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Should Cracker Barrel’s Name Be Changed to ‘Caucasian Barrel’?

Should Cracker Barrel’s Name Be Changed to ‘Caucasian Barrel’?


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Keep calm, the petition is satirical, but it’s trying to make a point

Someone started a satirical petition to change the name Cracker Barrel to "Caucasian Barrel."

Ryan Koch from Des Moines, Iowa, created a petition on Change.org to change the name of Cracker Barrel to Caucasian Barrel because he says the word “cracker” is offensive.

Koch writes: “I say all of us European Americans start protesting C****er Barrel. It uses an offensive slur and it is deeply offensive and mocks our long and proud heritage.”

He also cites the Cracker Barrel logo of a man leaning on what he says is a bourbon barrel, which he claims suggests “we are all a bunch of alcoholics.” Koch continues, satirically, “Sure, they'll say it's a ‘cracker’ barrel, but everyone knows crackers don't come in barrels, they come in bags and boxes!”

The petition needs 10,000 signatures and right now it has well over 8,000.

Cracker Barrel was created by a man named Dan Evins. The first restaurant opened in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1969.

Koch ends the petition by saying: “Change the name C****er Barrel to Caucasian Barrel. After all, white people should have something to be offended by, too!” Again, it should be duly noted that this is satire.


Cracker Barrel Logo Goes Viral: Here’s Why

The popular rural restaurant, Cracker Barrel, is often in the headlines. However, it’s often not for the best reasons.

In the past, the restaurant chain has had two lawsuits filed due to racism or discrimination. According to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the restaurant paid $15,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. This happened after a deaf man was turned away for a scheduled interview for a dishwasher job after employers learned he was deaf.

Then CBS News reported in 2004 that 21 people filed a $100 million lawsuit against Cracker Barrel. The accusers claimed the restaurant segregated Black customers, denying them service. It is the largest civil rights lawsuit since 1994.

Most recently in November 2020, a customer saw what appeared to be a noose hanging as a decoration in one of the chain’s restaurants.

Now, the restaurant chain that is in 37 states and has over 450 restaurants is once again being talked about on social media. This time, however, it isn’t due to a pending lawsuit.


This Petition to Change Cracker Barrel’s Name Has Gone Viral

One thing you can say about Conservatives is they absolutely hold the crown for mockery.

Ryan Koch (cue the accusations of being related to the ‘evil’ Koch Brothers) from Iowa started an on-line petition to force Cracker Barrel to change its name to Caucasian Barrel.

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If you are white and live in America, President Barack Obama and the race baiters know you are GUILTY of something. And you should be ashamed. Simply by existing, you are racist.

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And if you’re Christian, oppose gay marriage, and own a gun? You’re racist multiple times over.

Ryan Koch from Des Moines, IA knows this, which is why he launched a HILARIOUS petition on Change.org which demands the popular restaurant chain Cracker Barrel to change its name to… CAUCASIAN BARREL.

That’s because in today’s politically correct world, we must stay away from racial stereotypes in names. Just like the left is angry about the Washington “Redskins,” Ryan is going to battle for Caucasians at this delicious family restaurant.

I say all of us European Americans start protesting C****er Barrel. It uses an offensive slur and it is deeply offensive and mocks our long and proud heritage.

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The name is offensive, their logo stereotypes European Americans as people who sit on chairs and lean against what appears to be a bourbon barrel, claiming we are all a bunch of alcoholics. Sure, they’ll SAY it’s a “cracker” barrel but everyone knows crackers don’t come in barrels, they come in bags and boxes!

Change the name C****er Barrel to Caucasian Barrel. After all, white people should have something to be offended by, too!

Below are some of the petition comments.

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This is highly amusing given the ridiculous behavior of the lunatics on the left who seem to be outraged by anything and everything.

The left is on a ban-a-palooza lately to destroy anything that doesn’t fit their collective Borg mentality (oh wow, I used that twice today, it does seem to be a pattern).

The Left seems to want to white wash their atrocious history along with anything that has the potential to possibly offend anyone.

Mocking the left is a hobby that many on the right enjoy and they do one hell of a job at it.


Cracker Barrel's dinner menu is undergoing some huge changes

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is often a welcome sign off the highway for travelers in need of affordable, good old-fashioned, home-cooked meals. Now, the comfort food restaurant will be offering new menu items and a simplified dinner menu.

So, what's new? In the Home Cooked Classics menu category, diners will find the new Maple Bacon Grilled Chicken, which consists of two chicken breasts dressed in a maple glaze and topped with bacon and melted cheese. This dish will come with buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins and a choice of two country sides.

The Down Home Daily Dinners category features a different menu item each day — the Saturday and Sunday options are the new ones. Saturday’s dinner will be Country Fried Pork Chops that come with two hand-breaded crispy pork chops with roasted pan gravy and choice of two country sides. Sunday’s meal will be a Pot Roast Supper of oven-braised beef roast with red potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and tomatoes cooked in a savory beef broth. The daily dinners come with a choice of buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins.

Last, but not least, the Cracker Barrel Favorites menu category will now feature Barrel-Cut Sugar Ham. Diners will enjoy an extra-thick cut of bone-in Sugar Ham steak that comes with a choice of buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins and three country sides.

There will also be a few updates to recipes diners are already familiar with as well as new options that are under 600 calories and have 15 grams of fat or fewer for those who prefer healthier options.

Curbside, pickup and delivery options are available nationwide for those who prefer to enjoy their favorite Cracker Barrel meals from the comfort of their own kitchens rather than dining out. After all, the flavors may not have changed, but in-house restaurant dining has experienced quite a few changes in the wake of coronavirus.


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Photo of Cracker Barrel Chicken n Dumplins is by Adinaplus and is used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) License. Thank you, Adinaplus. Great Picture. Photos may be “representative” of the recipe and not the actual finished dish. All photo licenses listed were correct at the time of the posting of the page. Additional Information Courtesy of Wikipedia and is used by permission.


These are the Only States Without a Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is one of the most iconic American restaurant chains out there. You can stop at Cracker Barrel on a road trip or head there for an easy weekend brunch in your hometown. You can even eat at Cracker Barrel on holidays like Thanksgiving. But believe it or not, five U.S. states don't have Cracker Barrel restaurants.

If your first guess is that two of those five are Alaska and Hawaii, which aren't part of the contiguous U.S., you aren't wrong. But can you name the other three? Here are the five states where there's not a Cracker Barrel in sight.


Cracker Barrel's dinner menu is undergoing some huge changes

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is often a welcome sign off the highway for travelers in need of affordable, good old-fashioned, home-cooked meals. Now, the comfort food restaurant will be offering new menu items and a simplified dinner menu.

So, what's new? In the Home Cooked Classics menu category, diners will find the new Maple Bacon Grilled Chicken, which consists of two chicken breasts dressed in a maple glaze and topped with bacon and melted cheese. This dish will come with buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins and a choice of two country sides.

The Down Home Daily Dinners category features a different menu item each day — the Saturday and Sunday options are the new ones. Saturday’s dinner will be Country Fried Pork Chops that come with two hand-breaded crispy pork chops with roasted pan gravy and choice of two country sides. Sunday’s meal will be a Pot Roast Supper of oven-braised beef roast with red potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and tomatoes cooked in a savory beef broth. The daily dinners come with a choice of buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins.

Last, but not least, the Cracker Barrel Favorites menu category will now feature Barrel-Cut Sugar Ham. Diners will enjoy an extra-thick cut of bone-in Sugar Ham steak that comes with a choice of buttermilk biscuits or corn muffins and three country sides.

There will also be a few updates to recipes diners are already familiar with as well as new options that are under 600 calories and have 15 grams of fat or fewer for those who prefer healthier options.

Curbside, pickup and delivery options are available nationwide for those who prefer to enjoy their favorite Cracker Barrel meals from the comfort of their own kitchens rather than dining out. After all, the flavors may not have changed, but in-house restaurant dining has experienced quite a few changes in the wake of coronavirus.

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This Plant-Based Fast Food Chain Is About To Double Its Locations

If you're trying to be conscious of the ways your patterns of consumption affect the planet (and your health), and you dig a good drive-thru, good news: A dynamic, plant-based fast-food franchise is expanding, as its key new investor says the world should watch for more like this to come.PRNewswire published this in recent days: California's Plant Power Fast Food hast just completed its $7.5 million Series A capital. With a name that suggests revolution, Plant Power Fast Food calls itself the home of "100% plant-based burgers, fries and shakes." They currently have seven locations in operation throughout California with an eighth in the works at the University of California San Diego.RELATED: Costco Foods You Should Always Avoid, According to NutritionistsNow, the chain says, they'll use this newly secured capital to "to continue to execute its expansion plans with a focus on new corporate unit development," according to their announcement. That's set to include eight new store openings in such cities as Sacramento and Hollywood, and what appears to be its first inter-state opening in Las Vegas. Said Lee Piccoli, CEO of the investment company Fusion Ventures: "Plant Power Fast Food has built something unique and scalable, and the brand has captured the hearts of aspirational consumers whose needs are evolving."This is an exciting development in the plant-based movement, as Plant Power Fast Food boasts a truly indulgent menu. Apart from their salads that feature superfood ingredients (which seem tantalizing in their own rite), the chain offers an extensive menu of burgers inspired by fast-food classics (the double-decker, sesame seed-topped "Big Zac," named after co-founder Zach Vouga, is a clear plant play on the Big Mac at McDonald's). They also offer vegan chicken selections, all-natural fries ("Just potatoes, oil, and salt," says their site), dairy-free "shakes," and novelty items such as a kombucha float.As our eating evolves, it's fun to see brands that are pushing the bounds of what's possible with plant-based options (like Plant Power's "Rambler Burger" topped with American "cheese" and onion rings). Keep reading up on food news with these:15 Popular McDonald's Menu Items That Are Gone for GoodYou Won't Believe How Many Ingredients Are In McDonald's French Fries9 Nostalgic Snack Brands Launching New Treats for SummerAmerica's Favorite Frozen Yogurt Chain Just Launched This New Summer Drink

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Fad diets come and go, but there are a few tried and true methods to losing weight that actually work—and don't involve unhealthy habits like not eating enough or working out too much. Adrienne Youdim, MD, FACP, an internist who specializes in medical weight loss and nutrition and author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Hungry for More: Stories and Science to Inspire Weight Loss from the Inside Out, offers 15 evidence-based weight loss tips to Eat This, Not That! that can help you achieve your weight loss goals the right way. 1 Get Enough Sleep Sleep is crucial for weight loss, Dr. Youdim explains. "Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase hunger hormones as well as cravings for highly palatable (i.e. high fat, high sugar) foods," she says. She suggests shooting for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 2 Reduce Alcohol Intake Alcohol is a "double whammy" in terms of weight gain. "Alcohol is not only empty calories but also affects leptin —a hormone that signals fullness to the brain, and also has negative effects on sleep quantity and quality," she says. 3 Eat Real Food Studies show that processed versions of whole foods don't suppress hunger hormones as well as the real deal, Dr. Youdim reveals. "For example, processed chicken (like the kind you get in frozen meals or fast food patties), will suppress hunger hormones less than a real piece of chicken breast."RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say 4 Eat More Protein Amp up protein intake if you want to lose weight. "Higher protein intake helps preserve muscle mass (and therefore your metabolism) while losing weight so that you lose fat mass not muscle," says Dr. Youdim. She recommends 1-1.2 grams per kg body weight. 5 Start Your Day with Protein Dr. Youdim suggests eating a protein packed breakfast. "There is a lot of controversy around 'to breakfast or not,' but studies show that a high-protein breakfast (ie 20 grams) will suppress hunger hormones all day," she reveals. 6 Practice Self-Compassion Having a good attitude and practicing self love is key to reaching your goals. "Often we bully ourselves into losing weight. This leads to sabotage, while self-compassion has been shown to be more effective in habit change," Dr. Youdim says. 7 Manage Your Stress Finding ways to de-stress can be key to losing weight. "Stress literally hijacks our hunger hormones, tricking us to feeling hungry when we are not," Dr. Youdim explains. She suggests managing stress with exercise, journaling, and mindfulness—not food.RELATED: I'm A Doctor And Warn You Never Take This Supplement 8 Practice Mindful Meditation Getting your zen on can be helpful on your weight loss journey. 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5 Signs You Have Dementia and Aren't Aging "Normally"

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You Have to Try This Protein-Packed Summer Lunch Spread with Farro Salad, Ricotta Dip, and Eggs

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We Tried Popular New Fast-Food Summer Items and This Is the Best One

The expectations for this summer are high, with terms like "renaissance" and "return," and superlatives like "best" or "craziest" being thrown around. And, as an industry that's especially skilled in leaning into national marketing opportunities, the fast-food space is not one to ignore such an exciting time. As the hype around this summer keeps growing, so do the fast-food menus.From ridiculously celebratory to more practical and refreshing, chains have been rolling out new menu items that'll go hand-in-hand with hot summer days. They look beautiful and promisingly refreshing, but which of these new drinks and sweet treats are worth the hype of their own?I tried six of the buzziest new summer releases to find out—here's how they ranked. For more, check out We Tried the Most Popular New Iced Coffees and This Is the Best One. 6 McDonald's Strawberry Watermelon Slushie This slushie, which recently made its debut at Mickey D's, looks to be a classic in every sense. Bright red, it comes in a cone-topped plastic cup that allows for its entire grandeur to be taken in at once. I was eager to taste the strawberry and watermelon combo, and had high expectations from that first slurp. But then it just tasted . . . red.Unfortunately, beyond the clear cup with McArches etched on, there's really nothing that sets this slushie apart from a gas station staple. While it wasn't bad per se, I simply can't validate any hype on this one.RELATED: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox. 5 Taco Bell's Baja Blast Colada Freeze I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the first experience of a new fast-food item largely depends on how well it was executed by the specific location you ordered from. In the case of this Baja Blast, the Taco Bell I ordered from under-delivered. I get it—things are busier than ever, especially in the newly-maskless New York City. But this Baja Blast filled only three quarters of the cup and looked a little worse for wear.That said, the flavor of this bad boy made up for any initially lackluster impression. While still ultimately just a slushie, the Baja Blast has a slightly carbonated kick that sets it apart, making for a memorable and unique tasting experience. Definitely worth grabbing for a park hang this summer. 4 Dunkin's Berry Powdered Donut If you're a fan of Dunkin's classic powdered donuts, you'll love this summery upgrade. The Berry Powdered Donut looks appealingly modern—apparently lavender is an "it" color right now—and its taste does not disappoint.Every bit as buttery and textured as a regular Dunkin' powdered donut, the berry flavor packs a subtle punch from the moment it hits your mouth. Of course, the reigning flavor here is still Dunkin's classic donut taste, so quite a bit hinges on individual feelings about that. For me, while this new delicacy was good, it was still a bit too heavy to rank much higher on a summer round-up. 3 McDonald's Caramel Brownie McFlurry I know, I know: talk about heavy. A McFlurry is in no way light or healthy, but honestly, for the moments in which you're looking to indulge and cool off, this guy does the trick.The new McFlurry flavor makes a strong first impression, with chunks of brownie and caramel visibly dotting the top. The Mickey D's vanilla ice cream flavor is a nice compliment to the dense add-ins, and for the first seven or eight bites, this dessert is pure heaven. The reason it didn't rank higher? All the bites thereafter. As is commonly an issue with McFlurries, the bottom becomes plain vanilla ice cream pretty quickly. Still good! But definitely less enticing than we were originally led to believe. 2 Starbucks' Dragon Drink There's no other way to put it: this drink is cool. Literally—it's an iced, caffeinated beverage made with real dragonfruit and coconut milk—but also figuratively. The name, the fresh fruit floating on top, the color! I can't get enough.While slightly on the sweet side for my taste, the Dragon Drink is definitely worth all of the summer 2021 hype. It's refreshing and tropical and tastes truly hand-crafted. I give it a 10/10 and will be bringing it to the beach on summer afternoons. 1 Shake Shack's Strawberry Salted Limeade Don't walk, run! Shake Shack's limited-edition Strawberry Salted Limeade is one of three new flavors the chain rolled for a limited time. It's only available until June 30, which means we have exactly one month to enjoy this bad boy.Unlike the other summer creations, Shake Shack's Limeade is more refreshing than just plain sweet. Its taste is just as layered as its name would lead you to believe, and while it's great on its own, we can also picture it making a mean mixer for beginning-of-summer cocktails.For more, check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.

Over 40? Stop Doing These Things Immediately, Say Experts

Over 40? Stop doing these things immediately, say experts—even though we know you won't want to. Aging naturally comes with compromise. And no one wants to feel limited. However, being realistic about aging can help you embrace it, and maximize your health so you can in fact feel young, even if you are not. "Becoming acutely aware of your own physical and emotional feelings is something" many people neglect to do, says Dr. Martin Miner, Regional Medical Director of Vault Health, "and it has a negative impact on their health as they age. Take command of your feelings and life, and learn to take actions that steer the ship the way you want to go." With that in mind, we've collected 7 essential pieces of advice anyone after 40 should follow. Stop doing these things immediately—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor. 1 Don't Neglect Your Vitamin D Levels—or Your Iron, Riboflavin and More "Vitamin deficiencies can be an issue at any age, particularly with the common American diet," says the Burgess Health Center. "However, as women age, vitamin deficiencies become even more common and can be the cause of many symptoms and conditions. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent and can contribute to increased bone-mass loss (over the age of 40, this happens to women naturally, but a deficiency in vitamin D accelerates the problem) and osteoporosis. Low vitamin D has also been linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder. Other potential deficiencies include iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B." 2 Stop Eating Right Before Bedtime—It Makes You Gain Weight Too Fast You used to be able to down an entire pizza or pint of Ben&Jerry's while binging a Netflix marathon, or maybe have a few beers at the bar till midnight, but now…you can't. Or at least, you shouldn't. "Eating before bed can cause the body's metabolism to slow," say the experts at Amerisleep. "The body slows down its functions at night to prepare for sleep, but consuming foods, especially those high in carbs, can make it harder to digest and result in weight gain." It's already harder to lose weight after 40 don't make it more so. 3 Stop Obsessing Over Your Hair Loss. Accept it Or Do Something About It. A receding hairline, baldness or thinning hair are a natural part of aging for men and women, as ordinary as your hair going grey. Rather than waste years fretting over how badly you look as a result, do one of two things: 1) Accept it. You don't look like you used to. And that's OK. 2) A far more expensive option is to try hair growth products, some of which actually do work. Look for products with minoxidil—shown to grow hair faster in women—like in Rogaine.RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts 4 Pump Iron, and Eat Iron "At this time of life many people take their good health for granted and healthy eating and exercise are often put on the back burner," says the BBC. "But as we grow older, good nutrition and regular exercise become even more important. A diet rich in antioxidants may help protect against some health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, cataracts and certain types of cancer." Not to mention: "After the age of 40, the metabolic rate (the speed at which the body burns calories) drops, but the drop is very modest and the real reason many people in this age bracket start to suffer from middle-aged spread is due to a change in hormone levels and poor dietary choices, combined with a lack of exercise. Excess weight, particularly around the 'middle' is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis and the longer you wait before you tackle the problem the harder it becomes – nip any weight gain in the bud now before it becomes a serious problem." 5 Don't Think You're Too Cool for Therapy Some of us ignore psychological pain even more than physical pain, especially men. "Men in their 40s have the tendency to ignore their emotional needs, which leads to an increase in stress and stress-related illness," says Haley Neidich, LCSW, a therapist based in New Haven, Connecticut. "Acknowledging when you need support and seeking out the right mental health counseling for your needs is essential."RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 6 Don't Skip These Essential Health Screenings According to Beaumont Health, "the screenings in the 18 – 39 age group should continue to be completed annually, or as recommended by your physician, which include:a cholesterol check should be completed in your twenties, and then annually once you turn 35 it will be checked every five years if normal, annually if you have risk factorsfull body skin check to examine for suspicious moles or skin lesionswomen: exam for breast lumpswomen: pelvic examwomen: pap smear should be conducted every three years starting at the age of 21men: testicular exam"And if you're over 40, add these in, says Beaumont:"women: mammograms start the age of 40 and should be done annually if breast cancer runs in your family or you have other risk factors, you may need to begin regular mammograms at an earlier agemen: prostate screenings start at the age 50 unless you are a high-risk individual then you start at the age of 40full body scan for suspicious moles or skin lesions should be completed annually, as well as fasting blood sugar levels for signs of diabetescolonoscopy should be completed at age 50 or ten years earlier than the youngest family member with colon cancer with normal results, colorectal cancer screenings should be completed every 10 years." 7 You Can Think You're Young. But Don't Exercise That Way. Says the Cleveland Clinic, when it comes to exercise:"Warm up: 'It's important to warm up your muscles before strength training,' says Tom Iannetta ATC, CSCS, a senior athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. ɿive or 10 minutes on the elliptical machine or stationary bike gives you a good light warmup before lifting weights.'Get stretchy: 'Incorporate a good flexibility program alongside your strength training program,' he says. Whether it's yoga or a simple stretching routine, it will help you stay flexible and decrease the risk of tendon tears and other injuries.Try machines: If you're used to lifting free weights, consider switching to weight machines. These can be safer and help you avoid injuries when aging brings on a loss of muscle tone.Listen to your body: That's true at any age, but especially as you get older. If you have muscle pain that lasts the better part of a week, or joint pain that lasts more than a day or two, that's a red flag."And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

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This Iconic, Nearly Extinct Fast-Food Chain Is Planning a Comeback

Many of America's favorite restaurant chains from the 1970s have fallen by the wayside, living on only in our memories, books, TV shows, and movies. And while the days of Howard Johnson's or the Burger Chef are forever behind us, some beloved fast-food chains of yesteryear still might have a bright future ahead. One such relic of that era has recently announced a comeback. Nathan's Famous recently said it's planning to revive the iconic fish-and-chips chain Arthur Treacher's.According to QSR Magazine, Arthur Treacher's will be relaunched as a ghost kitchen, with plans to open physical restaurants down the line. A brief refresher—a ghost kitchen is a restaurant without a dining room, one that exists exclusively on online ordering platforms, available only for delivery (or sometimes for delivery and pickup). So, when the beloved chain comes back, you won't actually be able to visit the restaurant at first.RELATED: This Beloved Italian Dine-In Chain Is Planning to Open 100 New LocationsThe once widespread chain, which is credited with bringing authentic-style fish and chips to the American fast-food scene, had as many as 800 restaurants during its peak but counted only seven (across New York and Ohio) two years ago. However, parent company Nathan's Famous offers the original Treacher's items at several of their restaurants. The revival will keep some of those fan-favorites while also adding new ones."We're using the same breading that everyone loves. That same hand-batter, crispy golden batter. We'll have the same hush puppies. But we're upgrading all of the proteins," Nathan's Famous SVP of restaurants James Walker told QSR. "We're adding more shrimp to the menu. We're really upscaling the quality, but keeping those same flavors and appearance that people love about the brand."For those who grew up in a time without Arthur Treacher's, here's a brief history of the chain. The first of its restaurants opened in Columbus, Ohio in 1969 (with the help of Wendy's founder Dave Thomas). The restaurant was named after British actor Arthur Treacher, best known for playing a number of butler and valet roles in 1930s films. The chain expanded in the first half of the 1970s, reaching hundreds of locations, but it ended up filing for bankruptcy before the 1980s.While the timeline for its return is still under wraps, experts say it could happen quickly. Fans can look forward to Fish n' Chips Sandwiches, Captain's Dinners, and the Boom Boom Shrimp Platters in the near future.For more fast-food nostalgia, be sure to check out these 24 Forgotten Fast-Food Restaurants. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

How we met: ‘I mistakenly drank his contact lenses’

How we met: ‘I mistakenly drank his contact lenses’Hannah and Nav, both 34, met at university in 2005. After an awkward start they became a couple and now live together in St Albans with their two children ‘He’s taught me about spontaneity’ … Hannah with Nav at their home in north London in 2017. Photograph: Image supplied by reader

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Poem of the week: Homage to the Square by Tishani DoshiThis spiralling meditation inspired by the artist Josef Albers has a quietly political thrust A visitor to Christie’s in London stands between Homage to the Square: Between 2 Scarlets by Josef Albers (left) and Rosso Plastica by Alberto Burri. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

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Cracker Barrel’s Revitalized Menu Marries Tradition and Innovation

The chain rolled out alcohol, dinner options, and a new Kid’s Menu. And has more in the works.

Cracker Barrel’s culture is rooted in heritage, but that doesn’t mean tradition can’t be reimagined.

The commitment to innovation was on full display in 2020 as the 663-unit brand released a revamped dinner menu, diversified its family meal deals, and introduced alcohol for the first time in its 51-year history.

Cammie Spillyards-Schaefer, vice president of culinary and menu strategy, says Cracker Barrel is always listening to consumers, examining the macro environment, understanding competitors, and taking notice of inspirational chefs at independents. The chain keeps an eye on all those matters, and then develops products. Once all the checkpoints are met at the home office, the food heads toward an operational test where operators get their hands on new offerings, test them, and receive feedback from guests.

That process is exactly how alcohol made its way to Cracker Barrel. Consumers said they wanted options for beer and wine, especially on weekend dinner occasions. Spillyards-Schaefer says the chain is also aware guests may sometimes dine at another restaurant simply because they don’t have alcoholic offerings. So with the new program, a veto vote is eliminated, and guests are provided with an enhanced experience.

CEO Sandy Cochran said in December alcohol proved to be incremental in Q1 and mixed 1 percent. At that point, the program was offered in 250 stores, but Cracker Barrel projects it will roll out to roughly 600 by the end of the fiscal calendar.

Wine options include Gambino Sparkling Wine, Sutter Home Moscato, Sutter Home Chardonnay, Sutter Home Merlot, and Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon, while the beer menu features Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Angry Orchard Cider, and Twisted Tea.

The favorite so far has been the Orange and Strawberry Mimosa, which customers have been drinking all day, not just the morning daypart.

Cracker Barrel's mimosas have been popular all times of the day.

“I think because people eat breakfast with us all day, and that's a really important part of our brand, they might be eating pancakes at dinner, but the idea of combining those with a mimosa is delicious, right?” Spillyards-Schaefer says. “The other thing we'll see is they might be eating Southern Fried Chicken, and what's better than champagne and fried chicken? And so they'll have an Orange Mimosa with a Southern Fried Chicken, and we know that our guests like that little cup of sweet, indulgent kind of drink. And so that seems to be fitting the bill for them.”

The introduction of alcohol coincided with an evolution of the dinner menu that called for simplicity and innovation. For example, Cracker Barrel previously had a larger and smaller portion size for its Chicken and Dumplings—one with two sides, and the other with three sides. Spillyards-Schaefer says it was difficult for customers to understand the difference and for cooks to remember correct portion sizes. So the brand aligned portion sizes and gave customers a choice of either two or three sides.

“Something that sounds as simple as that actually eases execution tremendously in our back-of-house,” Spillyards-Schaefer says. “… There’s never been a more important time than COVID—and all of the challenges that it brings—to keep a high level of execution in our restaurants.”

Cracker Barrel also removed low-performing items across the menu to make room for new dinner offerings that guests would enjoy even more, like the Chicken Pot Pie, Maple Bacon Grilled Chicken, Country Fried Pork Chops, Pot Roast Supper, and Barrel-Cut Sugar Ham.

Spillyards-Schaefer says COVID did slow Cracker Barrel’s major launch of the revamped dinner menu, but she adds it pushed the brand to streamline the process and bring innovation to the market faster than it ever has before. It’s a new strategy Cracker Barrel will maintain coming out of the pandemic.

“Chicken Pot Pie had a really great guest response, both in sales performance, but also in how they loved the item,” Spillyards-Schaefer says. “It’s just one of those natural fits for Cracker Barrel—it looks beautiful on TV, it eats really well, and people absolutely loved it. And that barrel cut ham, it's an inch thick, 24-ounce ham steak, and so that thing going through the dining room is pretty impressive, and it's one of those eye catchers.”

Being a family-oriented restaurant, Cracker Barrel made sure not to exclude children from the innovation. The company’s new Kid’s Menu comprises Mini Confetti Pancakes, Lil’ Barrel Cheeseburgers, Dirt Cup Dessert, and a Milk n’ Cookies Straw. Spillyards-Schaefer says the standouts have been the pancakes—filled with fruity cereal and served with syrup and butter— and the Dirt Cup, which mixes layers of chocolate pudding with chocolate cookie crumbles and gummy worms.

Cracker Barrel learned kids enjoy interactive and captivating presentations.

To test those products, Cracker Barrel brought both parents and children into qualitative focus groups. The brand learned kids enjoy interactive and captivating presentations. As a result, kids are provided with smaller, user-friendly utensils, and pancake syrup is served in ramekins so little guests can dip their food. The chain balanced their research with the wishes of parents. Milk is the best example parents want their kids to drink milk, so to entice the kids, Cracker Barrel created a milk straw that has cookies and cream flavor beads in it.

“You can't can't wear your feelings on your sleeve when you talk to kids about what they like and don't like right,” Spillyards-Schaefer says. “They’re super honest. But it was really fun to watch them actually eat the food and talk about the food.”

Cracker Barrel’s menu transformation extended beyond the four walls as well. For years, the brand was known for its large, Heat n’ Serve meals offered during the holidays. Those typically serve eight to 10 guests, but with COVID infiltrating the U.S., the brand knew it needed to help consumers in smaller gatherings. So Cracker Barrel introduced new meals that serve up to six guests, such as the Thanksgiving Heat n' Serve Family Dinner that includes turkey breast, dressing, gravy, cranberry relish, rolls, and two sides.

Along with a variety of serving sizes, Cracker Barrel is also moving forward with a wider range of proteins in its family meal deal program. The chain tested a Prime Rib Heat n’ Serve meal that feeds four to six people. Spillyards-Schaefer says the product was “extremely popular” and that it’ll likely be part of a holiday offer sometime soon.

“Sometimes we need completely new innovation and the Prime Rib Heat n’ Serve is a great example of that,” Spillyards-Schaefer says. “That’s not available in our stores. Cracker Barrel is all about traditions, and what's more traditional at a holiday than prime rib? So for us to be able to deliver a great item like that, that's only off-premise was a really fantastic thing that drove business and drove sales and we think drove incrementality to the holiday occasion, which is fantastic.”

Spillyards-Schaefer says the restaurant will finish rolling out its new dinner menu later this year. There’s one final phase that will involve taking Cracker Barrel favorites like the Hash Brown Casserole, Southern Fried Chicken, and Mac and Cheese and inserting a “little twist.” Those items are currently in development and will be tested and sent to market shortly after. Additionally, Cracker Barrel is investing in catering occasions by testing Meatloaf Sliders, which is meatloaf with cheese, grilled onions, and caramelized ketchup on a bun. It’s served with a side of cobbler.

Spillyards-Schaefer says consumers can always expect Cracker Barrel to meet their needs. She recalls working as a chef in fine dining early in her career where she touched a couple of restaurants. Now she’s touching guests at more than 600 stores across the country, and the experience couldn’t be more rewarding.

“I love this brand,” Spillyards-Schaefer says. “I genuinely love what Cracker Barrel brings to the table and the experience that we give—developing food that meets our guests needs, but still delights them in new ways because they still want the things they've been enjoying in Cracker Barrel for 50 years. But they also want new things. And so being able to balance that and bring that to market for this brand is truly a joy.”


Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year at Cracker Barrel

If you're thinking, "To heck with cooking an elaborate Thanksgiving meal this year, let's take the whole fam to Cracker Barrel instead," you'd better get in line. Cracker Barrel confirmed in a press release that Thanksgiving Day is, in fact, their most jam-packed day on the year. Across the country on this feasting holiday, CB estimates that it serves 650,000 pounds of turkey and 1.1 million slices of pie. The other Thanksgiving staples it slings out in massive quantities include 8 million ounces of gravy and 1.6 million ounces of cranberry relish.

This includes carry-out turkey day meals, and dine-in grub. The menu all-stars on this day are the Homestyle Turkey 'n Dressing meals served at the restaurant, but the Heat n' Serve Holiday Family Meals To-Go and Homestyle Turkey n' Dressing Family Meals To-Go are also very popular.

Bottom line: If you plan to eat Cracker Barrel this Thanksgiving, plan accordingly. You won't be the only one.


Cracker Barrel Style French Toast

The end of October we went on vacation to Florida (there will be a post, because my four year old went on Tower of Terror and loved it&hellip that needs to be shared with the world). On the drive home we stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner, as we do every year, except everyone felt like breakfast, so that&rsquos what we ordered.


In an instant, everything that I knew about French Toast changed. If you&rsquove had it there, you know. If you haven&rsquot, well, you&rsquore in for a treat.

It&rsquos so simple too. The answer to perfect french toast is this: sourdough bread.

I saw that in the menu, and for a second I doubted. Really, sourdough bread. It&rsquos not that I don&rsquot like it, it&rsquos just that I use it for croutons, or for a bit of tang when we&rsquore having a steak. I thought how could that slightly tangy bread work as a sweet-ish breakfast? The answer &ndash perfectly.

That slight tang helps to offset the sweetness of the maple syrup. The hearty crumb of the bread itself means that it&rsquos not soggy, at all, anywhere. It&rsquos like sourdough bread was MADE to become French Toast, just nobody knows yet. Well, except for Cracker Barrel and anyone else out there that was smarter than me.

As soon as we got home I started working on it. Sophie and I were having it for lunch, and I was calling Bo to rub it in that he was missing it. I will never again make french toast on regular white bread, and you shouldn&rsquot either!

The ingredients are super simple too, it doesn&rsquot need a lot of extra fluff. I don&rsquot even add cinnamon to it, I found the flavour to be better without. Just eggs, milk, vanilla, and sugar. Four ingredients, whisked together by hand for thirty seconds, to give you the ultimate french toast. Your weekend just got a whole lot better!


Watch the video: Changes to plans for original Cracker Barrel restaurant


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