Cracker Barrel decides to keep booze on the menu for good [Updated]

Exterior of a Cracker Barrel restaurant
Photo: Jeff Greenberg (Getty Images)

Update, September 21, 2020: It’s been a little over three months since Cracker Barrel decided to experiment with adding alcohol to the menu, and—surprise!—the people love it. Now the pilot program is moving out of the test market phase; during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Sandra Cochran announced that over the coming months, beer and wine will become available at all 660 Cracker Barrel locations. No word if the company will be upping the number of front porch rocking chairs to accommodate the growing population of wine-drunk grandmas that will be stumbling out of the gift shop after “one” too many mimosas.

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Original story, June 4, 2020: This week Cracker Barrel released its third-quarter fiscal report, and it is really, really, really, really not good (really). Cracker Barrel has remained open for pick-up and delivery during the coronavirus crisis, has has since reopened 505 of its 664 dining rooms for socially distanced sit-down dining. In the narrow-margined restaurant business, every single table counts, so even with operating reduced-capacity dining room, things are not looking up.

“I think everyone is having trouble predicting what’s going to happen,” said CEO Sandra B. Cochran in a call with investors on Tuesday morning.

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One move that Cracker Barrel is hoping will make an impact on check totals is a new beer and wine program, which it has already rolled out in 20 restaurants. The family-friendly chain has never sold alcoholic beverages in its 51-year history, but these are certainly historic times. A particularly exciting part of this announcement: customers will at last be able to order mimosas with their all-day breakfast before going drunk shopping in the Cracker Barrel gift shop.

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

murrychang
Murry Chang

I’ve only ever been to Cracker Barrel one time. I ordered a salmon sandwich because it was lunchtime so I didn’t feel like eating any of the giant, carb heavy stuff their menu mainly consists of.

It was literally a cooked piece of salmon on 2 slices of white bread.

Then I understood:  Old people go there because they can’t taste anything anyhow so bland as hell cooking is fine for them.