Mission: Pleasing People has been our mission since Cracker Barrel was founded in 1969. It’s a pillar of our organization, and is as important to our employee experience as it is to our guests. Whether you’re serving our guests at one of our Cracker Barrel Old Country ...
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Just off the stretch of I-40 that runs between Nashville and Knoxville in Tennessee, is a place called Lebanon. Chances are, you haven’t heard of it. But that’s okay because people in Lebanon like it just the way it is: comfortable, friendly, and a great place to come home to. No wonder Dan Evins thought it was the right place to start his small town business that, as it turns out, became anything but small.
While working in the family gasoline business back in the late 1960s, Dan began thinking of ways to better meet the needs of folks on the road. Back then, the interstate system was still young, goods and services were hard to come by, and the rise of fast food started to push out the little places that served up some of the real flavor of America. Fast food might be a good business idea, Dan thought, but it sure wasn't such a hot eating idea. Truth is, Dan always saw mealtime as special – a time to catch up with your family, your friends, and your thoughts. One of Dan’s favorite stories about getting the family together was at the beginning of the suppers he remembered from childhood, his mother would let the family know they could start eating by pointing to the wide variety of country vegetables spread out across the table and saying, “Well, there’s the crop.”
Dan thought about all the things that would make him feel comfortable far from home. Things like big jars of candy and homemade jellies, pot-bellied stoves, people who let you take your time. He thought about simple, honest country food, and a store where you could buy someone a gift that was actually worth having.
What Dan had in mind was the kind of place he'd been to hundreds of times as a boy, something every small community once had. Out west, they called them trading posts; up north, they were general stores. Where Dan grew up, in Middle Tennessee, they were old country stores. Dan figured folks traveling on the new highways might appreciate a comfortable place to stop in for a good meal and unique gifts, many reminiscent of America’s country heritage.
The first Cracker Barrel Old Country Store location opened on September 19, 1969, offering homestyle cooking from recipes, not a mix, and hospitality as warm as the biscuits served. Dan knew quality mattered along with offering prices that were fair and honest, a combination that proved to be a recipe for success, and in 6 short years there were 13 stores from Tennessee to Georgia.
By 1981, Cracker Barrel was growing so the company went public with its stock. That same year, it was cited in Institutions magazine as one of the nation's foremost growth chains, while Money magazine listed the company as one of the top ten stocks in America. Suddenly flush with praise and the loyalty of guests who appreciated homestyle cooking, the company's expansion had even more drive behind it.
Between 1980 and 1990, 84 stores opened across the country. By the end of July 1996, there were 257 Cracker Barrel locations. And today, there are more than 600 stores in 42 states, all owned by a company that has no plans for franchising so that we can continue to provide the authentic country comforts that our guests rely on. So even now, the mashed potatoes and biscuits are made from scratch and served with real butter, and the unique items in the gift shop offer genuine value, so Cracker Barrel can continue to uphold Dan’s mission of Pleasing People®.
Call it nostalgia if you want, but the goal isn't simply to recreate a time gone by – it's to honor it. Because the way we see it, the lifestyle of rural America isn't about where you live. It's about how you live.
Why work at Cracker Barrel?
Pleasing People® has been our mission since Cracker Barrel was founded in 1969. It’s a pillar of our organization, and is as important to our employee experience as it is to our guests. Whether you’re serving our guests at one of our Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations, or supporting our staff from our Lebanon, Tennessee headquarters, you will experience what “Pleasing People” means to us - and to you.
We are always on the lookout for enthusiastic individuals to help us do what we do best — please our guests with great country cooking and friendly service.
Our Restaurant and Retail Managers receive a generous compensation plan, including medical, dental, prescription drug plan, life insurance, employee discount, paid vacation, 401K savings plan and flexible schedules. We offer hourly employees up to three pay raises the first year, flexible scheduling, paid vacations, training, performance-based pay, eligibility for benefits and 401K savings plan, and a wage that is on par with the best in the industry. We even foot half the bill when you eat during your shift.
We deeply believe that if you're not serving guests, you need to be serving someone who is.
Our Home Office, located in Lebanon, Tennessee, is dedicated to supporting every store around the country. We hire people in a variety of fields, including strategic planning, finance, training, HR, and administration, because it takes professionals in all areas to support our many stores. You'll receive competitive wages and a benefits package that is second to none in the industry.
We Are a Family
Being a part of the Cracker Barrel family means joining a team that truly cares - about our guests, about our partners, and most importantly - about our colleagues. A career at Cracker Barrel means a career where you will be challenged to grow and develop. Our training programs are second to none, and are matched only by our commitment to create a familial environment for our team.
The program was launched to help our hourly colleagues learn new skills and gain greater confidence in their work. Development leads to pay increases and greater benefits, and provides the opportunity to work in other skill positions or obtain greater responsibility as a Shift Lead or Skill Trainer - all the while being recognized for achievements along the way.
Our Home Is Your Home
At Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®, we celebrate, value, and respect the diversity of our workforce. And to help us leverage the unique talents, ideas, and perspectives of our workforce we established Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Our Employee resource groups (Women’s Connect; LBGT Alliance; Millennial ERG [MERGE]; and United Cultural Awareness Network [UCAN]) are open to all Home Office employees and provide development, networking opportunities, community outreach, and assistance in activities that promote inclusion, employee engagement, and cultural awareness.
At Cracker Barrel, we're always looking to expand our team, by opening new locations in exciting markets. In 2017/2018 we're adding several new locations to the map. Some of these include:
Cold Spring, KY
Cranberry Township, PA
I have been working at Cracker Barrel part-time (Less than a year)
As a server, I make around $4/hour, plus tips. I average $16/hour here. I get along with most of my managers and coworkers.
Everyone has to work on Thanksgiving to make it fair, and if it's busy when you are supposed to go home, you may end up spending about an extra hour at work.
I applied in-person. The process took 3 days. I interviewed at Cracker Barrel (Kenosha, WI).
I sat with the general manager. She was very kind, up beat, and friendly. She was willing to work with me on my experience and try to find the best fit for me. After that I started training. Training is well constructed. They leave nothing to chance.