumplings to a table. I was introduced to people on my first day and told "this is so and so...she hates new people" and "if they don't like you they'll make sure you quit." This coming from women in their 30's! I'm so mad that I even wasted my time working for this place. I'm at Tony Roma's now and not only is it great money, you are respected, everyone is nice and the management rocks!

Dan on January 16, 2014:

If they only had beer and wine, the Cracker Barrel experience would be a lot more tolerable...

CurrentManagerFormerServer on January 10, 2014:

Well here goes my two cents that always seems to fall on the deaf ears of my servers. 1. If you are concerned, as a server, about how much you get paid an hour by the company, QUIT NOW!!!! If how much comes in your paycheck is something you think about at all, (which after taxes you usually won't even get) then serving is not for you. People decide to be servers for a multitude of reasons. Whatever yours is, a steady paycheck shouldn't be one of them. I am so sick and tired of hearing about this. NOBODY IS FORCING YOU TO WAIT TABLES!! You do it because on a typical day you make way more an hour than a 9-5er. Nuff said about that. 2. The Rules… what is it about the service industry that makes everyone think they can look however they want at work. This is not coyote ugly or a biker bar. No one at this restaurant wants to see that crap. FYI, I have a sleeve tattoo, both nipples, tongue, and ears pierced, but you wouldn't know it if ya saw me at work. WORK IS WORK. It's not a fashion show or a damn tattoo magazine photo shoot. Look I could do this all night but I won't. I'll just say if you don't like it, get promoted or change jobs. And don't say you can't get promoted because I did. You might need to move to a different location or whole other restaurant brand to do it, but if you want to, get off your butt.

Amanda on January 02, 2014:

Wow!! Lmao... It sounds like to me that some ppl are bored..... The ups and downs are in every restaurant... Come on ppl it's 2014 ... Next convo, this BS been goin on for yrs!! Who cares opinions are like assholes everybody's got one! Have a blessed yr...

brian on January 01, 2014:

They need to take some of their managers and disguise them as black men in order to get more productivity out of there black employees.

FairyToes on December 24, 2013:

Although I am picky about what I eat and prefer to be gluten-free, there have been times while traveling that Crack Barrel has provided a level of warmth, comfort, and satisfaction not to be found in other eateries. For instance, REAL oatmeal, not instant glop, in front of a roaring fireplace, interesting vintage decor, smiling waitstaff, no wait time, and clean restrooms have brightened a number of mornings for me.

Only ONCE were we served inedible, over-salted food by a surly, rude waitress who remarked, "If you don't like salt, you're in the wrong place!" I don't think a frequent diet of CB cuisine is a healthy choice, but now and then, it's a pleasant experience.

JennieLee on December 15, 2013:

Totally agree. I am soooooo thankful we no longer have Cracker Barrel in California. They have the worst food and it just sucks overall. Canned vegetables served with every meal ought to be your first clue to RUN, not walk to the nearest exit.

reluctantdiner on December 15, 2013:

How about a post from a customer? I eat at CB once in awhile, but only when there is nothing else close or practical to get to. Going in, I don't mind the gift shop; while I never buy any of the over-priced imported trinkets, it is no different than an upper scale restaurant seating people in the bar hoping they buy a few drinks while waiting for their table. But I really resent the feeling that you are a cow bring prodded through the chute, this is not a place to go if you want a relaxing, enjoyable dining environment. The food?? I have no problem with what is on the menu... really..does anyone order chicken fried steak for it's health benefits? BUT the prodding by the wait staff to get you to order right away is not pleasant. I am paying for this meal and if I want to review the menu before I make a purchase, I am going to do it. And do not order coffee, you will not get timely refills and it becomes a waiting game between you and the staff to see if you will give up waiting and finally leave. Then we have the staff that hover and continually snatch everything from your table in an effort to "encourage" you to speed up and to get the chute ready for the next cow. And as you are finally rushed out, remember to tip, because the wait staff would never understand why you wouldn't want to..

steve tennessee on December 10, 2013:

My wife works retail at Cracker Barrel and loves it. Her managers a good people and fair to work for. Sounds to me like people that just hate their jobs are pissed off and posting here. Yes they put bacon grease in the green beans! Apparently the poster that complained about that is a Yankee, this has been done in the south for years. In case you didn't notice Cracker Barrel serves country cooking. As far as the waitresses and waiters pay if you do a little research most restaurants pay the same way. People just love to bitch and cry about everything. They have learned that if they do this a restaurants they can get their meal comped. That's a loser mentality, if you don't like to eat there or are that unhappy with your job don't eat there and quit, find another job!

Jennifer on December 02, 2013:

I've been with Cracker Barrel for 19 yrs. I have seen many changes over the years. For the most part they have been a good company to work for. The last couple of years have been disappointing I make $14.55/hr as a grill cook. Which is great but because of my pay rate I get very few hours. It stinks that I can't get hours to help me get ahead so I had to pick up a second job. You would think 19 yrs would count for something but it doesn't. It makes me said.

happyemployee on December 01, 2013:

I wish we could all take the humor in this post and move on. Some of these comments have made me very sad! I personally have worked at CB for a while, previously as a host and now as a cashier/retail employee and I love it. When I worked as a host, our managers were TERRIBLE, but after enough complaints Home Office came in and took care of it right away. In terms of the job overall...I love the guests, I love my managers, I love the atmosphere, and I don't even mind my pay. It takes care of the bills and I have a job, so honestly who am I to complain? Stop by the store in Flagstaff, AZ on your way through and I'll be sure to show you the good in the company.

Sharron on November 29, 2013:

All of my life I worked as an office professional and often ate at CB. When I retired, I wanted to do something that is fun and not stressful (my office career was very high stress being paid $25-150 per hr). I am a retail employee of CB and I enjoy going to my job for every shift unlike most people who dread going to work. Since I work in retail, I meet many interesting people from all over the world, not just the United States. The repeat customers often give me a hug (and I like to get and give hugs) when they see me. It is very rewarding to be able to help a person find that special gift they are looking for. And no, you do not make very much money (it is more like working for the fun of it) and I've never made that little per hour and you don't get paid a commission for sales, you get a flat hourly wage so the incentive is simply to have fun and enjoy the people, take advantage of the sales, be able to be the first to see all the new merchandise (my favorite is Christmas), watch the children play with the toys and help them find something special just for them, you get to play with the toys (I enjoy the moveable toys/décor) , and you get a small discount. If you are in it for the money, move on and find something else. But, if you are in it for the fun of it, for meeting nice people, for getting hugs from those frequent guests that think CB is their second home (usually because of the warm and friendly retail and restaurant employees), making new friends with co-workers, and so forth, then CB is the place for you. My fellow employees work as a team and we help each other. When I tell someone about a product it is because it is the truth and from my own experience. I never tell an untruth to a guest as I think that is unethical. Example: I purchased a wrap/cape and I do tell them how I enjoy wearing my wrap/cape and why. As for the restaurant, they probably could not pay me enough money to do that job--God bless them. Servers wear themselves out just trying to please the guest and get it right. They have to do that because they only get paid about $2.16 per hour by CB and the rest depends on the service they give and if they are good at their job they can make good tips. Even if they are good at their job, they sometimes do not make very much money at all on a slow day and not because of anything they did--it was just a slow day. The restaurant managers, as I see it, are motivators like coaches are to their football teams. They are the movers and shakers that make the servers "stretch" to be the best they can be. The servers are simply amazing when I see them running around like little ants getting this and that behind the scenes as rapidly as they can and get it to the guest at their tables. Just think about it--if you go to a CB and see people lined up outside and all the rockers full on the big relaxing porch, it is because they enjoy the home cooked style food, the cozy atmosphere with the giant fireplace in the winter and somewhere they can browse around looking at all the finery in the gift shop, not to mention those old favorite candies starting from the 1940s like the miniature wax bottles of juice, the flat strips of taffy w/red, white, and chocolate, the butter mints that I remember my mother buying as a treat in the 1950s. Cracker Barrel is an experience to be lived and enjoyed every time you visit and I love working there and being a part of that ole' time love and warmth.

Quick Tip on November 27, 2013:

Just so everyone knows - CB's home office, the district managers, and most managers are aware of this site and others like it. The DMs regularly check here to see if any of their stores are mentioned. And you better believe they aren't above posting here themselves pretending to be line level employees leaving positive reviews as a counter balance to all the negativity CB has generated recently.

Braniff on November 26, 2013:

Awesome review! This review could also describe the Machine Shed restaurants, a farm-themed chain of restaurants with huge portions and no regards for fat, calories or carbs in the Upper Midwest. And there are other chains to which this review is applicable. The Cracker Barrel has introduced a line of low-carb foods, but from the backlash I've seen on Facebook(R), I wonder how long it will last. In the meantime, such restaurant chains as the Machine Shed and Sbarro's should introduce their own lines of nutritious, low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb options.

Anonymous on November 21, 2013:

I have been working for Cracker Barrel for a while now as a cashier and I love it. In addition, I must say this:

1. It is none of our business what a manager gets paid, unless we are going to be hired into a manger's position.

2. The bonuses that the managers get are what keeps the CB store and restaurant going. If the managers didn't go around rushing people to get the food out to the guests, the guests will leave, which means business will be lost, and then eventually everyone who worked at a CBOCS will lose their jobs. The goal amount to be earned is for the restaurant to be run on. You must know that it costs money to pay workers, and you must know that just because it is a restaurant/store bills DO have to be paid.

3. Yes, servers get paid crap before tips, and then they get paid crappy tips by people who don't know how to tip properly. This is a risk you take when applying as a server.

4. Yes there is a grill in CB.

Yes the restaurant is busy, but what does that say to you? To me, it says lots of people like eating at CB.

Yes, there are some foods that come in packaged and/or frozen. What do you expect? The chefs to kill the chickens, turkeys, etc while everyone waits for their food?!

Yes, the store is a little overpriced, but then go to another store such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, TJ Maxx, etc.. and see how expensive those are, and CB won't be so overpriced.

5. Face it: The managers might disrespect some of you because maybe you have a bad attitude about your job or maybe you're not respecting them. Does this make it right? No. But, it doesn't make it right for you to openly disrespect them on a public forum.

6. CB's motto is "Pleasing People" and that is what the Cracker Barrel I'm working at does. The goal is to get people in and out because when they come in hungry, especially during lunch hours, they expect to get in, eat, and get out. They don't have time to be sitting around waiting on their food for hours while someone plays around in the kitchen. I'm not saying that anyone plays around in the kitchen, but it does happen.

carmen on November 19, 2013:

Worse job I ever experienced. have no regard for their workers . Treat them like crap. Terrible! I was out in three weeks.

donna farris on November 16, 2013:

i worked as a cook to pay my way through college---some restaurants are good, some bad. being part of a franchise doesn't mean you are the same as a "sister" restaurant. some bosses are fair; some aren't. as for the money, i just retired from my job working with a violently mentally ill population, as a therapist. in twenty years, my salary never went past 12.02 per hour---standard pay for us all. gov't lack of interest, the economy, low starting wages. the public is indifferent, for the most part. i've been severly injured twice, so i retired after 21 yrs. some of you are making almost as much for COOKING? quit whining and grow up!!

UGH!! on November 14, 2013:

Every CB experience is different and all CB stores are not created equal. However, my CB experience has gone from okay to bad to worse. I've worked at CB for 7 months as a server. I am a college graduate in a very small town in a very tough economy and am awaiting a job with the govt. so I am doing this to pay the bills in the meantime, EXCEPT I don't make enough to pay the bills.

I am fortunate enough to live at home but I can't afford to even pay my college loans back! Every other customer that walks through the door leaves a $2 tip or less regardless of what their bill was. People say that because it's the holiday season we'll pick up and make more...yeah, not really experiencing that influx of cash yet. We are overworked and underpaid. Some commentators above really need to pull it out of their a** and realize that servers become lazy, disgruntled, and nonchalant about their work when they continuously bust their a**es for no more than $3 per table and a $2.13 wage.

And if you are in a small agricultural town like me with not too many people walking through your door, having about 7 tables per shift, thereby raking in a whole $21 for one day, it gets harder and harder to not quit or pull down one of those ancient farming tools hanging off the restaurant walls and start slicing heads! But as some very astute commentator above said: when you rely on the salary and there aren't too many other jobs available in a TOUGH ECONOMY all you can do is hang your head and grumble sometimes!

I might even file a lawsuit against CB because of unfair work practices AND the fact that they go against Labor Laws. The fact that when a prep cook is not on duty I am forced to go back and make a salad at $2.13 per hour when a prep cook is paid $8 per hour to make the same salad is outrageous!

Not to mention at my store we have to wear all sorts of hats: Greet table, get drinks, put in order, run food, dirty dish cart full? roll to dish, No prep cook? Make that side salad and take it out!, Haul stuff from the freezer to the front, Cut up those boxes, Get on dip to help the Grill Line, Don't look to a manager to help out because it's not their job to CARE!, Bust it to make 30 bucks your whole shift then STAND next to the food window and roll silverware for however long it takes for you to roll 100! Do your sidework but if it gets dirty again before you leave, you can't leave til it's spotless! Clock out, but before you do get a manager to swipe you out because you're past your f***ing scheduled time thanks to all the BS! Finally go home and do nothing but lay up in bed for hours with a bottle of booze and cry for the rest of the night!

I'm counting the days until I can quit! It's coming soon!

cashier on November 05, 2013:

I've worked at CB for almost 6 months now, and I'm planning on giving my two weeks as soon as I have another job opportunity. Even though I'm a cashier, I really have noticed that servers get treated like shit. People who ask for more hours get fewer, and vice versa. There are definitely favorites. The other day I asked for a break and two managers literally laughed in my face. I had been up since 5am that morning and hadn't had time to eat since that morning. I was closing. I almost started crying because I felt like I was going to pass out. And everyone who's saying just don't work there, it's hard to just leave a job when you need the money. Yeah, sometimes I feel like my integrity is really suffering because of this job, but I have to survive. The other thing that really bothers me though is how much stuff cracker barrel throws away. I've been told that retail has to cut unsold tshirts in half so people won't go dumpster diving and get them for free. Really? And the employees do get blamed for people not paying for their meals. The above comment is spot on about never getting a straight answer about policies. Basically, it's a terrible place to work, I'm quitting as soon as I can, and I won't be spending any money there ever again.

Ash on November 02, 2013:

Cracker Barrel was ok before I started working there. The training is non-existent, they blame everything on the new people yet teach them nothing, not to mention the managers are as clueless as the new people yet yell at them for not knowing anything. What I really hate is they don't inform you of the most basic attendance or break policies. Any policy they do have, you get 8 different versions of it. As far as the kids go, every restaurant has that.

T-Stone on October 23, 2013:


Jilly on October 23, 2013:

Anyone have the recipe for glazed carrots....its the only way I can get my kids to eat them.

None on October 20, 2013:

I work for a Cracker Barrel and I love it. If your employment is that bad and you hate it then move on. And I know that the pay isnt bad. Where I live working at walmart overnights pays 850 and starting out at Cracker Barrel you get paid 9 and hour. After each PAR passing test you get 25 cents if you work Prep, Grill, Back-up and, dish. I know this because I am crosstrained in all the areas. Frankly most servers wont ask for a raise because their money is standing at the front door waiting to be seated and a GREAT server knows that. The team that I work with is an amazing team. I dont know where the heck your going and having to wait to 15-20 mins for your food but we have a seat to eat at 14 mins. Yes we do like any company push for our goal hours but when have you seen your server standing in the vestibule staring at you to leave. If you have your job, leave. I make 500 a week in tips alone. I dont get a pay check and if you think that your managers are picking favorites anyone of you that are employed currently know that you can call home office. Jay Jensen is the human resources manager and handles all of that. So if you are being treated unfairly you know that you can call you just havent. Thats your own fault. I do believe that employees get paid fairly you probably just dont want to work for your money.

CB/ on September 28, 2013:

Hey, guys, calm down! I've worked at that hell-hole for over a year now, and guess what? YES! The job sucks, the managers are pricks(most of them), and honestly....you servers need to shut your mouths....I've worked Prep, Grill, Back-up, Dish, and served....honestly if you servers would bitch less and work harder (not sit on your fat asses and text, talk to the other server about trivial shit, things like that) you might be able to ask for a raise(or heaven forbid: actually get tipped-out once in a while).That being said, Grill,Dish,Back-up and Prep are massively underpaid and overworked! Would you kick a dog and expect it to simply be happy to see you next time you come around? NO.The managers kick us around, treat us like shit, and expect us to kiss their asses for it....well my friends....FUCK THAT!

true story on September 26, 2013:

party of 74 people. 4 servers working it. no tip at all. my district manager post monthly praise reports so that's how i know about the party. he said the servers knew they wouldn't get tipped but gave great service anyway. that makes me sick inside. really wish the company would charge gratuity for groups of 8 or more like most places. i've worked at cracker barrel for almost two years now and i'm treated very well though. it's customers who cause the most problems for me and my coworkers. just this weekend a server kept getting harassed by a customer, he kept demanding more honey for some reason. when she cleaned the table she found honey smeared all over it and no tip. shes a good server but i wouldn't be surprised if she quit soon.

mixed feelings on September 21, 2013:

I work at a reasonably good CB. The managers are pretty decent in how they treat employees for the most part. Let's face it. When all you need is a HS diploma and some experience to be a manager the quality will be variable. The policy of hourly goals set by some person in Tennessee which must be enjoying a better economy than where we are is ridiculous. Home Office expects more money to be spent when at least it seems like there has not been much if any improvement in wages. I got cross-trained to get more hours but people walking in got more pay and more hours- presumably because they are younger and prettier. I am not sure. All I know is that I did not receive even base pay for a beginning cashier for five months. Then when I found out I wasn't getting even what starting cashiers were making (I was getting paid like a starting retail hire), and I asked for the basic pay, the managers were defensive and it took another six weeks to get the same rate as a new hire cashier. I was not granted any back pay for their error . Then my hours were cut. I love the people I work with and all things considered it isn't the worse place I've worked for. It's just disappointing that the emphasis is all about pleasing the "guest" but very little consideration for the employee.

barrel ha8r on September 11, 2013:

Yes its true.. unfortunatly the servers start out at 2.13 an hour plus tips which are from old people usually that in their day made $2.00 a day so when they tip you a dollar they think they really hooked you up. The management only care about their "goal hour" which means the servers will get double or triple or even quadruple sat within minutes of each other. The servers are expected to greet the table within one minute and take the entire order not just the drinks then ring it in immediatly. totally impossible to do when multiple sat. I asked management about that problem and their response was that the hosts primary resonsibility is to have no open tables and to seat everyone as quickly as they can so they can have a goal hour. so while the two or three other tables that got sat while you are taking another order your tips are going down. and dont get me started on the kitchen running out of food, like meatloaf at least once a day and up to as many times as six times a day. and baked potatoes, dont even order one on a friday or saturday night because they are probably out. the foods that always run out on any given night not just the weekend are meatloaf, dumplins, baked potatoes and baked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, carrots, hash brown cassarole and even if they have the item you might not get it on the table even know they have a person checking each tray that comes through the window including management that sends trays out without certain items which means the server that ran the tray has to go back to the window and ask for the missing item then when they get it a minute or two later they run it to the table and then can go check on their tables who havent seen their server for quite a few minutes becase of the way the place is run with totally contradicting policys which ulimatley falls on the employees. so ya the list goes on and on and on. I could sit here all day and blast this place but really they have wasted enough of my time already.. oh and another ridiculous policy is after all servers have to do to get out after being cut from the floor which includes rolling 100 silverware (even though you served less than 50 people on your shift) and the sidework then you have to get a manager to swipe their card because the computer is telling you you are late in clocking out then you have to stand there and wait for a manager to walk you out through the store so you dont steal anything on your way out. i have waited for over 15 minutes to be walked out and thats a load of bullshit..

kristen on July 18, 2013:

Cracker Barrel is by f ar the worst place that I have ever worked. I have worked at a lot of restaurants, been serving for over a decade. I have never seen operations like this. Managers "hanging out, eating three and four times a day, eating in the office with the windows blocked off, or in the dining room while talking about the employees that are serving right next to them so loudly the server and the table they are serving can hear them, and read the name on the apron and know who they are speaking of. Being threatened to be "written up" because they can't have mistakes on that shift, it would mess with their bonus. The place is not only unproffesional but their is no comunication. Servers are constantly having to run back to tables to tell them we are out of meatloaf or carrots, or whatever else. only to get a new order and find out they only have parts of it. And this starts happening around five pm. so if you want dinner at cracker barrel, go before 5. The managers get mad at the servers for undercooked food. also, the servers are required to roll over 100 silverware but are not allowed to do it until the shift ends. so after rolling 100 silverware for 2.13$, you can then do the rest of your sidework and then chase 4 people around to make sure you did, get their initials and attempt to clock out. but you will fail, you now need a manager to clock you out b/c you are past your schedule. not that you would get paid min wage or overtime, no such thing as overtime. as a matter of fact my paychecks for 7 day week are about 2.80 and at 2.13 an hour, surely that can't be right. I hate cracker barrel. i cannot wait to quit, the food is terrible, and made from scratch? so they say. everything is in bladder like bags sitting on a shelf..just add water, just add milk. disgusting. anyone that eats there, the least you could do is appreciate your server, cooks and dishwashers. we make the restaurant business work and go around and around. without us, you would actually have to cook. cracker barrel is a fraud. i wouldn't wish this job on my worst enemy.

Justpassingby on July 05, 2013:

I am currently working at Cracker Barrel as a cashier. The pay is not that good, yeah...BUT! They are extremely nice over there and i'm talking managers, servers, cashiers, host and retail. Everyone is helping you and always joking around.

I think you DO need to pay more visit to DIFFERENT Cracker Barrel (Or you were supposed to) before you write this. All my managers are jokers and always playing with the employees and guests. They turn it into a joke even when my register comes to short or too much. They believe it's a mistake that can be made my anyone so they don't take it seriously. (I'm just talking for a few missing or over changes...but i'm not sure for like over or missing something big as $30) One thing they told me and I believe that's what makes OUR Cracker Barrel a good one, the managers said right from the start that they want all the employees happy...and in order for us to make the guest happy, WE must be happy and feel safe.

So again, I don't know any of the things you.

Jimmy on July 03, 2013:

Jesus at the comments. CB is the second worst job I have ever had, the worst was framing houses for a bipolar redneck, the best was working in a plant, which I do now. I worked at CB for 4 years. It's true that cooks don't get breaks, even on 10 hour shifts. This is all cooks, no exceptions. From what I hear it's the same in most other stores, too. You have to be slick and steal bites of food here and there.

So you guys know, the unused little jelly packs that came with your biscuits are pulled out of the dirty dishes, wiped off, and re-used. This is not just store policy, it's corporate policy. You can be written up for throwing away dirty jelly packs.

The mac and cheese sauce, sawmill gravy seasoning, vegetable soup, ect. comes in frozen, as does ALL meat. That's not home cooking. Leftover bread is used for the dressing. Your green beans, pinto beans, and turnip greens hold in a "hot box" overnight. We do use fresh eggs, and we scramble them by hand...in a little bucket with a whisk that gets used for this hours on end, sometimes all day. Don't order scrambled soft eggs, if you saw the bucket you probably wouldn't even want to order scrambled hard eggs.

Also, at the store I worked at employees pretty much had to work if they were sick. 1/3 of the crew was on drugs, 1/3 of the crew were illegal immigrants, and the other 1/3 got the hell out of there as soon as something better came along, but I guess all chain restaurants are like that.

I worked at 4 restaurants in my life, CB was by far the worst.

All of the comments I read above from employees are true, no exaggerations. Be a good citizen and don't support this evil corporation anymore.

LOL on June 11, 2013:

Funny how this conversation has been going on for 3 years!

par 4 on May 22, 2013:

I have spent almost two hours reading these comments. I actually feel a little bit better knowing that my store isn't the only one where no one respects each other.

As a prep cook- I get bitched at if I don't have all the crap done that I'm supposed to have done.

On the grill line- They yell at us when the tickets take a long time, even though most of the cooks don't speak english and can't communicate with the rest of the cooks.

As a hostess- we take the most abuse. servers, guests, managers, every one likes to fuss at us.

and as a server... there is nothing more torturous than for some redneck to complain that their chicken livers are fried too hard. they're cooked on a timer... there is nothing we can do.

One of my old G.ms used to chase me clapping to make me walk faster.

another one of them has taken me into the office and screamed at me multiple times.

I can't wait to finish nursing school =/

Cracker Barrel 4 life on May 13, 2013:

For the people who don't like crowded restaurants... Go eat at the ones that attract few people because their food quality and experience is rather poor. I work at Cracker Barrel and apologize about any less than great experience that you have received, but most of these 'complaints' are ridiculous and without merit. If you feel that you can cook better... Then do it. If you feel that since its crowded (because we're so popular) and that bothers you... Then go elsewhere. No one is making you dine at our restaurant. I want to make every guest happy, but sometimes the requests are nearly impossible.

Uncle Herschel is dead on April 28, 2013:

From a long time employee, this company is not the same as it was 7 years ago. As the economy began to sour so did CB.

Managers are under constant pressure to make numbers. They feel as if their jobs are constantly being threatened and with good reason. I've personally watched our district raise his voice and threaten to fire our managers in front of the whole crew. And as they say, "stuff roles downhill." The managers in turn take their frustrations out on the crew.

As the managers are pressured to make ever harder and more unrealistic quotas, the employees are made to feel they have to constantly work harder and faster for continually shrinking hours and less pay.

And Heaven help you if you try to report any wrong doings to the home office or employee relations. The district manager will tell next time you BETTER only go to him but all he'll do is sweep it under the carpet so his district doesn't look bad to his boss. And once the managers find out what you've done the retaliation begins. You might as well go ahead and put your notice in at this point. Your career at CB is done.

It's a shame too. I used to love working at CB but not anymore. The only reason I'm still there is because of the friends I have made and the fact that the job market is still down. A bad job is still better than no job at all. I hope Uncle Herschel and Dan Evins aren't spinning in their graves at what has become of their company.

Esmeralda Trevino on April 22, 2013:

Employee Evaluation Dishwasher Rising Star PAR 1&PAR2

Daphne on April 21, 2013:

Our CB throws out all left over cornbread unless its cornbread dressing day they will use day old bread. All biscuits are thrown out too at end of day. Soup that is new is kept and kept in proper storage area. Bacon? It's Is thick cut Oscar Meijer. Steaks are frozen and the ham, pork chops are precooked. Potatoes are very fresh and so is every dumpling. Green beans, corn, are canned.

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