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

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

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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
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

100 comments

  1. i’m at Employee Training Coordinator at cracker barrel and there is most definitely breaks. especially bathroom breaks, if you’re alone you just ask a manager to watch for you or another coworker. and minors are required to take a 30 minute break after 6 hours and we offer breaks to doubles (10-12 hour shifts) but they can also refuse them if they want to keep working. the shifts are never any longer than 8 hours and if it’s not busy they can eat at 50% off.

  2. You don't get breaks, unless you do a double. The stars on the aprons are par stars. You can't smoke on the property, if you get caught instant termination. Back up and grill come in at 5am. But you can't sell or make cornbread till 11am.

  3. I thought Federal and State laws all required a break of at least 10 minutes for a 4-hour shift. I would sure check with the Labor Commission in my state if I worked there. I hope the tips are good.

  4. Legit thought it was just my store that didn’t give breaks. Good to know it’s company wide and I am in misery with hundreds of other employees. Also, it’s not true that you can take free leftovers if you close. Managers must write that food off as waste. Maybe other stores have really lax managers, but even the most lax manager at my store doesn’t give closers free food.

  5. Most of this is fairly accurate. Obviously the break situation is going to differ from store to store. Both based on laws of each state and how weed stores managed. And as far as the last wrench and aspect goes Cracker Barrel employees are allowed to approach gas but no they can't say sir are you stealing. The key is to never accuse anyone of anything and also to never profile or do anything that would make a guest feel uncomfortable. If you're treating ever gets the same and attempting to help them find the items are looking for and the ones that are up to no good tend to not spend a lot of time in your store thieves don't like attention.

  6. Well since my boss decided that we are no longer allowed to use our own break room or go to the bathroom without his permission. Yeah we don’t get breaks. We get a 50% discount on food if we are on the clock at any time of day, 35% discount is available at anytime on or off the clock.

  7. Depends whichone you work at and how bad they're turnover is,, cause I used to work doubles and I'd get like 1hour to 2hour breaks,, and as far as food I'd just make it and take it,, my supers never said nothing then again ion think they noticed xD

  8. I work as a hostess in Cracker Barrel it’s not that bad unless it’s Sunday or a holiday which is bad…

  9. I don't mind working at cracker barrel. The break part is so true. And we get a 35% discount through and through. You get 50% employee meal if you're on the clock. And if youre lucky when your closing you get the left over biscuits and cornbread but most of the time it truly depends on who's the manager at the closing shift.

  10. I work retail at cracker Barrle. Since the state I live in has no laws about breaks and when they should be given, the company policy is that I have to work more than 8 hours to receive a 30 minute paid break. And when I did work an 8 hour shift I was told that the most I could get was 15 unpaid minutes.

  11. I worked at Cracker Barrel for a year and it was the absolute worst. I once worked a 10 hour shift with a rushed break that lasted maybe 15 minutes. Also there was barely anytime to actually take the stupid tests to get your star and even if you did (at least my location) you weren't given the raise they promised. Also the guests were absolutely horrible to you all the time, before and after their meal. Plus management was so rude and unnecessarily mean, my general manager once made me cry in the store by blaming me for a schedule mistake the retail manager made. All around it was a horrible experience and glad I left.

  12. I currently work at crackel barrel. It is half the truth that you dont get any breaks. Yeah you dont unless you work 8 hours. Then you get a free meal and get to take maybe a 30 minute break? I dont know how long it actually is. Because they have never gave me enough hours during my workshift to take one. Eh I'd say crackel barrel is better than the bojangles I've worked at. Would I recommend it? Uh unless you like sweating a lot and hardly no air conditioning. Then go for it.

  13. Worked there for 6 months and it was complete ass ! They fired my because I submitted a schedule change, and did not tell me at all. Tried calling the store multiple times and they would ignore. When I would ask if I can buy a meal, it would be no. I had to sneak food cuz we weren’t even allowed to eat 1 biscuit or you could get fired. The management was ass tbh

  14. Terrible managers who writes up employees even tho- you have a dr slip stating you can’t be on your feet. 😳🤷‍♀️

  15. We're allowed breaks 15-30 minutes, and hour breaks for some workers.. I have no idea what you're talking about. I work in retail. Our co-workers will often cover for us if we need to use the restroom and we get one 50% off meal per shift. We get health benefits after one year and with each Star on our uniform, we get a raise. All of the stars can be attained in 9 months.

  16. I used to work there and for those looking to start there DONT. Now I'm sure some stores are awesome but the one I was at sucked! 1-4 stars get 35% off the meals off the clock (dine in or take out) and in the retail store. But there are restrictions; you wont get your discount on a clearance item. I wanna say the highest % off is 40% that would work with your discount. The trays of food are hot as h***! Some servers at my store have multiple burns and scars from them. Yes, I know we could use sleeves but sometimes it just gets wayyyy too hot. If there are not enough servers you may do more than 1 side work. There are countless other things I hate about that place.

  17. They are not who they seem to be I just stop working there because they are racist to the black people who works for them

  18. i hated working here. the communication was botched and the hours sucked. i only worked Sunday mornings even though i repeatedly tried asking for more hours, then i get into a literal car accident and call off my one day of the week (since it happened the day before my shift) and they never put me back on the schedule. trash place.

  19. My mom has worked at cracker barrel for 4 years and she has come home pissed sometimes and my stepdad quit like a week or 2 ago he saud he was fucking tired of that bullshit lol

  20. Wish they would have talked about the night maitnance part any lil thing out of place they thretened to fire your ass

  21. I worked there for a short period of time as a hostess and it was awful. Absolutely no breaks, no matter how long you worked. The managers at my store were immature and gossiped to you about other coworkers and managers. I could only take a few months before I left, worst job I’ve ever had.

  22. Haha I worked there for a couple years, it was such a waste of time. I could've been making way more money anywhere else. I could've been dealing with nicer clientelle. But it was a learning experience to say the least. Boy do I have horror stories from there.

  23. I worked there for 2 years and quit a few months back. Most, including biscuits, are frozen. And only managers get free meals everyday and incentives. Your discount meal has to be eaten in a small locker room about 3ft x 5ft for all employees to share.

  24. Maybe it was just my Cracker Barrel, but I worked at one as a server and sometimes grill cook for a looong time and when you close you don’t get to eat the biscuits or cornbread. They save the cornbread for crumbs to make the dressing, and the biscuits they just throw away. They also throw away every bit of food on the line. If you were caught eating any of the food at the end of the night it could’ve resulted in you getting fired…🤷🏻‍♀️

  25. Working there sucks !!! They fucking suck ! Horrible place to work ! Don’t take sexual assault claims serious at all !

    And btw If you speak out about something that happened to you , you will be reprimanded and taken off the schedule.

  26. I heard them mention breaks in the intro and almost laughed. Like, no. Though we do have a break room and no one stops you from sitting back there unless we’re super busy, its on you to make sure your tables are taken care of.

  27. I’m reading through these comments and I guess I’m pretty lucky. I work at the Cracker Barrel in Corpus Christi and our managers are pretty nice and so are most of the other employees. I worked both as a hostess and as a server and really liked both, and it’s been my favorite job I’ve ever had. The no free food is a thing, but the managers give out free biscuits and cornbread and soup sometimes, especially if you’re working a double or it’s a really long shift. And people always ask about the stars. The max is four, and the skill trainers wear the burgundy aprons instead of brown.

  28. Everyone saying working there sucks but my grandma is the head manager of this exact one and pays for the whole house and almost everyone’s bills it’s lIFE you can’t get everything fast.

  29. I used to work as a server, it freaking sucks, the trays are hot as balls, always busy and zero money to be made

  30. If you've worked literally any position in literally any restaurant, the phrase "Can i go on break" doesn't work.

  31. i worked as a server at cracker barrel, worst job ive ever had. servers DO NOT get breaks, all your money is from tips and they tell you to report 100% of your tips which is dumb as fuck. and the “stars” are bullshit. honestly the people with more stars are the laziest. i used to work hours without sitting down. and my back fuckin killed me. especially since they dont give us free food, it was half price and we could only get it if we had a break. oh and we know i never had those so, no food for me or anyone.

  32. Yea, you'd be lucky to get a 5 minute break on an 8 hour shift. They also like to give swing shifts to bypass laws regarding long hours without breaks.
    An example of a swing shift is 5am to 9am then 12pm to 6pm. Apparently this is totally legal.
    The only thing employees are allowed to have for free is tea and water.
    The stars are also mostly about pay. If you're not a server you can forget about getting above 3 stars. The cb i work at in mt vernon IL doesnt have a single prep cook or line cook above 2 stars. And our best cook has been there for 15 years. Dishwashers are also treated poorly and underpaid. They like to hire and fire within a few months. Also i know of at least 3 people being paid below minimum wage.
    Good reasons to make your employees sign no-lawsuit agreements lol

  33. I worked at Cracker Barrel and I hated it! I was trained as a hostess and since I didn't remember al the table numbers (after 3 days of training) and talking into the walkie talkie every 30 min to tell them how many tables were open they threw me into dish pit! I started breaking out on my arms and legs and the managers told me, "Too bad we can't put you anywhere else because it's tough everywhere else you have to stay as dishwasher" My husband also worked there and when he had a problem with another co-worker the managers told him, "She's just trying to assert her Dominance, it's ok" I will NEVER recommend them for eating or working! Horrible place horrible people!

  34. I worked for Cracker Barrel in Norman Oklahoma as the Hostess, when I first started it was great, but they lied to me about my pay, and my hours. They told me when I was getting interviewed my starting pay was 8.50 an hour and I told them I wanted 40, hours a week. But turns out I was only getting paid minimum wage (7.25) when I THOUGHT I was making 8.50 an hour and they literally didn't even give me even 25 HOURS a week…. And I would tell them I needed more hours ALL the time and they said they would give it to me but the most they would ever give me was 25. They were not a reliable company money wise, I can't even pay my phone bill with the money I made there. I'm trying to live DECENT, lol. Not to pick up pennies and BARELY even get by. The food is great yes, but I would NOT recommend working there, it just wasn't a good experience financially for me…. They really waisted a whole month and a half of my life.

  35. I work here now. Sadly, it's true, breaks are basically non-existent. To get one, you have to ask and even then it's a 50/50. If it's slow, you'll get one. Minors get breaks, usually at the most inconvenient times.
    As for the discounts, we 35% off of retail, plus whatever deals are already going on. We are not allowed to shop while on the clock, we must be clocked out before purchasing any items. It's not the best place but it is not the worst place i have ever worked. I really enjoy the people i work with.

  36. I've been working at cracker barrel for about 5 months and I don't think I've had a single break during any of my shifts.

  37. Most of what you stated in this video is wrong.
    1. Scratch made food is not the norm. Most comes out of a can or bag. The only things that are fresh are biscuits/cornbread(packaged mix), salads, meat(frozen)/eggs (except egg whites and boiled eggs), and the steamed broccoli. The desserts are made everyday but are prepackaged mixes and to me that isn't from scratch.
    2. Rue for gravy… no the gravy comes in a tub and is directly squeezed out of the package into the dip station. It thins as it is heated and is thick at the beginning. If you have thin gravy, it has been sitting there all day.
    3. The stars do not give any extra opportunities or benefits. After 30 days everyone across the board no matter your stars has 35% employee discount for retail and food (besides 1 on shift meal…. if you are lucky to eat.) No one except managers and maybe shift leaders gets benefits because everyone is lucky to work 4 hour shifts. This is to keep people from obtaining health insurance.
    4. The rocking chairs are popular but retail doesn't make half of what restraunt makes in a day. We are lucky if we sell 1 rocking chair a week.
    5. If someone steals we can't even tell the cops.
    6. Retail is not 50% off for employees. It is 35% off and can be combined with current sales in the store up to 60% off unless stated by a manager. It doesn't not range anymore depending on your stars since 2018.
    7. If you close and they catch you getting free food you will be fired. They bag the biscuits and cornbread and throw them into the freezer at the end of day.

  38. I'm not too sure about other stores, but I work at 190 in Sanford and if we need to take a break, we just ask, we have a fairly stocked break room with a fridge and microwave that sees very heavy use.

  39. You only get the 50% off discount on food if you're CLOCKED IN… 30 mins before or after your shift is just plain wrong, I WISH it was like that lol… you get like 10 mins MAX to eat it then you have to get back to work

  40. I’m seeing a lot of negative things about working here and I’m thinking MAN and I just scheduled a job interview for retail here 😂

  41. I quit the first day, that place is fucking ridiculous. I got several voice mails from my managers talking about how I was irresponsible and unfair and blabla 🙄 they sounded desperate and angry, that's not a good sign for a business, they also kept avoiding the question of how much I was gonna get paid per hour. One more detail, you don't have cigarette breaks, sometimes it gets so busy you literally don't have time to take a break and everything gets messy, long shifts and they also change your schedule however they want, you can work one day at night and the next one at early morning, I had a big talk with the hiring manager, and the general manager about my availability since I applied for the job and they put me on the schedule for all the wrong days and the wrong times, and then said I never talked to them about my availability. That place is not worth it, you'll be better somewhere else.

  42. Currently a Dishwasher at my local Crackerbarrel.
    If they don't like you you won't get hours like maybe 4-5 a week tops for several weeks
    If they DO like you you can expect to work upwards of double your requested hours if part-time
    I've worked there for 9 months and overall the only reason I've stayed is my coworkers, everyone in dish is crazy and I love working with most of them.

  43. As a retail employee all I’m saying is that idk how the restaurant crew does the stuff they do because their jobs are crazy. Retail at Cracker Barrel is always chill and I’m glad I have great managers so my job is great.

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