Cracker Barrel

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2.3 out of 5, based on 19 ratings and
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Why employees hate Cracker Barrel
Posted by on
So I'm an employee of Cracker Barrel and I just wanted to share some information to all of the patrons of this restaurant. I work as a cashier by the way. Every month, we have a "target" item. Its usually some candy or mints that we have right next to the register that we ask you to buy. Well let me tell you a little about these items. We are REQUIRED to sell a certain amount every day. Lets say 3 an hour for a 6 hour shift. Well that makes 18 a day. If you don't sell 18 that day you have to make up for it the next day. And if you don't make up your numbers by the end of the week, your next weeks hours get cut. So one week I can sell 100, but if I didn't meet my projected goals, my hours get cut.
Now onto the fun facts. THE EMPLOYEES DO NOT GET ANYTHING FOR THIS. The only thing that the managers tell us we get is hours. Well we get hours to sell more stuff for them hoping that we can meet our goals. What do the managers get? Well let me inform you.... They get small bonuses, like 100 dollars or if you place in the top 3 in your region, they get trips to Disney or a weekend at the beach or stuff like that. These are real incentives for the managers. Well the employees get nothing for doing this. I brought this fact up in a meeting where my regional manager attended. She came because she lives so close to our store. They started the meeting by saying that we need to sell our "target" items. We really need to push them. Then, my regional manager said that we placed number 2 in our region for a previous target item. So being the smart mouth outspoken person I am, I politely asked what do we get for this? She said you get to keep your job.
I have been conversing with a lot of my co-workers about this and no one is happy. We all hate it. Its high pressure and a lot of the guests complain about it.

here is another fun fact.... Cracker barrel stopped this "target" item campaign for one year and lost 10 million dollars. So to gain that 10 million back they are screwing their employees. We are training 6 new cashiers because its that high of a turnover. 20 new servers and 3 new retail personnel. We just hired 4 cashiers and 10 servers. That's 30 new servers and 10 cashiers. That's the turnover rate at Cracker Barrel. Might be a good place for paying customers but for the employees, this place sucks!!!!!!!!

One more thing for all you people reading this. Apparently, someone in the chain said that no stores should have a 0 dollar hour. Meaning that something should be sold at all times during the day. Well we open at 6 am EVERY day. No one wants to buy chocolate or candy at 6 am. I know I wouldn't. So I got two 0 dollar hours in a row the other day. This was from 6am-7am and 7am-8am. My manager came up to me and asked why I didn't have anything sold. I told her that there was no one in the restaurant OR in the store to sell to. Her reply to me...THAT'S NO EXCUSE. I then told her that I do not make enough money to subsidize the company because they don't want a 0 dollar hour. I refuse to buy something so the company can profit!!!!
btw... if you have an extra dollar, PLEASE buy the target item. It keeps us in a job and able to pay our bills.
     
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User Replies:
momsey on 01/29/2010:
Sounds like a crappy place to work. Why do you stay there?
Ytropious on 01/29/2010:
I think I've only been to Cracker Barrel once in my entire life. It sounds like a terrible place to work, but that's how retail is. It's not any better at most places. Management is always pushing something on you to sell like warranties or batteries or whatever it may be. Yes, it's our job to do it too. While I don't think we should be blamed for things out of our control (no customers to sell to), selling is part of our job description. Where I work it used to be very hard core about selling warranties. Management changed and now it's not as big of a deal, but corporate still demands it. I'm a good seller, but I too get nothing for it. There's really no incentive except that I'm friends with my managers and I like to do well for them. That means when jobs are on the chopping block, I'll likely keep mine. Just keep that in mind.
goduke on 01/29/2010:
It's part of your job. You don't always get something extra for doing your job.
redmx3racer on 01/29/2010:
Don't ever get a "real" sales job. Simply asking someone if they want to purchase a pack of gum/mints etc after they have just eaten a meal is hardly high pressure. Personally, I'm always hunting for some gum or a mint after a meal-so I'd be your best customer. And yes, even after I eat breakfast @ 6-7am-who wants "coffee breath"?
I understand they are pressuring you to sell this item, and you need your hours....but it seems from the outside a pretty easy sale. Try selling extended warranties that cost just as much as the product the customer is buying-now that's fun. And I did not get anything "extra" at that job for selling stuff either.
Anonymous on 01/29/2010:
"So being the smart mouth outspoken person I am, I politly asked what do we get for this? She said you get to keep your job."

What more needs to be said?
Anonymous on 01/29/2010:
"You get to keep your job." Yes. Nothing more needs to be said.

And stop griping about how your boss is compensated. If you want to be compensated like him, get a job like his. Management is held to different standards than floor workers, so they are compensated differently.
Slimjim on 01/29/2010:
What value is this to consumers? As said, it's part of your job description. Why should we care you can't deal with it? Quit and let someone else who needs to make a living take a crack at it then.
Anonymous on 01/29/2010:
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to buy something I don't need. It's just like going to the bank or any other place where people try to get start up something. I know the workers there are doing their job, they have a quota, but I'm not going to get something I don't need nor want.

It's one of those aspects of the job you have to do. If it causes so much stress, start looking for another job while working there.

You might not get paid or anything extra for pushing those "target" items; but I guarantee you, your managers have to put up with different or more crap than you do, hence why they're compensated differently.
RestaurantGuy on 01/29/2010:
I have to agree with everyone else here. It sounds like part of your job description is to sell these items. All they want you to do is what you said you would when they hired you. If you don't like it find somewhere else to work that you do not have to sell anything.
Skye on 01/29/2010:
I think the OP needs to find another cashier job, where she won't have to try to sell something.

jktshff1 on 01/29/2010:
While I agree it is part of the job, penalizing the employee for being unable to push a particular item sounds wrong. They are not commissioned employees. A reward system for making a $$ goal would seem more fair. I would be willing to bet that (if the figures are correct) a portion say 2% of the $10 mil went to the "line employee" the profits would be much greater. The OP made good points that at 6 am in the morning certain items are not going to sell. You got to admit that csr's and waiters aren't salespeople.
VH, thanks for the review and information.

Anonymous on 01/29/2010:
This kind of reminds me of when I worked at Mervyns. Your raise depended on how many accounts you opened per quarter. Well the Mervyns I worked at was in a Spanish speaking area. I speak some Spanish, but not enough to carry on a whole conversation with someone to open an account. So the Spanish speaking employees would get all the accounts. They even had a few employees walk around the store asking customers to open accounts. I always thought it was pretty unfair, but I dealt with it. I was good at everything else I did.
Cashier@106 on 05/18/2010:
I have worked other jobs, but working at Cracker barrel has been the worst experience. I worked at another retail store once and I KNOW the difference between trying to solicitate for credit card applications and trying to sell candies. Comparison between the two jobs is that the pay rate was same if not 10 cents more or less and both required to solicitate, which is why I got hired at Cracke Barrel in the first place. At least for credit card applications I got a little incentive myself which promoted me to ask more. Not only did we receive 2 dollars for every credit card app we got (approved or not) we also had legit competitions where the highest won gift cards and so on. The person is perfectly right and adding to that is Cracker Barrel is a horrible place to work at.
silv3rfox on 03/30/2011:
I don't like how Cracker Barrel has been doing on their decisions on how to make sales here in the past couple of years, but I'm glad I even have a job there. I've been there for 8 years...going on 9, and my home store (which I will keep anonymous) has had better service now then when I first started due to this "target item" program as well as the "seat to eat" program.

this is for future posts on this topic for future employees who are reading this, if you don't like how stuff is ran, take time from your day and find another place to go to work. don't spent it griping and being childish on the internet.

in fact just talking about how you hate Cracker Barrel on a public online site is against their policy if you are caught.
anothercashier on 08/08/2011:
I work there as well, I'm a cashier as well, I make it fun, I sell a lot, I never push, I only make it fun for me and the guest, if they say no, that's OK as well...been there a long time, its a good place to work, they are very good to me, I'm thankful I have the job!
PAR 4 on 11/10/2011:
Iv'e worked for Cracker barrel a long time now and Iv'e crossed trained as a cashier, server, cook, and retail. Not once have I seen or heard of something like this happening. First I do want to say I'm sorry, second I think it might be your store like at ours the cashiers have stuff by the cash registers to sell but we do not get our hours cut if we don't sell a lot of them. Also our managers and District manager are very down to earth about a lot of things. Our managers anything they gain at work they put back into work the tips they get from to go orders or stuff the store/restraint wins for being number 1 or 2 in the dis. they put all of it towards the store or employees.
notaslave on 03/22/2012:
I'm an employee at Cracker Barrel and notices that all the new host are skinny girls all under the age of 21 and they are now getting most of the hours.
notaslave on 03/22/2012:
I wish finding a job was that simple , but it not. If you have little experience and don't have degree yet your choices are slim.
disabled from occupation on 04/18/2012:
I worked for this crappy company. The management is very unprofessional in my book. I have been in this industry for a great many years, working for some high-profile establishments. I was told by the Cracker Barrel management that I was not liked. I responded by telling them that this was a first. However, I was not in this for popularity. On my last day, I was aked why I did not broadcast my disability upon the front of my application. Personally, I have never seen a 'spot' for that on any application. A manager that viewed this as being 'wrong' was terminated and ultimately lost his family due to the management of Cracker Barrel. I have recently graduated with my Associates degree in Restaurant Management, and I am now working on my Bachelors degree. My focus is to never run my business, or treat my employees like Cracker Barrel does. Unlike Cracker Barrel, I will be certain to adhere by the laws.
shay 69 on 04/28/2012:
they do this now, Cracker Barrel was a great comp. to work for a few years ago until the economy crashed now the moral is very low, long term employees feel they r trying to push us away so they don't have to pay benefits to us. I understand the need to keep up sales especially in this economy but the way employees are treated and threatened to loose hours is very stressful. take me a server who suffers from multiple anxiety disorders and I have a cognitive memory problem due to a disability. I do great most of the time and able to perform my job as well as most long term employees if not better, I do not use my disability to my advantage I try to overcome it, but if I make a simple mistake I'm threatened to loose hours, in fact 4 times in the last month as well as with a lot of other employees at the store all because its going into slow season and they have double the help they need for slow season, there is a sign posted on office about it. So what happens when you take someone with an anxiety disorder a almost give them a panic attack, they mess up even more due to the anxiety. Its such a shame that we cannot be treated like human beings, we get yelled at for getting a drink asked where were going if we need to use the bathroom, we have no breaks as servers but we aren't even allowed in break room for a snack or drink without being yelled at, there has been so many occasions where iv worked 8 hours and couldn't use bathroom...
Mad on 06/04/2012:
I worked as a server at Cracker Barrel for 3 weeks, that was enough for me!! First of all during my training I constantley saw several female servers crying, should have been my first clue....When you interview for this job it will sound like the BEST job EVER!! Do not be fooled! My trainer was very nice to me..but after 12 hours of training I was thrown to the wolves and out on my own. You are expected in the 15 minutes before your floor shift starts to unwrap 100 napkins and roll 100 silverwares!! (150 on the weekends!) Sorry but not going to happen!! So you get a table, within one minute of them sitting down you go out, greet your table, get their drink order AND pressure them to know their food order right away..yep..why need a menu??? You should know what you want before you walk in the door!! So then you put the order in and get their drinks. In the mean time you are being SCREAMED at to run food...you have to help run everyone elses food...so while they r being lazy in the break room you are running their food. Okay your table just got their food ... yay...you BETTER be back at that table within ONE yes ONE minute to drop off their check and say it is for their "convenience"!!!! Like youre saying "get the **** out" !! And guests look at you just like that. That is why you will not make good tips!!!!! OK, so now you are cut from the floor, you have side-work to do... no big deal! I understand you need to do this at any restaurant!! Well I got done with my shift at 8:15 pm, had my sidework done and everything. The server responsible for checking my side-work "didn't have time" for me for 45 minutes to check my work....SO meanwhile I am getting yelled at to run food and help other servers when I am only being paid $2.13 an hour for this! One day I was stuck 2 and a half hours past my cut time helping others for $2 an hour..so unethical... so at the end of the day you have to have 4 more signatures ..manager, silverware, sidework, and tables. Just like being babysat!!! Trust me I don't mind doing work!! I have been a server for years, and have always loved it, worked with nice people, had nice customers. Not at this job...give yourself more value than to work at this establishment!!!
sweetiepie on 06/04/2012:
CB treats there staff badly. My manager is the meanest person I have ever worked for. All the wait staff I work with work a different job and are looking to leave CB as soon as they can. If you have extremely low self esteem and like to work for no money, this is the perfect job for you. If you like yourself even a little-- do not even work here or eat here either.
moonpie on 07/06/2012:
here's my 3 cents... When a cashier's drawer is more than $4.99 short at the end of their shift, that amount is deducted from their paycheck. O.K...I understand that. BUT, if the cash drawer is OVER, that is alright and just goes into the company's bank account. Go figure.
ex-cracker barrel employe on 08/20/2012:
I worked there for 7 years. in several different stores. They are all ran the same way and for the most part the managers treat you the same..LIKE SH##.. There were a few that treated you like a human. Now what about when managers do wrong???? Like sleeping with there employee's???
loving cb on 11/01/2012:
I have worked as a server/host at CB for 5 years.I love my job! The very worst part is the way people tip!! Rolling silverware, doing sidework and running food is all part of the job which comes down to one thing which is TEAM WORK. For those that think that's hard work I would hate to see what your homes look like!
seriously on 11/04/2012:
I work at CB as a retail manager, we don't do target items anymore. that's for one, as far as being a cashier goes, the expecatation is to be interactive with the guest, its what we do. Many cashiers like the one that left this comment is the type that stand up front and lean and act like you asking them to do their job is a hassle. I love working at this company and ALL companys anywhere you go have bad managers, I've met hundreds in my nearly 20 years in the industry, for everyone one that is not nice there is 10 others that are great. When you take a job, read the fine print in the description of what you are going to be doing every day and you'll never be dissatified with it. Oh by the way we do not get free trips to disney, and weekends in honolulu, simply not true. the only way you can get incentives like that is to win total company contests and I got news, it takes a lot of teamwork, not cracking a whip at your staff. Also to note, many contests the company does run involve each staff member from retail and cash receiving a prize as well. Again all aout teamwork, same thing goes for being a server, and rolling silverware is part of how you are earning money, who else is going to do it for you, its for your guest you are serving and looking for a tip from, should the manager roll it for you? your not going to share the tip you receive are you, ask yourself that before you start to complain. TEAM WORK!!
brae hurst on 11/05/2012:
they are a group of nazis you can't eat a piece of bread without getting yell at it sucks at Cracker Barrel they don't care about you a woman lost her kid and they fired her
serverpar4 on 01/24/2013:
I have worked at Cracker Barrel for 3 years. I am a closer there 5 nights a week. I hate my job. I love the people I work with, and some of the management team very much. But, the rest really do treat you like crap. I've worked at 2 locations and I am currently back at my home store because the second location was so horrible. They tell you when you get hired on that they work around your schedule. so you tell them when you can and can not work. Easy enough right? Wrong. They constantly mess up my schedule and tell me that I need to figure it out. When I can't find someone to pick up my shifts that they schedule me for knowing I can not be there because we only have one car in our household that we share. They yell at me and treat me like a child, write me up for missing my shift and cut my hours the next week. When I say something to the GM about it, she says I need to talk to the scheduling manager, when I say something to him about it he says talk to the gm. its a never ending battle. I bust my ass there every single night I work. I know it is a high stress job sometimes but there is absolutely no reason for the managers to speak to their employees the way that they do. They demand respect from us yet they refuse to show us any whatsoever. The management make it a stressful environment Not the amount of work, or even the disgruntled customers. But when we have to get yelled at by our customers because the grill cooks mess up an order (Or sometimes a server will ring it in wrong) and then come back to the server aisle and get screamed at by a manager to the point we are in tears, it's disgusting. The cooks, hosts, dishwashers all get a "Great Job" from the management at the end of a busy hour even if it was a disaster, but the servers get, "you guys had so many mess ups it wasn't even funny, you didn't turn your tables over fast enough so we didn't make goal hours you should be ashamed of yourselves!" when we are the ones having to make the guests happy. I had a lady yell at me once because I forgot honey mustard. I was the only sever on the floor and I had 10 tables go down within 7-8 minutes. she not only yelled at me but yelled at the manager for not having enough people working. I in turned got screamed at for making the guests unhappy and "causing a scene". I burnt my hand with extremely hot tea grounds once because someone ran into me while I was trying to throw them away, the entire back of my right hand was covered with second degree burns. it took me 20 minutes to get the manager into the office to file an accident report and then the whole time we were in there he was texting his girlfriend and ignoring me. an hour later I finally get to the ER. 2 days later when I'm back at work with my hand wrapped. He looks at it and says I thought you were just over acting and being too extreme by crying like that the other day. I unwrapped my hand and showed him the blisters and blackened skin and said " does this look like I over acted?" and walked away. CB has no regard for its employees whatsoever. The only reason I stay there is because it's a job and I have a family to take care of and until I finish School, CB it is.
C.Ranft on 03/11/2013:
Thanks for all of the comments. I have been a customer for the length of time CB has been in my area, as well as the times we travel across country. I have seen negative changes in the stores, much to my dismay. Now that I realize some of the changes are personnel demanded, we will no longer frequent CB stores. Competitors will gain our business.
slave to cb on 04/23/2013:
open 364 days a year...no raise unless you par test...0 over time...and when you do get a raise your hours get cut..in that position....when back of the house meets a goal HR...we get free Soda....Management gets a bonus...I guess that's what you get when the company is on the NYSE
crazymama on 06/08/2013:
Sever and everything else I can do for CB. I understand and feel everyone's pain. Yes., there are still goal hours to be met. For food sales and retail. Any one that says different better go back to school. All businesses have goals to meet or beat. That is the way it works to be profitable.
Yes., I do agree that management is crappy at best. They do nothing to help support the service staff at all. The ones that run like crazy and help out the 4stars as they sit around and do "back" work in order to get out on time should be promoted and the 4stars should be DEMOTED. Just saying. I personally have been yelled at from managers because I'm over on my allowed time after I have been cut. Why? I'm running food so it gets to the guests aka customers hot and not congealed/cold. Helping take orders and prepping trays as others don't care about customer service. Sorry, I was not raised that way. I put my guests needs before mine. CB has a lot to learn about hospitality. We are so focused on pleasing people, but we do not please our internal guests as we do our external guests. I have been reprimanded over this and am ready to go to home office and speak my mind about it. The ones that work the hardest are punished by having hours taken away. It is true, no joke, no lie. I am looking to better myself, going back to school and leaving CB behind. Good luck and GodBless
restrauntmngrwife on 06/17/2013:
My husband was a manager for Cracker Barrel for almost 2 years. It was by far the worst management position he has had in the past 8 years. If his GM wasn't yelling about something the regional and district managers were. The hours were so not worth the pay. He may have made $9 an hour when you actually figure the hours he worked, there were never any bonuses since he worked in very small town low population and older building so the "bonus" money alvays went to repairs. He would close and get home at 1-3 am and open the next day being at work at the latest 6am. His slowest week was 72 hours.
We've talked to many of the managers he met in training and it is no better at their locations.
Rowdy on 07/05/2013:
As a customer, I HATE it when they ask me if I want candy after I JUST ATE!! When I found out that they are forced to push candy on people, it really pissed me off. To punish employees because people who JUST ATE don't want any candy is BS!!
sleeper47 on 07/18/2013:
I have been working at c.b. for two years now.I love the managers who help out. of course they have their favorite people too.and that is the problem. I wish I could be them.(the favorites) I still am number one in sales for 12 weeks and I will continue tobe this way.I enjoy my guests.they always come back and ask for me.which I appreciate. I make enough for my family.even though the hours are long.Ido it because it makes me happy.and will continue as long as the hours are there.I don't like the favorite people. only wish it was me.!!!!.I average about 600 a week. enough for my family. thank you.for having a place for Mr to vent. Reeses.47
Shelby on 07/23/2013:
I worked in the dishroom at my store for almost ten months. I literally only missed one day in that time disreguarding the day I got fired. I told all managers including the GM and the district manager that if I'm scheduled to close one night and be back the next morning I would be very unproductive because of mu severe insomnia. This past weekend on Saturday night we broke records as far as business and sales so naturally I got out late from the dishroom. When I set foot at home I had to be back there in 8 hours. It sounds nice but I laid in bed every bit of that wide awake. That morning as I was getting ready to go into work and I decided to just see if I was able to nap at all (considering I had already been up 24 hours) and with three sepearate alarms set I actually fell asleep and slept through them and all the way through the 9 hour shift at work. I called and one of the regular managers understood and said we could talk in the morning about it. When I got there my gm asked to talk to me and basically said it was "irrisponsible" to do what I did. There was no prior warning no second chance or anything. I was fired before I could do anything. The bad part about it is that several other employees never showed several weekends in a row and they still had a job. Completely unfair.
Panda360 on 08/05/2013:
Well, I am a cashier at Cracker Barrel as well and yes we have target items to try to sell, doesn't everyone??? Retail sales are totally separate from Restaurant sales and we do suggestive selling. But if you handle it right most of the guests don't mind. Does it get annoying sometimes, sure but doesn't everything? Personally I think Cracker Barrel is a GREAT place to work. I've been there 1 1/2 years so far and everyone from District Management to Store Management to fellow employees has been nothing but nice to me. It's a fun place to work. Granted it is not my full time job, but it's a place I can go and talk to the guests and fellow employees and provide a smile and a good experience and in return leave feeling like I've gained as much as I've given. Personally I like Cracker Barrel and am proud to be part of my team at store 415 in Shelbyville, KY
Panda360 on 08/05/2013:
oh, and by the way.... yes we constantly hear we need to sell and keep our sales up, we have hourly goals and individual goals, but if you do the best you can that's all anyone can expect. Again, they are in business to make money and keep our guests happy.
Jen on 09/02/2013:
I could not believe my eyes! I live out of town and we stopped in at Cracker Barrel in Frankfort, KY to eat and when we entered the building this little lady yelled out behind one of the displays "Welcome to Cracker Barrel, don't forget to visit our Retail after you eat". My husband and I both made a comment of how loud she was and not so professional. We we got through eating we experenced someone we never thought of, there was a lady in high, high heal shoes claiming up on the display cabinet next to the window stocking, she was dressed in tight clothing and we made a comment she could fail and one of the store people, said "O" that the Retail Manager. We could not believe she would be dressed so unappropriate and climbing like that. What happen to Cracker Barrel "Dress Code" for Managers and Employees?
Yume on 09/11/2013:
I have worked at a Cracker Barrel for about a year, and I can say the sugary sweetness left with my old retail manager. Since her leaving, we have lost over fifteen cashier and retail, and that is not even combined. The managers get to eat whenever they deem it and will do so together. A cashier whether it be three or just one cannot take the fifteen minute break requirement because it will not do for the managers. Ask if you can go to a funeral or a person in your family's surgery and you just find out, you're out of luck and they will give you attitude. As for togo in the place I work, restaurant doesn't do it, it's the cashier's who have to go and get the food. We have to apologize for everything so the guest will be happy. Only when they want to start to point fingers do they start yelling at us. They don't get on restaurant, it's us. I do it so guest won't have to wait there forever for cold food. The managers won't come out and say sorry, they will only hide in the back eating, and then take it out on us once they have us in the back. Cursing at us too if they really feel steamed up. I hate that place with a passion. Glad I'm gone.
Storm93 on 09/20/2013:
I've been a server at Cracker Barrel for 3 years.. I started on my 18th bday. I'm going to school now and cannot believe that I stayed with the company for that long. I know what you mean about the candies. Every time I would get my tips I felt bad for the cashiers and I would try and help them out. I'm not sure how retail works because it really is a different part of the store. I thought about leaving the company then I heard how much the GM's make. Now I want to climb the ladder and take his job. It's just business I guess. They too have families to feed. If my job was to make sure we sold something every hour by golly we are going to sell something. It's just not meant for some people. If I become manager come to my store we will be #1 and I'll split my bonus with the employees.
Xxx on 10/04/2013:
Believe me the hours are small and the money even smaller
sean on 10/17/2013:
Never really thought the food was that great. Interactions with management always rubbed me the wrong way. Definitely won't be going back again after reading some of these comments from the employees.
JAR on 10/17/2013:
I have worked with CB 2 years.. and today I am totally beyond frustrated.. no schedule at all.. and there reasoning is oh must be an oversight on our part will look into it, and also says if we have any hours for you will give them to you.. this is after them cutting my hours to 5 hours a week, I filed partial unemployment and then they gave me more hours about 22 to 25 a week then. As well as them giving no breaks no lunches after I have worked 12 to 14 hours a day at times, several times my shift was to end at 11, I didn't get out to 3 or 4 am.. again no break no lunch, manager stated I didn't ask for one!!! I have asked to take my tests needs for my raise, was told well have to get with this person, etc.. and it never happens. So last week my shift was to end at 2:30 on Tuesday.. they didn't have next guy scheduled to come in till 5:00 I go to leave and manager wants everything in dish room caught up.. and asked me if it was I told him no.. and I left work at 2:45.. suppose that is now why I have no schedule, but I am not fired.. Cracker Barrel does not like me and wants rid of me, says my work ethic.. and uniform.. uniform is washed every time and clean.. but guess they want a new outfit for every shift.. BULL Crap Cracker Barrel you suck!!
yournamehere on 11/18/2013:
I've only been working for Cracker Barrel for 3 months and I hate it! they push there employees arounf and bully them. they always have an attitude about everything. for an example we ran out of tartar sauce on a Friday night and I started to make more. The manager walks by and immediately starts off with "is that your side work or did we run out?" that wasn't bad but its the way she asked me. attitude right off the bat. also I was working and started my monthly. without knowing. I went to takw a "guest" order and a person told me I had blood on my pants. instaed of immediately sending me home. they tell me to cover it up with my apron. I HAVE BLOOD ON MY PANTS! I hate working for them!
carmen on 11/19/2013:
Last year when I was unemployed from my regular position as a nanny, I worked at a Cracker barrel. I have worked in the past as a server, and have lots of experience . I have never experienced anything like working at a Cracker Barrel. they make it sound really good and pleasant, but the training is extensive, on a computer as well as meetings, By the way, the training pays more than the job itself. They don't have a bar, so the tips never really accumulate to much, especially since most guests are traveling and you will never see them again. They tell you that every table be waited on within two minutes of them sitting down, and to really be speedy and leave the check right when the order is put in, so that you can get them out of there in 20 minutes! That's a reasonable amount of time to go to a restaurant to enjoy a meal and just eat and get out as soon as possible! They have a really complex computer system which takes forever to fully comprehend. At the end of the night you need to clean up stations and have some kitchen duties, which is not all that uncommon, but they have three people check your work, and have to sign a paper. I was there very night for over an hour. performing these chores and searching for these managers to check and sign the sheet. I felt like a piece of crap. you can eat there for half price an d the area where you eat is just a storage room with boxes and dollys fm the trucks cramped all over and there are no tables, just a counter built against the wall with some folding chairs, the bathroom and lockers are two feet away. Its depressing and sad that people have to work under these conditions. Found a nanny position within 6 weeks and got out of there fast. They are not very nice .
Miranda on 12/16/2013:
I have worked for Cracker Barrel since 2001, and I love it. It is my part-time job now, and I am a teacher, so I work on holidays, Saturdays, and during the summer. I have worked at 4 different stores since 2001, and I have enjoyed all of them. It is a restaurant, and there are moments where things aren't perfect, but my managers have my back, and I love the company. If an employee has an issue with how a store is being run, such as retail manager cutting hours if a cashier didn't sell enough target items, then all they have to do is call home office. Home office will have your back 100% if your store isn't falling policy. But if you are unhappy, just leave the company and let someone who believes in it work there and get the hours. Cracker Barrel has always worked around my schedule, but I am not a lazy employee, I actually work and work hard, so I love it.
fharringtkn on 12/29/2013:
I have worked at cb for almost 8 years and I make great money, you make your money from your guests so you can make as much as you want. And I work Monday through Friday 7-2' perfect schedule
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Worst Job I Have Ever Had
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE -- I worked at Cracker Barrel for 5 years. Recently, I moved and transferred to a new location. I was a Par 4 server (the highest you can get). Everything everyone has said here is true in regards to how they treat their employees. At first, I thought the managers were great. But, I should have remembered...they are ALL nice to you when you first start. After a month or so, the reality unfolds. Servers are run like dogs and talked to even worse. What we are expected to do...most people would never do. They are so concerned about numbers and labor, that they will cut the floor so drastically, that a server ends up with a TEN table station. How can you expect to get good or even "decent" service when your server has TEN other tables to take care of? On top of all that, we are expected to run...not just our tables' food...but everyone else's food too. We are responsible for answering the phone to take "to go" orders and putting those orders together, as well. At the same time, we are trying to keep the service alley stocked. Oh and in these mid afternoon hours...they send the salad/dessert person home. So, the servers have to make salads, soups and desserts too! All while the managers sit in the office. Every once in a while, one manager will come out of the office and tell us that we need to "step it up" and "run more food". How can you have 4 servers take care of the whole restaurant and keep up with all of this? It's IMPOSSIBLE! That's why service sucks most of the time. They don't care that we are there to make tips and provide good service. That is not their concern. If you really believe CB is about caring and family....you are SORELY wrong. That is what they want you to think. But, behind the scenes....it is OPPOSITE.

I have never been written up before. I was fired because I had to go out of town on a last minute emergency situation. I called HOURS before my scheduled shift and was told not to bother coming back and "good luck". HOWEVER...the manager left me on the schedule. Quite confusing. But, I had a suspicion...and I was correct. He wanted to make it seem like I did a "no call, no show". And I was right. I called Home Office and left a message and someone called me back a week later. I explained what happened and was told they would "look into it and get back to me". Never heard from them again. Let me be clear...I was not looking to get my job back. I just wanted them to know what was going on in this store.

Being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. I felt like I was dying inside working there. I have a great new job that I love. Cracker Barrel is where servers go to die. Period. That's why their turn over is one of the highest in the industry. Sure, you have a few that have been there for countless years...but, most of those people have been there so long, and they are older people...and they don't want to go off and try to find a new job and start over new. Understandable. Most of them are so beaten down and it's sad.

I didn't realize how much working at CB was affecting me mentally until I left. I'm sleeping better, I'm happy again....and I'm not looking back.
     
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Paul on 06/24/2014:
I frequented CB locations in 1999 to 2005. I had numerous bad experiences, which are consistent with what you report from the employee's side. I finally gave up and resolved to no longer eat at CB.

I don't miss being ignored by overworked servers while trying to catch their attention, food poisoning due to improper storage of salad dressing, poor food preparation. I haven't thought about this for years - it's all flooding back. I would recommend people not eat there, if they care about decent service and food.
nezza42076 on 07/07/2014:
I'm sorry you had to experience bad service. No customer should receive bad service anywhere. Customer service SHOULD be top priority of every business. The sad thing for employees that work for places like CB, is that they simply can not provide good service, because they are being over worked and have too big of a station. I've never met a server who WANTS to give bad service. What would be the point? We are all there to make money! It's the fault of the company and their overwhelming desire to overlook anything but money. Even at the sacrifice of their guests. Thanks for your reply. :)
Sam J on 08/18/2014:
You explained Cracker Barrel better than any person ever. Every single think you said is true. I worked for Cracker Barrel for 6 terrifying months and I would seriously rather turn tricks on the street corner than EVER work there again. It is the land of crap.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Terrible Place to Work
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- I recently became a former employee of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, & I just thought I'd share a few things for soon to be employees, current employees and even some customers if they care to read this.

I worked at Cracker Barrel for four and a half months and at first I liked it. I thought it was a friendly and simple, just a part time job while I'm in school full time becoming a teacher. When I got hired I was assured by the general manager that they are more than willing to work with school schedules because most of their employees are in college just like me etc.
Well come to find out, school is coming and I gave him my new Availability Form and the general manager pulled me aside and said unless I become more available for him mostly working later, then my hours would be extremely cut more than they already are even though I'm only part time unless I trained to do another position such as hosting.

I'm an adult and I'm willing to compromise even know he straight up lied to me and its not working with my school schedule I agree to cross train for Hostess so I can get some hours. However, a lot of favoritism has and still is going on at that location that I worked at, old employees get away with everything don't follow the rules that they pressed upon new employees to follow, they constantly break the rules all the time, crappy customer service get away with everything never get reprimanded for anything or written up when they should have been fired.

There is a lot of shady business is happening in the kitchen a waiter who was [snip] off by a table of customers put Visine drops in their drinks. Some of the cooks pick their nose or cough and do not wear gloves and handle the food. The managers are some of the biggest [snip] I have ever worked for. They try to write people up for crap that other employees who been there longer do all the time and give write ups for something they didn't even do only for the simple fact that they weren't aware or didn't hear you over the Walkie Talkie.

They want us to announced over the Walkie Talkie when we need to go to the restroom like were in kindergarten even though there's no line and there's another person at the register they still want you to page them. So, I always page them every single time me and one other girl are the only ones that have done it every single time and one of the managers had the nerve to try to issue me a write up saying I never paged him even the other cashier acknowledged that I did I don't have all the time in the world to wait for him to wait for a response to my page sometimes he didn't even wear his radio or had turned all the way down which is not my responsibility. So I told them to shove that write up his [snip] and It belonged to the other cashier since she leaves the register all the time unannounced to screw around in the back.

They try to discredit honest responsible adults who were working there such as myself, but let little [snip] with no responsibilities or children or bills to pay get away with murder & give them a set schedule. And they let people who have warrants for their arrest work there just like that cashier at that store.

It's downright crooked, hypocritical and a little bit of racist. I had to put an old fart manager in check for always being rude and sarcastic even when you ask him for help & he never messed w me again because I was right. I didn't get paid enough for that BS. Plus, the retail manager try to pressure you into selling the retail department products so he can get his bonus. We were never told during our interview or orientation that we had to sell anything or have a quota. A lot of shady [snip] at this restaurant I will never dine there again and I will always put them on blast on Facebook.
     
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DebtorBasher on 09/09/2013:
Did you report the people who were picking their nose and putting Visine in people's drinks? If you seen them doing this and didn't say anything to them, or reported them...or STOPPED them from serving the Visine tainted drink to the customer...you are just as guilty as they were. So, I'm hoping you reported them or did something about it.
ajohanford on 09/09/2013:
Actually, I did report that to a " trainer" the ppl that wear maroon aporons and they said they handled it. I even asked a few days later about it and was told was my word against his! Un-believable!
clutzycook on 09/09/2013:
Sounds like you're better off being away from there.
John Nicholson on 09/09/2013:
From your long list of complaints it is rather obvious that you are under the mistaken impression that just because you are going to school Cracker Barrel should work around YOUR schedule and when they find it difficult or impossible to do so, you unload with a whole series of petty complaints. You have a serious attitude problem and a juvenile sense of entitlement. Your success in life is problematical unless you change your ways.
Soaring Consumer on 09/10/2013:
For complaints of that nature like food tampering and poisoning you should go to the police department.
ajohanford on 09/13/2013:
I mentioned to corporate about the visine and un-hygienic behavior from some of the staff there and they said they'll "look" into it. So if a customer gets the runs I hope they sue.
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StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Annoying patrons, slow service, and mediocre food
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
A few weeks ago I stopped for lunch the local Cracker Barrel. I eat there about twice a month, and have had no problems at all until that day. As usual, it was very busy, I went to the Hostess stand and noticed that there were at least 15 parties ahead of me, but as asked how long the wait would be, I was informed that it would be about 10 minutes, I had my doubts about that given the lengthy waiting list, but agreed to wait anyway. Turns out the Hostess was correct, they rattled through with the list with surprising speed, and about 9 minutes later my name was called, actually it was and it wasn't. Apparently there were two people there with the same name, myself, and another person, a funny coincidence, however they said they could seat me right then anyway.

I was seated at a small two person table, not a problem as it was just myself eating, and they were very busy. The waitress comes up to me and takes my drink order, and leaves. About that time a party of 6 is seated at the table next to mine, the party consists of a middle aged gentleman probably about 40-50 years old, a younger gentleman who looked to be in his late 20's early 30's, an elderly lady, an older lady (around 60-70 years old), an infant, and little girl, who was probably around 5 or 6. This is when the trouble began.

The waitress brings my drink, takes my order and leaves again. Normally this Cracker Barrel has pretty quick service; it's rare that I have to wait more than 7-10 minutes for my food. But as I mentioned, they were slammed today so I was fully expecting to wait a bit longer. As I was waiting for my food, the middle aged gentleman at the table next to mine starts loudly talking about how was in the skybox seats at Redskins game to anyone within shouting distance, and then starts going into great detail about his experiences at Fed Ex field last week. I feel something hit my head, nothing painful, but something did hit me, I look on the ground and there's a straw wrapper there. I look over at the table where the loud Redskins fan was sitting and the younger gentleman there is throwing a giggle fit, he has a straw in his hand. I ignore it.

By this time it's been 15 minutes since I ordered my food. The waitress stops by again, and says that they are running behind in the kitchen; understandable. Another 5 minutes pass and I'm hit with spitball, again I glance over at the table next to mine, this time both the middle age man and the younger man are smiling. At this point, I'm starting to lose patience. But I figure my food will be here at any time, and making scene in a crowded restaurant would just make things worse for everyone. And there may have been a possibility that the younger man had a mental disability. The place is so busy, they even have the managers sweeping the floor. So again I decided to let it go.

25 minutes have now passed since I ordered. The waitress stopped by again to let me know that she's not sure why food isn't ready yet. And a few minutes later she came back and said that the kitchen had thought they had already sent my order out, and they are making it right now.

After about 35 minutes my food arrives, it's obviously a bit undercooked, and not exactly piping hot. I eat it anyway, it tasted okay, but not as good as usual. After I finish, I wait any additional 10-15 minutes for the waitress to bring me the check. As I get up front my seat I notice about 3 more spitballs on the floor, apparent misses. I pay my check and leave.

Obviously my experience today wasn't the best. However I'm not going to write off Cracker Barrel or make a knee-jerk reaction like swearing not to go there ever again or anything. Because, of the 30 or so times I've been to this location, this is the first the experience wasn't great. And it's not really Cracker Barrel's fault, that there were two jackasses at the table next to mine, it's not like the Hostess or waiters knew they were going to behave like that. I can also understand the slower than usual service, however the miscue in the kitchen, and the lackluster food were mistakes on their part.

Had the place been less busy, I would've had some words with the two gentleman sitting next to me. But today, it would've been just another headache for the employees to deal with and probably would've resulted in even slower service for everyone else in the restaurant as at least a manager would've had to come address the situation. In this situation, I felt that it was going to be better for everyone if I just let it go.
     
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genobeno2005 on 06/07/2013:
Very informative.
With all of that going on, I would have at least have asked for a comp on the meal.

Trust me, undercooked food can be dangerous!
John Nicholson on 06/07/2013:
You made a huge mistake in not confronting the rug rats about the spitballs. No excuse for it. It's called manners.
FoDaddy19 on 06/07/2013:
I agree that their behavior was unacceptable. However, had I made a scene over it, and gotten the staff or manager involved, then chances are everyone else in the restaurant would've been impacted by it. Had it not been as busy as it was, I would've handled the situation more decisively. But in this instance I decided that the situation was already bad enough, and it was best just to cut my losses rather than risking the situation getting even worse for everyone involved. You have to look at the big picture and weigh the possible outcomes. I decided that having one person (me) having a crappy lunch beats having 50 people having a crappy lunch.
Yusten on 06/08/2013:
Very nice of you to be so considerate, but you also didn't deserve that abuse. I would have definitely had words with anyone shooting spitballs at me. The first one, OK, but over and over? That's disrespect I can't allow.
Ashley on 07/04/2014:
I completely agree with you, right now it's about selling yakee candles, which is actually really hard because no one wants to spend 30 bucks on a candle. We don't get breaks either. I worked a ten hour shift last week and got to sit down once to pee. We aren't allowed to keep drinks by the register anymore, so to get a drink we have to walk all the way through the store and kitchen back to the break room to get it. But when you're the only cashier for 10 hours you can't leave the register unattended meaning you don't get to even drink anything while working and scripting and all of that. I am so fed up with this place it's, but I need the job so I deal with it, but these company policies have to change, soon.
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The server walk
Posted by on
JOPLIN -- I have worked for Cracker Barrel for 15 yrs and I used to like to work there. then some idiot came up with this seat to eat. Now we have no time to do anything besides do the mile long server walk. This means we have to go from the server isle to the front of the restaurant each and every time we leave the server isle. We are supposd to be able to spend more time with our guests but you can't because you have to take care of everyone elses tables before you go back. Then when you get into the back you have to run food whether it is yours or not and if you are getting drinks you have drop them and run food so now your guests will get their food before you get them their drinks. and you are constantly getting yelled at by managers. now if your guests ask for a salad you have to wait for a grill cook to decide if they have time to make it.
Now let's talk managers they donot care about employees any more it's all about their bonuses which can be up to $10,000 for a general manager. Making food costs and payroll is all they care about anymore. they make us short handed just to lower labor and then the rest of us don't even have time to get a drink and all they say is handle it or we will get somebody who will. we have lost a lot of good employees since this seat to eat started and we are also losing guests. Some of these people have been coming since this store opened 17 yrs ago they do not like these changes.
the worst part is the managers attitudes especially our GM who think he is god and even if you are sick he expects you to be on the job and gets really nasty about it. Always threatening you with your job if you call off for any reason. I am searching for a job which I really do not want to do but because of our managers bad attitudes we are losing guests and therefore money in our pockets. I can't afford to work their any more
     
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leet60 on 03/03/2011:
"... Making food costs and payroll is all they care about anymore..."

I have to point out, that this is one of the basic business tenets that make a restaurant successful.

The "server walk" does sound ridiculous, but it seems the real issue is that some servers may not be taking care of their customers and the OP has to pick up the slack.
trmn8r on 03/03/2011:
I don't have the time or energy to figure out exactly what your job now entails, but I can describe the frustration I experienced as a customer before I gave up on C-Barrel.

I was a regular at three different locations, and had this problem at all. Often, it seems I arrived (maybe 8-8:30pm?) when my server was doing side work in the kitchen or a server switchover occurred. I would be seated in an at least half empty restaurant, and no server. Other servers whisked by, either not looking at me or blankly meeting my eyes, and then walking by. Another problem was my server disappearing during the meal, again, to do side work.

In my opinion, they needed some kind of system to at least address the customer who has not yet been seen by a server. How hard is it for a server in an adjacent section to yell out "Yo, customer seated at table 47 - no server!"?

I thought the system sucked, because the problem was constant. Not the servers' fault (evidently), but quite rude.
Anonymous on 03/03/2011:
I have no problem with managers making employees work at work.
Venice09 on 03/04/2011:
The conditions you describe sound unpleasant. If the customers are also unhappy and business declines, you might find yourself with a new GM. In the meantime, with 15 years experience, I'm sure you won't have trouble finding another job. I would at least start looking.

Good luck!
Skye on 03/04/2011:
Sometimes change is a good thing. Sometimes it is not. This sounds like change you definitely do not like.

Who's the idiot, who came up with the seat to eat?
trmn8r on 03/04/2011:
This is a complicated complaint. Maybe others who have been in the business understand it, but frankly I don't. From my reading, the restaurant would come to a grinding halt. I'd like to reading a training handout on exactly what seat to eat entails for servers.
momsey on 03/04/2011:
What is seat to eat and how does it differ from how things were done before?
Venice09 on 03/04/2011:
I don't understand it either, but the OP sounds like she knows what she's talking about and has enough experience at CB to support her opinion.
trmn8r on 03/04/2011:
Good question momsey. As I wrote above, I found the service procedures/management to be quite lacking at CB. All I can think is that a change may have been made to improve the experience for customers. But it is difficult, in this space, to fully describe the then and now.
Venice09 on 03/04/2011:
Some of the customers don't like it either and aren't returning.
trmn8r on 03/04/2011:
Venice -> I agree, and I didn't mean to diminish the OP's complaint. I view it pretty much as an employee/employer issue, but it involves customers as well.

I would reiterate that the main reason I stopped going to CB 4 years ago is that I felt the way servers were managed left me sitting without a server for lengthly periods on a significant percentage of visits (maybe 3 of 10). People left because of the old model, also. Sounds like they need more tweaking.
Venice09 on 03/04/2011:
Trmn, I was only at a CB restaurant once, years ago, somewhere in the South, and I really don't remember much about it. But I wonder what's different about CB. Do other restaurants have this problem?
trmn8r on 03/04/2011:
Venice - I frequented them for about 4 years. As you know, I have frequented several other chains as well. All I can tell you is that CB IS different, or they were.

I had several experiences where nobody seemed to know whose section I was in, my server was doing some kitchen cleanup, instead of coming to greet me and ask about a beverage, seated with a poorly prepared sandwich and waiting for the server so it could be remade, etc etc. It was horrendous. And that business where I sat waiting to be greeted for 15 minutes, while other servers walked right past looking at me, THAT really ground my engines. And that happened several times as well, at different locations.
trmn8r on 03/04/2011:
I frequented locations in MD, PA and NJ. MD is considered the South, ya know (-: I only ate a few items off the menu - the grilled chiken sandwich was my favorite, with honey mustard dressing, pickels and mayo. A bit of sweet and sour. No grits or hashbrowns for me.
Venice09 on 03/04/2011:
Trmn, it sounds like they're in dire need of an efficiency expert or some kind of coordinator because nothing seems to be working. This is interesting. I never realized CB was different from any other restaurant.
trmn8r on 03/04/2011:
The bizarre thing is that they are so popular. I tried not to go when the place was mobbed - you would guess that you wouldn't be sitting there without a server at prime time, but it comes with other equally annoying issues.

However, if the restaurant closed at 10pm, and I come in to dine at 8pm or 8:30, I don't expect there to be a problem getting some face time. I readily admit that my complaint would not apply to rush hour.
SUNNY MOON on 06/02/2011:
I AGREE WITH U COMLETELY SEAT TO EAT IS A RICULOUS PROCEDURE. I HAVE BEEN A SEVER AT CRACKERBARREL FOR 5 YEARS NOW AND THIS NEW CHANGE HAS BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN OUR STORE AS WELL. YOU ARE CORRECT THERE IS NO TIME TO INSURE YOUR GUEST'S NEEDS WHEN U HAVE U MAKE THSES TRIPS AROUND THE DINING ROOM. CRACKERBARREL IS A MONEY HUNGRY COMPANY WITH ONLY DOLLAR SIGNS ON THE MIND. THEY HAVE NO COMPASSION OF A PLEASANT GUEST EXPERINCE. THE ONLY THING OUR MANAGERS ARE PROGRAMED TO ENCOURAGE IS TURING TABLE TO ACHIEVE A GOAL HOUR. I PERSONALLY WON'T JEPARDIZE MY GUEST'S COMFORT BY RUSHING THEM IN AND OUT TO JUST TO PLEASE OUR COMPANY. I FIND IT APOLING THAT OUR MANAGERS EVEN ENOURAGE SUCH ABRUPT BEHAVIOR. I FIND IT RIDULOUS THAT USAS EMPLOYEES OF THE COMPANY FOR SO MANY YEARS CAN SEE HOW UNPRODUCTIVE THESE ACTIONS ARE. OUR MISSION STATEMENT IS SUPPOSED TO BE"PLEASING PEOPLE", YET INTURN MORE GUEST ARE COMING DISAPPOINTED IN THE NEW CHANGES.
SERVER on 06/15/2011:
with this seat to eat you spend more time running others food, not only that getting the guest everything that table needs, when returning to my tables only to find they had their food and were ready to leave without see me there server,,, I also had guest ask who do I tip you cause you have brought the food refills etc. or the servers I first gave my order to... and yes the managers are yelling most of the time, if a new manager is nice they do not last long, the employees who do stay for a while only start to act like the managers, "run this food now" YES I see why they are always hiring,,, what I don't understand if it really does cost around 1000 to train why would CB want such a turn over, and yes you do have to suck up to the management to get any hours
server on 12/17/2011:
I have to agree with most comments here, I have worked in food service for 20 years and have never been screamed at and made to feel as if your nothing, the GM watches the employees to find something they did wrong, then they have a ETC that is a joke, maybe they should see if she can even do the job they are training new employees to do,,, I know from my time at my store our ETC has done nothing but try to turn employees against one and another, the worst is when I was asked by her do I know where to get pot or pills or I had any, and this is professional,, I only stay at this point cause the job markets sucks, and CB is hiring every week,,,now we know why.
hagfan on 12/22/2011:
lots of favortisim if your in your in if your not you never will be.....worst job I ever had.
Amy on 05/23/2012:
I have worked at cb for 5 yrs. seat to eat in my store keeps guest from waiting for ever to get their food. Also we are taught that all tables belong to all employees so the host and servers are responsible for making sure you don't sit forever waiting for service. The servers don't have to walk around to all the tables. They are just told that when a guest ask for something you get it even if they are not in your section. How would you feel if you were told by a server I won't get you what you want because you are not my table. Also my management including the gm and district manager are amazing. I may have heard my gm yell once. He does get a bonus for hitting goal hours. But my management is very encouraging and soft hearted people.
phillytz on 08/21/2012:
Cracker Barrel is like most corporate chains, which have presidents/ ceo's and the like, creating this illusion of shared prosperity for the staff and cb guests. I live in San Antonio, and right next to cb is Jims restaurant, very similar menu and clientele. I feel much more of an "old time" or "old time country" atmosphere at Jims rather than Cb. I mean look at all that crap they have for sale as you walk in, granted some of it is sort of neat n nostalgic, but its mostly junk that you can find at wal Mart. Not to mention the product loss prevention nightmare it might be to maintain and track. What's "old time country" about a host that wears a headset in a shop that sells New release dvd's?
local gal on 02/10/2013:
I worked there for 15 months as host, it has its good and bad like any job. I will say this, if you do everything that is expected of you, you never finish and you never stop. The GM was strict but fair, Everyone was overworked. The Host job was run by bullies. I quit after countless conflict with a socipath. Best thing abot the job was hands down, the customers. This was not the worst job I have ever had but it was one of the hardest.
crazymama on 06/08/2013:
Yep sounds about right! Crazy policies from people who do not work the real world...I would love to see our GM or DM serve for a week! That'll teach'em!
Itsaratracetheratswon on 05/07/2014:
Where to begin? At the beginning I had high hopes, the first person I asked how they liked working at Cracker Barrel said "I don't know why I keep coming back.". That was the same answer of everyone I asked. It was exaxtly as every one else here commented on. Filthy and led by managers who ruled by intimidation. The managers were so robotic and caught up in company policy that I wondered if they had a heartbeat or even the slightest ability to think on their own.

It is hard to understand how they are such a successful chain. Yes, I did well there. Cross trained in several departments, mentioned as a manager candidate, grasped every brass ring put in my sights. But I had to leave or lose my mind. Managers make A LOT of money there, but they are dead inside, visibly worn out and come and go more so than the hourly employees.

Keep looking for work elsewhere. They will use you up.
charles baracco on 05/23/2014:

all the years i have eating your wonderful pancakes, i finally bought a box of mix. i made them this morning. i thought i was in heaven and god gave me my first breakfast wow just like eating at the barrell
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Cashier at 106
Posted by on
I started working at Cracker Barrel around August of last year (now I am a par II) at which point I did not know about the companys' turnover rates or anything else for that matter about the good-ol'-country-store. When I first started training, it was all about "pleasing people" but when I got to the usual work day experience, it all came down to the dollar and how much you could generate for the company. As a restaurant, I shouldn't have been surprised for my displeasure but I regret ever getting the interview call from my manager. Cracker Barrel is a really horrible place to work at. Employees get no incentive and not to mention no appreciation either. I had had a few problems with an MIT (manager in training) who later became an associate manager. He was a very disrespectful man but of course, not every Cracker Barrel has the same issues. After a few months of looking at how desperate I was with the whole job market I chose to keep the job and just hang in there but things got from worse to really messed up when as a joke he said to me that he should fire me for not doing as he says (which btw, was to have my cash drawer bills facing in one direction), and that was two hours after I was supposed to go home. I later, I admit I shouldn't have, called him a jerk for which I got written up for.

Cracker Barrel company policies enable the managers to treat their employees like slaves or worse. Previously when I had asked if I could go home at the time I was scheduled to go home I received a lecture at how that was only a "suggested" time and how the manager could keep me for as long as he/she wanted and that even after an 8 hour shift, but wait! they didn't want you to go over your 40 hours either. I knew no other manager would agree or even listen to me on how the associate manager was treating me (and a bunch others) so I got a suggestion from another co-worker to call their "home office." again I metion, that would not have worked because the managers don't get these policies out of the blue but from true corporate laws. I have finally now decided on giving my two weeks notice and quite with dignity and mail the associate manager an apology card saying "I'm sorry I called you a jerk. You're not a jerk, you're an a $$ hole." yes, I know those of you thinking of how immature that is but I've had many jobs, and this truly diserves a five star rating for the worst job ever.

My goal is to let every new hire know of what their getting into with their target item sales and high hour goals. other reviewers have done a great job describing how sick the ideas really are of us having to sell 40 chewing gums (or whatever the current target item of choice) and pushing pushing pushing when the managers get obese on free meals and fat bonuses.
     
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goduke on 05/18/2010:
Sounds like that wasn't the job for you. Glad you were able to make the decision to move to the next phase in your journey.
jktshff1 on 05/18/2010:
Well written, Good Luck
clutzycook on 05/18/2010:
I don't believe in burning bridges, but in your case I'd load that bridge with TNT and light a match! Best of luck to you.
Obsfucation on 05/18/2010:
I don't know anything about CBs, they don't have them around here. But I do know that it is standard everywhere to 'face' bills in a cash drawer. This prevents the mixing of bills, I.e. getting a twenty mixed in with the tens. When corrected by an AM for not doing this, the OP called him a jerk. It seems that CB may not be 100% at fault for a poor working relationship.
Anonymous on 05/18/2010:
This is a tough one. On one hand, I've dealt with managers that were jerks. But on the other hand, from the brief description the OP gave, I don't see a whole lot where the manager was being rude. I, too, had my first job as a cashier, and we were also asked to "face" our bills. Nothing out of the ordinary there. And as far as being asked to "push" a product...what's wrong with that? Every employee that works for a company is a direct representative of that company. There is nothing wrong with taking a little pride in your work and trying to push some of the merchandise. I don't want to come across as judgemental, but too often in today's society, employees have adapted an attitude that "if it doesn't benefit me, why should I do it". The ol' "what's in it for me" mentality. I've found that taking pride in your company and giving your best, whether in your best interest or not, will actually take you a lot farther than you think in life. You get out of it exactly what you put into it.
Anonymous on 05/18/2010:
Cashier@106, One should always do what is in ones own best interest. Sounds like dumping CB is in your best interest. Good job!

PS

LOL, I just love your apology card idea.
Anonymous on 05/18/2010:
The only example you give in your entire review is being lectured about facing the bills in the same direction...and your response was to call your manager a jerk for the "lecture" you were given.

It sounds to me like you don't have a lot of work experience, but I can assure you, that you will be "lectured" by superiors for many things that you may find trivial, no matter what job you have.

It probably is a good idea that you're leaving, but I would reconsider the apology note that you have planned...that could come back to bite you in the a$$ when you're applying for future jobs.
Nohandle on 05/18/2010:
By your own admission you have had many jobs. Of what duration have the past lasted? I gather you have been at CB for nearly a year. That's a year of your life you will have to account for on a resume. You might want to have the last word but I personally suggest you think twice before sending a note to anyone.
Anonymous on 05/18/2010:
Yes, I agree with JC sending the note is probably not a good idea because there's no benefit to be had by doing so but thinking about sending it on the other hand doesn't do anybody any harm. And it made me laugh which is a positive thing.
Nohandle on 05/18/2010:
The OP clearly stated he/she had finally decided to give a two week's notice and mail a card to the AM. That's when I suggested he think twice before doing so. It WILL come back to bite you in the backside.
clutzycook on 05/18/2010:
In this economy, accounting for a year's gap between jobs isn't that hard to explain. If you lasted in your previous jobs for a long time (over a year) and left on good terms, I wouldn't think it would hurt you TOO much.
Starlord on 05/18/2010:
Please forgive my ignorance, but what is a par II? We were cautioned in report writing class in the police academy never to use jargon in a report. While other officers might understand what you mean instantly, your reports will be read by lawyers, judges, juries, and others. par II may be used commonly at CB, but most of us have never worked at CB and are sitting here, as I am, scratching our heads. Good luck on finding another job, from my son's experiences with a really bad company as far as employee relations go, I understand.
Cashier@106 on 05/19/2010:
Thanks for all the comments and real good insights. I'll dump the idea of the note card (although it's funny for some) because it truly might come later to bight me when I wish to use them as a reference. PAR means personal achievement responsibility. they are a series of 4 tests, ranging PAR I to be one month, par II to be three months, par III to be six months, and par IIII to be a year. The company conducts these tests to keep the employees updated on product knowledge, sale techniques and so on. My evaluation for six months was past and I was ready to take my par III test, I just never did. Also, for employees who have been there from more than 2 years, and some have even been there from 16 years, don't get anything above par IIII (that includes never getting a raise).
hagfan on 12/22/2011:
worst job I ever had in my life nough said
Anonymous on 12/22/2011:
I wonder if this statement from me today jeopardizes Doc Brown's theory on the time continuum?
Bachus58 on 01/23/2012:
I am a current manager for CB and find it hilarious that a cashier would have such an emotional response to facing bills and selling target items. You came to the Barrel looking for work. Do what you get paid to do. I cannot pay you 50% of your pay when you choose to do 50% of your job.
On the other hand management having MIT's in a store that cannot get their cashiers out in time is an issue. They are training managers that will go to other stores to not give a damn (yes, that's not country fresh, but I don't care) about the schedule and respecting peoples lives outside of work. That IS an issue...employee relations...I don't think so, but the GM should do something about that.
In regards to calling Corp...you ma'am are the reason all good managers quit CB. If you have an issue go to the GM. Nothing is worse than the phone call from corp about some employee that had an issue and called corp instead of coming to the GM. For example, an employee called because they got cut to early...IT WAS A SNOW DAY AND WE WERE SLOW! I have worked at a couple different concepts and the only people that are going to tolerate "shotgun management" are the idiots that can't get jobs elsewhere. Shotgun management by the way is the impression that you have a gun to the back of your head and are just waiting for someone to pull the trigger...ie...corp to fire you for some asinine reason. So please, irritate the management and then complain when you get idiots that can't run a store. And for all you guests out there that are wondering why your fave CB is going to the crapper...see poster above, multiply by 50 and you'll know why decent managers never stick around Cracker Barrel.
I am in no way defending CB, on the contrary I put in my 2 weeks notice as well. I'm going to go work for a company that believes its managers over people like this poster.
onegirl on 03/26/2013:
I am an employee at Cracker Barrel and I hate it too. I regret to say that I am a Hostess and I hate going in to work. Not only do I take verbal abuse from cooks, red aprons, waitresses, and managers, but they couldn't get it together to get my first par done in the right time frame. It took 2 and a half months for them to give me my first par and I thought that was ridiculous. I am constantly running around, not only doin my job, but doing the job of others. My side work is terrible because I close most of the time and I there is so much to do plus do my job at the same time. I hate, I hate being there and I wish I could quit. But in the economy I'm not garunteed anything and there is a possibility that I could find another job quickly. So, I'm haning on, for now.
Lisa V on 07/15/2013:
I just was hired to work at Cracker Barrel as a cashier. I have never worked as a cashier before, and the training is very important to me. I start my orientation tomorrow. I am looking forward to this new challenge. In the past I have worked for lawyers, CPAs, and in Home health care. I am a bit concerned about being a cashier because it is all new to me. I believe, in most jobs you have to be very patient and understanding. Managers are under a lot of stress and pressure, and some people do not handle stress very well. Try working with a lawyer, or a very sick patient that is just miserable. I have always been the type of person who goes over and beyond my job description, and that has been rewarding to me. I understand there are some people that are very difficult to work with, but over all, most of them are just trying to make a living in the only way they know how. To be a manager, takes a lot of training and courage. I wouldn't want to be a manager in these times.
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Very rude managers
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
FOREST PARK, OHIO -- I only worked at Cracker Barrel about a month before leaving this abusive relationship. I was not properly trained with the side work and made to stay at least an hour and a half after every shift. If I made an error then I would get "corrected" in front of guests. I was constantly scrutinized for my uniforms and mistakes, while my team work and praise from the customers for my service would go unmentioned (aside from Jeff).

Upon my hire I made it clear I needed such a date off for my long term boyfriends boot camp graduation. A week before I was due to leave I put in for a couple extra days since his orders to be shipped out had been delayed another day. I ended up having to call off when I found out we were going to be leaving sooner than expected. As a result the female manager called me and gave me a healthy dose of her wrath. Which included, but not limited to, personal insults, raised voice, and intrusive demand to know my plans/ personal schedule, then I was informed "that wasn't a good enough reason to miss work."

The following day when the schedule was posted they didn't even grant me the time off to see my Sailor's graduation into the military that protects this great Country. (So much for a patriotic restaurant.) I received another phone call from another manager when I was on leave asking why I wasn't there. Apparently they don't check the request time off books.

In a nutshell I refused to be treated in such a lowly manner and will proceed to cut my losses and leave with my self respect intact. Please note, this is not my only complaints with my experience, but the call from the female manager made it clear just how bad that work environment is. I hope this helps.
     
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Worst Customer Reception - Ever
Posted on
Rating: 1/51
YUMA, ARIZONA -- It was Mother' Day, Sunday, so we (5 adults & 3 small children) arrived early, 8:00 AM, to avoid the rush from the after Church crowds and because it was Mother's Day.

The place was 1/4 full at best. They told us it would be about 10 minutes, while they put together two tables. After 15 minutes and watching parties of 2 to 4 being seated ahead, I complained as to what was going on when it was also apparent that there was no attempt to put together any additional tables. Three hostesses "seat greeters" two women and one male Hispanics, looking dumbfounded, explained that the two tables were still not available. After another 5 min. and a party of 5 adults and two more parties of 4 adults were seated, I complained more.

The receptionists, all still looking disinterestedly stupid, one then suggested that they could split us up, but the tables would be across the room from one another. I said, "what is wrong with you people, we came together and there are only five adults!" The manager came over, and after I explained how many people went ahead of us (at least 30), he said there was no room and the tables to accommodate us were still full of people. I further explained that there was plenty of room before 30 people went ahead of us to fill up the place, but his answer was we were trying to put you next to the window, then he suddenly left.

None of what we were being told made any sense. My parents (86 years old) were so mad at the situation that they were ready to have stokes. It became apparent we were now being given the business, and after another two more parties of 4 and 5 were seated, we left. On the way out, we heard them announce a party for six. I believe we were the victims of racial stupidity and dis-function of a managed establishment. I will never patronize another Cracker Barrel as long as I live!
     
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Amy on 05/13/2012:
Were all the people being seated ahead of you a different race than you? I agree that the behavior of the employees made no sense and I most likely would have left long before you did, but unless the parties of 4 or 5 being seated ahead of you were all a particular race I'm not sure it was a race thing. Stupidity and poor customer service yes.
DebtorBasher on 05/13/2012:
Also, the other's may have made reservations ahead of time, being that it is Mother's Day...but even if that was the case, they should have explained that to you.
whythelongfaces on 05/13/2012:
A party of 4 or 5 is easier to seat than a party of 8, whether children or not. You still need room for them to eat. They offered to split you up and you refused. What else did you want?
trmn8r on 05/13/2012:
It makes sense to me - they only had certain sections open, and there were not adjoining tables available in them. There were able to seat 2's and 4's because they didn't have to move a table to do it.
SteveWiginowski on 05/14/2012:
As others said, seating two parties of 4 is easier than seating a party of 8 because the two parties of 4 can be split up. They did suggest that they could do this for you, but you didn't want that to happen (understandably too).

I believe you were the victims of not having a table of 8 available at the time. It can be difficult to estimate the wait time, as larger parties generally stay longer than shorter parties. If their meal is done, they may sit around the table and converse for a while.
CowboyFan on 05/14/2012:
Also, based on the lay-out of the restaurant, there may be only certain tables in that section that can be put together, so as to allow the servers and others to easily move about.
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Noise, Children
Posted by on
Rating: 2/51
LOVELAND, COLORADO -- I was there for my mother's 75th birthday, which should have been a fun occasion. Instead, it turned into a fiasco! A family of 7 came in ( I don't have any problems with most families when children are behaving), 3 children, 4 adults. From the time they sat down the children were up and running, screaming, crying and the adults seemed to think that was just fine. I could no longer carry on a conversation without shouting! My mother and I tried to talk with them about keeping things down and the family turned and said if we didn't like it we could go to another restaurant.

I tried to get the manager involved, but they were nowhere to be found. We didn't enjoy our lunch, we didn't enjoy the day, and frankly the restaurant is not interested in its patron's comforts beyond paying for the meal. I'm not normally a complainer, but I'm getting to the point that I can't stand other people's children. When they are sitting like normal human beings they are great, but a restaurant is not the place to let your children go wild. I didn't sign up for babysitting nor do I believe, did the staff. Stay away from Cracker Barrel!! Unless you like obnoxious noise and disturbances.
     
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trmn8r on 06/02/2013:
IMO, CB is not a place to go for a special celebration. First off, the service stinks far too often. Next, the food preparation is uneven at best.

Then you come to your complaint - think about the responsibility your fellow diners lack. There is only so much management can do. That said, all the CBs I have been to have management close by, to listen to complaints. I am surprised you could not find one.
Decnbluz on 06/02/2013:
Thank-you for your response. Unfortunately, it was my mother's decision to go there. I am not a fan of the chain. We did stand at the front desk for 15 minutes before my mother gave up. Poor response time.
John Nicholson on 06/02/2013:
What you could have done is complain to the waitress and then to management and request they take care of the unruly diners. If they do not, then inform the waitress/manager that you will be leaving now, without a charge for the food, of course. Make sure you do this before you finish the meal. In other words, after no one bothered or cared to resolve the problem, you should have just walked out in mid-meal. By the way, where were the other diners? Are you the only ones who had a problem? If so, then either you were dining with a room full of sheep or you are overly sensitive. I suspect you were dining with a room full of sheep, afraid of their own shadows. This is the new America.
Decnbluz on 06/02/2013:
Thank-you Mr. Nicholson for your response. We did complain to our waiter, his response was that he has no control over the situation. When we were paying the bill, we informed the cashier and waited for the manager. As we were standing there an elderly couple came up and complained of the same incident. It was all for nothing.
It was a full house in the restaurant with other children, who were sitting and not screeching. Normally children do not disturb us but I could no longer hear what anyone was saying. Ah well, lesson learned. Will definitely have to search out better dining.
andbran on 06/03/2013:
I really do not understand this generation. when I was growing up( I am 51) my parents made it very clear how we were supposed to act when going out in public. of course back then we were actually afraid of our parents.
iluvcb on 07/25/2013:
Agree with andbran. I am 35 and have 3 kids age 7, 8, and 11. When little I used to tell my kids if a stranger doesn't compliment us on how well behaved they are, they weren't good enough. We got lots of smiles and pos. Feedback when they were young.
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No Service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA -- We were seated first, all the other tables but 3 were empty, then a woman with 2 kids came, the waitress went to her first. Excuse me, so we got up I asked to see the manager. I told her what happened, she said "Could I invite you back in", I said no you can not. I said You go back and tell your waitress you lost 2 customers. She said she would, but I doubt that very much. The manager was young girl. Didn't seem to care. Very disgusted with Cracker Barrel!!!!!!!!!!! This is the second time we stopped at this one Cracker Barrel, and they were rude to us...
     
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FoDaddy19 on 05/08/2013:
It's possible that you were seated in a different waitress's area. There's usually more than one on duty, and the waitress that waited on the other customers wasn't the one assigned to your table.
Suzy on 05/08/2013:
If that were true the manager should have known this, made sure of where the customer was sitting and explained that a different waitress was assigned to that table. Also if the customer had a different waitress where was the waitress? If she were helping another table in her area it would have been readily apparent. The OP only mentioned seeing the one waitress. I think the manager at Cracker Barrel dropped the ball on this one.
FoDaddy19 on 05/08/2013:
I'm not saying there wasn't a mistake made, it's likely that someone dropped the ball, It could've easily been the waitress. Or if there was another waitress, she may have been in the kitchen or take a smoke break or whatever. In which case the manager should've taken the OP's order.

However the OP didn't seem to want to listen to what the manager had to say, and we don't know how much time, if any, elapsed between the other table being served first and the OP getting up and leaving. The details of encounter weren't shared.

I've been to many Cracker Barrels in the south and mid-Atlantic as well as the one in my town, and only once have I had a bad experience and that was the fault of another patron, not anything the restaurant had control over. Usually the customer service is really good for this tier of restaurant, the food isn't spectacular but, the service and price are areas where Cracker Barrel usually excels. I don't work for them or anything and never have, but as far as my experiences go with the chain, you really can't do much better for the price.
trmn8r on 05/08/2013:
Cracker Barrel's seating/service model was horrible when I stopped patronizing the chain 4 years ago. I had several experiences like yours at multiple locations. Complaining did no good. It is one of the main reasons I stopped going there.

If servers are going to walk by my table for 15 minutes, look my party in the eyes, and not tell the responsible person that they have customers waiting to be served with menus on the table, the model is broken. Just my opinion.
CrazyRedHead on 05/09/2013:
Neither me or my family will ever go to a Cracker Barrel. The last and only time we went my kids and I felt really uncomfortable in there. My kids are mixed (black and white) and when we were in there we were stared at by staff and customers like we were half naked and dirty. It wasn't just me that felt that way but my kids also told me. It was kind of obvious that the people in there were staring at us, and it's not like it unusual to see mixed kids, we live by Ft Campbell where it is normal to see mixed couples and kids. I tried not to notice and act like everything was alright and my kids were all acting good, but when my little one asks me why is everyone staring at us is my cue to leave. We had been there about 10 to 15 minutes and didn't even order yet, needless to say, we got up and left.
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