The American restaurant and retail chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., or simply Cracker Barrel, is themed after the South and sells food, gifts, and other items. In 1969, Dan Evins opened the first of many stores for the company in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Company headquarters are situated in a separate building within the same city. The chain’s initial locations were near Interstate Highway exits in the Southeast and Midwest, but it grew to cover the entire country in the 1990s and 2000s. As of 16 September 2020, the chain’s 663 stores can be found in 45 different states.
The Latest Scandal Involving Cracker Barrel
In the annals of modern restaurant chains, Cracker Barrel stands out as the one that constantly finds itself in the middle of a firestorm.
Cracker Barrel markets itself as a cosy country-style diner where families can enjoy reasonably priced deep-fried fare. Cracker Barrel’s website explains that the chain got its name from the custom of locals congregating around a cracker barrel in the general store.
According to Southern Living, the term “cracker barrel” derives from this custom. It is an adjective that, according to Dictionary.com, “suggests the simple rustic informality and directness thought to be characteristic of life in and around a country store.” It turns out that in the past few years, this restaurant chain has been the target of criticism because of its name.
It has long been circulated online that “Cracker Barrel” is a reference to the racist white nationalist term “crackpot” or to a barrel of “whips” used on slaves. Posters in one version even imply that the store’s stylized “K” is meant to resemble a whip.
Although the term “cracker” has been used to refer to cracking whips in other contexts, this has been disproven by Sopes. Nonetheless, the name keeps coming back to haunt the food service provider.
The Cracker Barrel Brand Has Been Associated with A Hate Group that Promotes White Supremacy
Recently, another controversy involving the name Cracker Barrel arose after the arrest of 31 white nationalists who were hiding in a U-Haul. These individuals planned to incite a riot at a Pride celebration while armed.
What, then, does this have to do with a chain of eateries and stores known for their abundance of rocking chairs and dishes inspired by the American South? A tweet and a joke sum up the situation perfectly: “A U-Haul full of white nationalists is known as a. A veritable goldmine!”
The white supremacists’ discovery in a U-Haul that resembled a tin “barrel” (a slang term for a barrel) is the source of the joke. Since the arrest, the hashtag #CrackerBarrel has been trending on Twitter as a way to talk about the incident.
Cracker Barrel has not commented on the trolling or the joke as of the time of this writing. Maybe that’s for the best. If you were worried that something might go wrong at a local Cracker Barrel, you need not have. It’s just a bunch of jokers making fun of a racist stereotype perpetuated by a name. Cracker Barrel’s ‘woke’ (according to critics) vegan sausage provokes outrage.
Even if Some of Cracker Barrel’s Meat Is Phoney, the Commotion It’s Causing Among Customers Isn’t
Cracker Barrel announced on Facebook on Monday that they now offer a plant-based sausage made by Impossible Foods as part of their breakfast menu. Many of its followers felt strongly about the matter, with many arguing that Cracker Barrel should not be providing the meat substitute.
‘I just lost respect for a once great Tennessee company,’ said one commenter. Someone else chimed in with: “Simply cannot occur! We used to really enjoy eating at Cracker Barrel, but recently we’ve noticed a significant decline in the quality of their food.” Some people doubted the product would even taste good. Adding “woke” to the menu was met with widespread criticism.
It wasn’t all bad news, though; some customers expressed gratitude that the chain offered the choice. “To be honest, I didn’t notice a difference. Great for those who are vegetarian or vegan or have other dietary restrictions, in my opinion “alone in writing
Cracker Barrel told CNN Business that it is “always exploring opportunities to expand how our guests experience breakfast and provide choices to satisfy every taste bud,” including those who prefer “traditional favourites like bacon and sausage” as well as those who are interested in “new, nutritious plant-based option like Impossible Sausage.”
Cracker Barrel addressed the criticism on Thursday by posting an Instagram photo that featured both the vegan sausage and the traditional pork sausage. The caption reads, “Where fans of pork-based and plant-based sausages can enjoy breakfast all day long in peace.” Fast food competitor McDonald’s (MCD) has discontinued its all-day breakfast service.
As part of a larger effort to modernise its offerings, Cracker Barrel now serves vegan alternatives like Impossible Sausage. According to the company, “consumers are seeking plant-based options that are better for them now more than ever.”
Major fast food restaurants like Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King have started serving vegetarian and vegan options as consumers show a growing interest in trying new things.
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