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What You Should Know Before Eating At Cracker Barrel Again

Cracker Barrel has dotted the sides of U.S. interstates since 1969, when founder Danny Evins had a hunch travelers were looking for a pitstop food option that wasn’t fast food. He was right, but there are some things you should know before heading to the highway staple again.

According to Southern Living, Cracker Barrel isn’t just giving homage to the literal barrels of soda crackers it used to have available for purchase in the country stores at each restaurant. The actual Merriam-Webster definition of cracker-barrel is, quote, “suggestive of the friendly homespun character of a country store.” Ah yes, it all makes sense now, doesn’t it?

So Cracker Barrel aimed to be a place where diners could have a cracker-barrel experience in an atmosphere adorned by literal barrels with crackers in them, or cracker barrels. Confused yet? No need! The famous logo for the interstate staple does, indeed, feature a gent in a rocking chair leaning on a barrel full of what one can only assume are crackers, and all visitors are familiar with the welcoming, country store-type feel..

Cracker Barrel is simply a name more complicated than it seems at first glance, and it’s one that recognizes the brand’s history and mission. It’s also one that reminds us we need more adjectives like “cracker-barrel” in our regular lexicon.

Cracker Barrel does not mess around when it comes to the rocking chairs decorating the patios of its many outposts. It sticks to the friendly southern front porch theme and nothing will stop it. Southern porch aesthetic aside, the iconic rocking chairs serve another purpose: You need somewhere fun to sit because the wait time to get a table at Cracker Barrel can be quite long.

Those rocking chairs are made for Cracker Barrel by the Hinkle Chair Company in Springfield, Tennessee, so yes, even they are authentically Southern. They have some pretty impressive roots, too, as it’s a family company that has been in the furniture-making biz since their triple-great grandfather started a side hustle from his farm almost 180 years ago. Grandpops would be proud, as they make about 200,000 rocking chairs a year for Cracker Barrel restaurants, and even though you can buy chairs through Hinkle themselves, you’ll need to buy it directly from Cracker Barrel if you want that signature medallion on your own front porch. They’ll set you back $170, but it’s nice to know Cracker Barrel is true to its roots even with the furniture, which is not only American-made, but Southern-made.

Even better? They regularly run charitable programs such as Operation Rocker, and donate a huge number of rockers to military families across the country. That’s the sort of thing you can feel good about while rocking away in your own.

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