Cracker Barrel

Infobox_Company

company_name = Cracker Barrel
Old Country Store, Inc.
company_type = Public (NASDAQ|CBRL)
slogan = "Homestyle cooking done right.""It's a restaurant. It's a store."| foundation = 1969
location = Lebanon, Tennessee
key_people = Dan Evins, Chairman Emeritus/Co-Founder;Tommy Lowe, Co-Founder; Michael Woodhouse, Chairman/CEO
industry = Restaurants/Retail
num_employees = Approx. 150 per store
revenue = profit$2.06 billion USD (2004)
products = Homestyle country food/gifts
homepage = [http://www.crackerbarrel.com/ www.crackerbarrel.com]

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., is a chain of 557 "Old Country Stores" (as of 2007), each combining a retail store and a restaurant.

As of June 2006, the company, founded and based in Lebanon, Tennessee, was operating 577 full service locations located in 41 states in the United States. [ [http://www.cbrl.com/ CBRL Group, Inc ] ] In 2007, Cracker Barrel was ranked as the top "family dining" chain for the 17th consecutive year in Restaurants & Institutions magazine "Choice in Chains" annual consumer survey. [ [http://www.rimag.com/ Advertisement ] ]

Overview

The Cracker Barrel chain serves traditional Southern comfort food. Their outlets have traditionally been located along interstate highways, though the company policy on this appears to be changing. Breakfast is served all day, though the breakfast menu is kept separate from the one for lunch and dinner. Both menus include a low-carb section.

The outer porch of a Cracker Barrel store has rows of rocking chairs for guests to enjoy before or after eating, and there is usually a fireplace and a checkers table within the dining area for an added country feel. The interior walls of the dining area are decorated with antiques such as photographs, advertisements, and household items.

The retail store carries mainly nostalgic merchandise, collectibles, old time toys, classic candies, scented candles, and items used in making Cracker Barrel entrees. Also, a lot of merchandise sold at Cracker Barrel is holiday themed, depending on the time of year. It is known for selling Christmas ornaments and other decorations.

Controversy

Cracker Barrel has been embroiled in controversy through the years, first with gay rights groups and then with claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment. [ [http://money.aol.com/investing/small-towns-big-companies?icid=200100397x1204579478x1200195022 Small Towns, Big Companies - AOL Money & Finance ] ]

Discrimination against LGBT employees

In 1991, Cracker Barrel instituted a policy requiring employees to display "normal heterosexual values which have been the foundation of families in our society." According to the text of "Understanding and Managing Diversity", by Carol Harvey, 17 LGBT workers were fired because they admitted or were assumed to be gay after the first few months that the policy was created. The company refused to change their policy in the face of protest demonstrations by gay rights groups. After 10 years of proposals by the New York City Employees Retirement System, a major shareholder, the company's shareholders voted 58% in 2002 in favor of rescinding the policy. The board of directors immediately added sexual orientation to the company's nondiscrimination policy. [cite journal|first=Jeremy|last=Quittner|title=Cracker Barrel buckles|journal=The Advocate|date=2003-02--04|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1589/is_2003_Feb_4/ai_97175008|accessdate=2008-07-05]

Racial discrimination: Customers

In the early 2000s and again in 2006, Cracker Barrel faced accusations including a pattern of racial discrimination in its treatment of customers. After national press attention to these accusations, the company announced explicit policies intended to address the charges, and paid 2 million dollars for race and sexual harassment at three Illinois restaurants. [ [http://www.lawmemo.com/eeoc/press/3-10-06b.htm "Cracker Barrel To Pay $2 Million For Race And Sexual Harassment At Three Illinois Restaurants" lawmemo.com] ] Stores now display a sign in their front foyer clarifying this policy, as has become the policy after a similar incident involving Denny's restaurants. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/2004-05-07-cracker-barrel_x.htm USA Today] , 2004-05-07.]

Unlawful political campaign contributions

Cracker Barrel was one of eight companies indicted and accused of making alleged illegal corporate campaign contributions to the Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee (TRMPAC), started by Rep. Tom DeLay. [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/15/politics/main623277.shtml CBS News] , 2004-06-15.] [ [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4965325 NPR] .] Less than five months later, however, all charges against Cracker Barrel were dropped.

Food scare

In May 2007 Cracker Barrel temporarily removed hamburgers from its menu at many of its locations after a patron ate a metal fragment resembling part of a razor blade in her hamburger at a restaurant in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,270718,00.html Fox News] .]

References

External links

* [http://www.crackerbarrel.com Cracker Barrel Old Country Store]
* [http://www.cbrlgroup.com/ CBRL Group website] , corporate parent


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cracker-barrel — adj. characteristic of country life; as, cracker barrel philosophy. Syn: folksy, homespun. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cracker-barrel — [krak′ərbar΄əl] adj. [< the large barrel of soda crackers formerly found in general stores] Informal designating or typical of the informal discussions on all subjects by persons gathered at a country store [a cracker barrel philosopher] …   English World dictionary

  • cracker barrel — cracker barrel, an open barrel of salted crackers, formerly often found in American country stores. crack|er bar|rel «KRAK uhr BAR uhl», adjective. having the plainness, robust humor, and informality of country people; unsophisticated; down to… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cracker-barrel — adjective Etymology: from the cracker barrel in country stores around which customers lounged for informal conversation Date: 1916 suggestive of the friendly homespun character of a country store < a cracker barrel philosopher > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cracker-barrel — /krak euhr bar euhl/, adj. of or suggesting the simple rustic informality and directness thought to be characteristic of life in and around a country store: homespun, cracker barrel philosophy. [1875 80, Amer.; adj. use of cracker barrel, around… …   Universalium

  • cracker-barrel — /ˈkrækə bærəl/ (say krakuh baruhl) noun 1. Chiefly US a barrel of biscuits in the general store of a small community, which is a gathering place for gossip and thence a symbol of parochialism. –adjective 2. rustic; homespun: a cracker barrel… …   Australian English dictionary

  • cracker-barrel — crack′er bar rel adj. suggesting the rustic informality of a country store: cracker barrel philosophers[/ex] • Etymology: 1875–80, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • cracker-barrel — adjective characteristic of country life cracker barrel philosophy folksy humor the air of homespun country boys • Syn: ↑folksy, ↑homespun • Similar to: ↑rural …   Useful english dictionary

  • cracker-barrel — adj. suggestive of rural country life; typical of country life; (term used in North America) simple and not sophisticated …   English contemporary dictionary

  • cracker-barrel — adjective US simple and unsophisticated. Origin C19: with ref. to the barrels of soda crackers formerly found in country stores …   English new terms dictionary


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