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 FedEx 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.
LOVELAND, COLORADO -- We stopped here for breakfast & because they have RV parking. We talked w/ mgr about hanging out for the night. He was so supportive & invited us to stay the night. We were very comfortable. Had breakfast, dinner & another breakfast. Highly recommend the CB. Staff is over the top in service.
YUMA, ARIZONA -- It was Mother's 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 strokes. 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!
MCALLEN, TEXAS -- We are a church choir group of 15 who has been going to Cracker Barrel every other Saturday for the past 4 years. By the time we get to the restaurant we are hungry. For the past 4 years, whoever was the manager, would come to greet us, and would make sure we would get our grilled biscuits as we decided what each one was going to order.
On February 11, 2012, we asked the server, as she was taking drink order, if she could put in the order of grilled biscuits. She said she would when she would take in the order of drinks we were having. Afterwards, she came to pick up the meal orders and again I asked if she had put in the order for the biscuits because we were very hungry and she responded that she would do it after she would take in the meal orders. I again asked her that we wanted the biscuits first before the meal, and she responded that she would do it after she would place the meal orders. When we refused to give our meal orders, she got the manager for the evening.
We explained to the manager that we had been coming for at least four years and we had always gotten the biscuits right away. The manager said he was aware that we were loyal customer but that they had a new rule that biscuit order would be placed after the meal orders had been done. I told the manager we would not order until the biscuit order had been placed.
We did get the biscuits but not enough for the group. The manager made a statement with the short order of biscuits that it was going to be his way. I want to know why we have to wait till the orders are taken. Every time we go we give them business of about $150 to $200. It's not like we're going to eat the biscuits and run off. We would like an apology from the manager, and to be treated respectfully like we had been by all the other managers. I would like a respond from the president of the company as to what is going to be done about this. We like the food from Cracker Barrel and then doing some shopping at the store.
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 aisle to the front of the restaurant each and every time we leave the server aisle. We are supposed to be able to spend more time with our guests but you can't because you have to take care of everyone else's 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 do not care about employees anymore. 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 manager's 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 manager's bad attitudes we are losing guests and therefore money in our pockets. I can't afford to work there anymore.
MILFORD, CONNECTICUT -- When you first get hired everything is great until a couple of weeks. They give you about 14 hours at most on a good week but this doesn't mean you'll work all 14 hours you might get sent home early. I was once asked by a manager if I wanted to go home 30 minutes into my shift, if you take off time they won't schedule you the following week as if they're trying to get retaliation. Breaks are rarely given, even after you worked a seven hour shift you may go to the back to sit for 5 minutes or you may have to go to the restroom, 2 seconds later there's a manager screaming in your ear through a walkie talkie asking your location.
The worst manager we have is an older lady who is very rude and doesn't even address you by your name, she's the biggest headache there. Don't leave your job thinking CB is better because so far this has been my worst job so by any means stay away from them!!!!!
CORINTH, MISSISSIPPI -- I have been an employee of the new Corinth location since opening... I was excited to be there and was quickly promoted to find out that it was a scam. I found out that there are only 2 African Americans in each section exempting dish washers and night maintenance and they both were promoted to trainers without pay or training skills of any kind. Now almost all blacks hours have been reduced to 15 and under this weekend when we usually receive 30+ hours. We all have been written up for minor things that others have not been held accountable for. This is not fair.
I have heard ** and ** make black racist remarks such as "those kind can eat at McDonald's" or "those kind can only afford to eat on the kid's menu." I am so sick of this behavior and myself and others would love to see a change before we leave the company.
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.
I have worked at CB for over a year. I find all the prior complaints that I have read on this site to be accurate of what I have found working at CB. I feel they promote employees to scrutinize other employees. (The only thing that comes to mind is the saying "Divide and conquer".) I find these kind of people are promoted at Cracker Barrel. Managers are very rude with employees to the point of I can't tell you how many waitresses I have found crying in the breakroom. I feel that CB is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen.. I SAY UNIONIZE.
I am basically a new employee (server) at Cracker Barrel in North Carolina. When I first hired in, the trainer was very helpful and nice making it a good transition coming out of early retirement. I do need to work as I was recently divorced and had to surrender half of my pension. Back to the subject, the managers make it so nice for you when you first get on the floor, but after you are on board for a month, the real Cracker Barrel comes out of the walls. Besides me working my area of 4 tables and when it's busy that's walking, refills, serving, busing tables, making your silverware quota and running food out to other tables.
One extremely busy day, I got a drink of water and I heard my name being screamed out to me about running food out to tables. They do not talk to you, they holler at you like you are some kind of lowlife lothario. I do not think or even recall when I was allowed to drink or eat a little break. I thought it was the law when you work over a certain period of time that you are allowed breaks. Well, not at this Cracker Barrel you do, and if you do your job is at stake.
I actually am a nervous mess when I work as I feel that I am doing something wrong all the time day in and day out. Managers never praise you for a good job, they always look for fault and will be glad to notify you of it, believe me. I really need the job, but it's a shame that business with food service is like Walmart in all means.