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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. owns the Cracker Barrel stores that operate across the United States. Established in 1970, Cracker Barrel stores consist mostly of an eatery with a gift store, while the business serves lunch, breakfast as well as dinner. There are a number of decorative and functional products offered by its gift shop and these include seasonal gifts, rocking chairs, cookware, apparel, toys, and various gift items. The company is headquartered in Tennessee and operates around 660 stores in 45 states of America.

History of Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel was inaugurated by Dan Evins in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1970, and within a few years, stores were opened in many other locations. The land was leased on the gasoline station sites by the company in the 1970s, as the idea was building restaurants. There were gas pumps in the early locations, but during the shortages of gasoline, the company focused on building restaurants without having a gas station nearby.

By the early 1980s, many gas stations were reduced and phased out when there was a complete emphasis on restaurants and gift sales. In order to have more funds for expansion, it became a publicly-traded company in 1981. After that, the Cracker Barrel grew at a rate of around 20 percent per year, and it had 50 locations in eight states by 1987. 

The company saw consistent growth through the 1980s and 1990s and achieved a market value of $1 billion in 1992. There was a carry-out-only store tested by the company in 1994, and Cracker Barrel had around 314 restaurants by 1997. In 1998, its first restaurant and gift store away from the highway was opened. The company purchased Maple Street Biscuit Company for $36 million in 2019.

Business Directions

With the help of enhanced marketing messaging, new retail merchandise, and innovations in the menu, Cracker Barrel is able to increase its relevance. Its fully integrated marketing campaign completely focuses on the demographic groups and generations who have historically been infrequent users.

Cracker Barrel also has further plans to enhance the off-premise businesses. This includes their Heat n Serve programs for holiday meals that are being implemented system-wide. With time, more consumers preferred to eat at home, so Cracker Barrel has successfully been able to prepare a promotional retail environment by adjusting its plans for merchandising. The major focus of the company to enhance the core business is surely resulting in great improvements in their business model.

Key Facts

  • When the first Cracker Barrel was started by Evins, he used to work for the gasoline business with his grandfather. As the interstate road system was in its growing stages, he thought of expanding his family oil business, and throughout the early 1970s, a number of stores were opened including gas pumps.
  • There are signs, photographs, toys, and tools decorating the walls of Cracker Barrel. It is worth noting that all are authentic vintage items with no reproductions. Dan Evins, the founder, decorated the place in an old country store style.
  • The Cracker Barrel stores are staffed around the clock in order to keep the stores neat and tidy. Therefore, when the store gets closed, a cleaning staff comes and cleans everything to perfection.

Final Words

Cracker Barrel provides its customers with a very friendly home-away-from-home environment in its restaurants and old country stores. The guests are able to enjoy real home-style food and they are treated with family care. They also offer a unique shopping experience that is basically fun, reminiscent of the US country heritage, all of it at quite a budget-friendly price.


Why has Cracker Barrel become so popular?

The main reason for its popularity is good quality meals with a reasonable price experience for its guests. The average meal consumed at Cracker Barrel is around $12.75.

Which American state has the most Cracker Barrels?

Florida is the US state that has the most Cracker Barrel locations, that is, 60. This makes it about 9% of the entire Cracker Barrel locations in the USA.

Is there a senior discount at Cracker Barrel?

The senior adults of ages 50 and older are welcomed by Cracker Barrel to order from the Children’s menu, as it has discounted prices as well as smaller portions.

Typical Hours of Operation

Mo 8:00 - 21:00
Tu 8:00 - 21:00
We 8:00 - 21:00
Th 8:00 - 21:00
Fr 8:00 - 21:00
Sa 8:00 - 21:00
Su 8:00 - 21:00

Locations: 679 locations in 47 states and 579 cities.


  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Family Style
  • Chicken
  • Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch
  • Soul Food

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