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Secrets Cracker Barrel Doesn't Want You To Know

Secrets Cracker Barrel Doesn't Want You To Know
Behind the nostalgia, Southern stereotypes, pancakes, grits, and tchotchkes,

Cracker

Barrel

has collected a few

secrets

even uglier than its logo. Here's everything

Cracker

Barrel

doesn

't

want

you to

know

. In 2017, Bradley Reid Byrd of Milltown, Indiana, posted a simple question to

Cracker

Barrel

's Facebook page: "Why did you fire my wife?" The question became a meme about finding out the truth behind the firing, which Byrd said came out of the blue after his wife had been working there for 11 years as a retail manager. According to Heavy, Byrd accused them of letting her go just before she was due vacation time. The incident inspired a hashtag and a Change.org petition that got an astonishing 10,000 signatures.

Cracker

Barrel

never explained the firing, and according to Inc., keeping quiet was probably its best move. Any legitimate reason for the firing the company could have given would probably have been interpreted as a smear, or outright not believed after all the hubbub.

Cracker

Barrel

has a pretty lengthy history of legal trouble. A recent example comes from August 2018, when the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced the chain had violated some pretty major laws two years earlier. A lawsuit claimed

Cracker

Barrel

refused to hire an applicant for a dishwashing position solely because he was deaf. According to the EEOC, "the store manager was visibly uncomfortable interacting with the applicant," and that she ultimately...
secrets cracker barrel doesn t want you to know
refused an interview. When the prospective dishwasher turned up to the scheduled interview, the store manager told him the manager who would be conducting the interview wasn't there. Three other applicants, none of whom were deaf, were hired. EEOC District Attorney Jamie R. Williamson said of the incident: "Hiring decisions should be made based on qualifications, not on fears about or prejudices against people with disabilities." Yet another 2018 lawsuit involved an item for sale in

Cracker

Barrel

's famous gift shop. According to the Tennessean, Earl "Peanutt" Montgomery, who co-wrote 73 songs with country music legend George Jones, sued the chain to the tune of $5 million. The dispute stemmed from

Cracker

Barrel

and Concord Music Group releasing a long-shelved, posthumous album of Jones' music. According to Montgomery, Jones had

want

ed them to record the album together, with all the ownership rights and proceeds to go to Montgomery as, quote, "his retirement package for all his years of service and friendship." The album was finished, but it got lost in decades of ever-changing record contracts. It ended up in Concord's possession after Jones' widow sold the singer's assets following his death in 2013. Montgomery said neither Concord nor

Cracker

Barrel

had the rights to release the recordings, but did anyway. A lawsuit dating back to 2014 claimed that a

Cracker

Barrel

location's handicapped parking spaces weren't...
secrets cracker barrel doesn t want you to know
regulation and were too steep for wheelchair accessibility, according to Business Insider. And the plaintiff, Sarah Heinzl of the U.S. Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team, won her case. More problems came out in the trial. The court found that at least 107 locations in seven states had similar problems. As part of the ultimate judgment, all those parking lots had to be fixed within two-and-a-half years. Further orders were given to survey the remainder of the restaurant's locations, and

Cracker

Barrel

had to fix any other problems the surveys found within seven years. In April 2012, a terrifying situation unfolded at an Ohio

Cracker

Barrel

. According to Cleveland.com, Kevin and Katherina Allen were eating dinner with their daughters when Katherina told her husband that she was going to leave him. Kevin threatened their lives before walking out. Katherina immediately called a friend, then the police. "She stated that he was in his car, circling the parking lot. She believed he was waiting for her." She also appealed to the store's manager and asked permission to hide in the restaurant's walk-in coolers. The manager declined. Kevin Allen returned to the restaurant with a shotgun and opened fire. His wife and one daughter were killed instantly. The other daughter died from her injuries a month later, Ohio.com reported. He was shot and killed by responding police officers. Katherina's family sued

Cracker

Barrel

for declining to help.

Cracker

Barrel

...
secrets cracker barrel doesn t want you to know
argued that it shouldn't bear the responsibility for, quote, "unforeseeable" events. But the judge ruled that the lawsuit could go forward, and attorneys for the family argued that staff had more than enough information to realize the family was in serious danger and prevent the tragedy. In 1991,

Cracker

Barrel

prided itself as an example of traditional American values. One way it demonstrated that distinction was a new hiring policy specifically designed to prevent hiring gay employees and, according to a company memo, allowed for the firing of current employees who failed to display, quote, "normal heterosexual values." At least nine people who lost their jobs claimed their sexuality was the reason for their dismissal. At that time, only Massachusetts and Wisconsin specifically prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexuality, so there was little legal recourse for the workers. But the court of public opinion spoke up. After a wave of protests and public backlash,

Cracker

Barrel

reversed course and cancelled the policy, but not before irreparable harm was done to the brand. Former

Cracker

Barrel

employee Bonnie Usher claimed that not only did her harassment complaints go unheard, they led to her losing her job. In a complaint filed in 2003 with the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission and in a 2006 lawsuit, Usher alleged that while working for the company she was verbally abused, sexually assaulted, and discriminated against on the basis of her...
gender and sexual orientation. Usher was fired in 2004, and instead of any of the normal reasons for losing a job, like poor timekeeping, stealing, or spitting in the food, she believes she was fired simply for complaining about the way she was being treated. The outcome of the suit hasn't been widely reported, but it was bad press for the chain either way. A 2004 U.S. Department of Justice investigation concluded that

Cracker

Barrel

's values were more than just old fashioned. They were outright antiquated. The DOJ found evidence of a whole swath of discriminatory practices at 50 restaurants across seven states, with suggestions that managers were complicit. The behavior included segregating customers according to race, seating white groups before black groups, and making black customers wait longer for service that was often inferior.

Cracker

Barrel

agreed to adopt a long list of improvements and changes, but that didn't stop the customers who were victims of the discrimination from suing the company.

Cracker

Barrel

settled and agreed to pay the customers $8.7 million, though

Cracker

Barrel

still somehow got by without having to admit any wrongdoing. After forking out $8.7 million to settle that race discrimination lawsuit, you'd think

Cracker

Barrel

would have taken steps to avoid a repeat experience. But the company was hit with another discrimination suit in 2006, this time from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, well before the incident...
with the deaf applicant. This one involved 51 employees at three restaurants in Illinois. The case revealed allegations of both racially charged language and discriminatory practices, as well as inappropriate touching and sexual comments directed at female coworkers.

Cracker

Barrel

settled the case, paying out $2 million to be shared among the employees. The company was also prohibited from retaliating against those employees, and agreed to provide extra training for the workers at the three Illinois restaurants in the hope of avoiding similar behavior in the future. When Susan Mosher stopped at her local

Cracker

Barrel

in Texas in 2011 for lunch with her husband, she ordered a classic BLT with fries. Halfway through her meal, she noticed some unexplained special sauce on her fries that was red, but it wasn't ketchup. On closer examination, the marks were found to be bloody fingerprints. The culprit? Well, Mosher knew she hadn't cut herself. No, one of the cooks had cut himself and broken company protocol by continuing to work and handle food while bleeding. He was supposed to leave the kitchen entirely. Mosher was a recent cancer survivor, and despite her very understandable fear of contracting a bloodborne illness,

Cracker

Barrel

offered her little more than an apology, a free meal, and two $50 gift cards for her trouble. What are the odds those gift cards were used? For a company that's had as much bad press as

Cracker

Barrel

, what would be better than...
amplifying a heartwarming story of human kindness? Yet when 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and

Cracker

Barrel

employee Joe Koblenzer gave away a corn muffin to a man who looked homeless,

Cracker

Barrel

opted to fire its kindly employee and wallow in the inevitable bad press that followed instead. "The general manager said to me, 'Bad news for you, Joe. We're going to have to let you go.'" The corporate justification was that it was against company policy to give away food, and that this wasn't the first time Koblenzer had done it. But when you weigh the cost of a corn muffin against the price of a deluge of bad publicity, you have to wonder what the

Cracker

Barrel

brass were thinking. The restaurant and gift shop parts of

Cracker

Barrel

have separate management and are internally referred to as separate entities, but their earnings are still reported as if it's all one single company. That probably

doesn

't matter one way or another to most people who just

want

some hot biscuits, but it's a huge deal for at least one shareholder. According to Sardar Biglari, CEO of Biglari Holdings, this structure is denying shareholders the information they need to judge the relative performance of each side of the business. The "Old Country Store" could be allowed to run at a huge loss with the difference being made up by the restaurant, or vice versa, and no one would be the wiser. Biglari is famous for buying into businesses he thinks aren't...
running at their best and shaking things up in hopes of improving the operation. But

Cracker

Barrel

stood firm and refused to release the information to the public. Which kind of makes it look like there's something to hide. Every Halloween countless parents across the country worry about the same thing: sharp stuff in the candy. But despite the efforts of fear mongers everywhere, very little evidence exists of people actually getting hurt this way on Halloween. The same can't be said for

Cracker

Barrel

. In 2007, the chain was forced to recall frozen burger patties from 313 restaurants after a 56-year-old customer, Irene Grann, cut her mouth on a piece of metal in her burger. After the woman was taken to the hospital, the restaurant manager reportedly found a piece of razor blade sticking out of the patty, and investigators later found another object buried deeper inside. Mrs. Grann and her husband were regular visitors to the restaurant, and surprisingly declared their intention to return soon, as it was one of their favorite places to eat. Now that's brand loyalty. "Ha ha ha, here I go, dumb me, off to have a big Southern meal at

Cracker

Barrel

! Because I'm so stupid!" There are actually two

Cracker

Barrel

s in the food industry, and the restaurant wasn't the first of its name. That accolade actually goes to Kraft Foods and its

Cracker

Barrel

brand of cheese, which has been sold in grocery stores since 1954. When the restaurant came on the scene...
15 years later, Kraft didn't make a fuss because the two businesses were different enough that they didn't come into direct competition. But then, in 2012, the restaurant decided to market a line of branded foods for sale in grocery stores, leaving Kraft no choice but to sue. Kraft feared the two brands were so similar that if the restaurant somehow angered its customers (not that they'd ever do that, right?), those customers might avoid Kraft's products in the mistaken belief that they were made by the restaurant chain. But the restaurant was keen to expand its brown and yellow empire in the name of profit, and wasn't going to back off. By the end of 2013, an agreement was reached that satisfied both parties. To differentiate the brands on the grocery store shelves, the restaurant chain agreed to market its products under the revised brand name CB Old Country Store. Kraft didn't have to change anything in its branding. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about restaurant chains are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell so you don't miss a single one.