Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like To Work At Cracker Barrel

Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like To Work At Cracker Barrel

October 21, 2019 100 By Kailee Schamberger


Have you ever dug into your country-fried
breakfast and wondered what it’s like to work at Cracker Barrel? From what goes on in the kitchen to how often
they get breaks, former and current employees have spilled the sweet tea on what really
goes down in the restaurant. Cracker Barrel prides itself on its food,
but considering they sell mixes and ready-made food, you might wonder how much of their menu
is really made fresh each day in the restaurant. According to one Reddit user who claims to
work for one of the top Cracker Barrel restaurants in the country, scratch-made food is still
the norm. In a Reddit AMA, the employee revealed that
the prep cook and backup cook come in at 5:30 a.m. each day to start making staples like
the biscuits, cornbread, gravy, and fruit bowls. There are some ingredients, however, that
arrive pre-made, but the cooks are still responsible for the final product. According to another Redditor, who claims
to be a line cook at Cracker Barrel, the roux for the gravy comes pre-made and, quote, “we
just add milk and heat ’til it thickens.” If you’ve ever been inside one of the 600+
Cracker Barrel restaurants in the U.S., you might have wondered about the stars the employees
sport on their aprons. Some have just one, while others have several. It turns out, they aren’t just for decoration. According to one Redditor who claims to be
an Employee Training Coordinator at Cracker Barrel, the stars represent how long an employee
has been with the company, as well as their skills and progress. They say employees are “Rising Stars” for
the first 30 days of employment, and in order to earn their first star, new employees must
take tests about their position and have their performance evaluated by managers. If they pass, they get their first star. The max number of stars is four, and quote,
“each star comes with new responsibilities, opportunities, and benefits.” It’s no secret that many people go to Cracker
Barrel for the retail experience, too. But just how popular is it? Very, according to a Redditor who claims to
be a Cracker Barrel host. Some people don’t even bother eating, but
don’t call it a gift shop. The user asserts, “It isn’t a gift shop. It’s the retail section of our store, and
it actually sells pretty well. One lady bought 14 candles one day.” If you think working at a restaurant where
people also come to shop is strange, consider that some people come solely for the rocking
chairs and a friendly game of checkers or the peg game. The host revealed, quote, “the rocking chairs
are arguably more popular than the food.” You’d think that breaks would be essential
but unfortunately, to hear some former employees tell it, that just isn’t the case. Reviews on Glassdoor suggest breaks of any
kind are hard to come by. One former Cracker Barrel host revealed the
cons of the job include, quote, “No breaks, no free food, no bathroom breaks if [working]
alone…” This apparently is the case for virtually
any position at Cracker Barrel as Glassdoor reviews from employees ranging from front-of-house
servers and hosts to back-of-house grill cooks and dishwashers noted that breaks are pretty
much nonexistent. “I don’t understand… is anyone hurt?” “Not on the surface, no. But I can tell people are disturbed” Reviews citing “no breaks” as a problem at
Cracker Barrel go back to 2013 on Glassdoor, so one would hope the company would have resolved
it by now, but the most recent reviews citing the same problem are from 2019. Former employees are still talking about Cracker
Barrel’s apparent reluctance to give out breaks, and that’s a shame, because those rocking
chairs and a coffee would look mighty tempting after hours on your feet. Like many retail establishments, Cracker Barrel
deals with its share of theft. So what’s a Cracker Barrel employee to do
if they suspect someone is stealing from the retail store or they’re going to dine and
dash? It turns out, not much of anything. According to one Redditor, Cracker Barrel
employees “aren’t allowed to do anything if [they] suspect
someone is bouncing the check or stealing from retail.[…] We can call the police, but we can’t approach
the suspected thief and say, ‘Sir, are you stealing?’ That creates tension in the store and doesn’t
appear hospitable.” While this may seem like extreme hospitality,
University of Florida professor Richard Hollinger, who specializes in loss prevention, explains
what’s going on like this: “Cameras, electronic article surveillance,
and security are the antithesis of the Cracker Barrel atmosphere. They treat their customers like neighbors. Neighbors watch out for each other and trust
each other.” At Cracker Barrel, discounted food is one
of the appeals of the job, but you can only get it at certain times. One alleged Cracker Barrel server shared on
Reddit, “We get a meal 50 percent off 30 min[utes]
before or after our shift.” According to the official employer summary
on Glassdoor, Cracker Barrel also offers retail store discounts, quote, “at 50 percent per
scheduled shift.” Current and former employees on Glassdoor
noted some discounts are available even if you aren’t scheduled for a shift on a particular
day, but the amount is determined by your promotion level and ranges from 0 to 35 percent. The Redditor did note one caveat that makes
those late-night shifts worth it, saying, “If you close, you can get some leftovers
and all you can eat biscuits and cornbread.” Bonus! Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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