Cracker Barrel’s “customers” are angry it offers plant-based sausages, but the company has been improving over the years

Cracker Barrel was at the center of the internet’s latest teapot storm, with a group of outspoken commenters expressing anger at the chain announcement It will start offering Impossible Sausages on its menu.

Adding a plant-based option doesn’t mean pork or turkey sausage goes away, and Several other chain restaurantsInclude Burger King, has achieved great success by offering meatless options. But that was little consolation to the protesters, who howled that the restaurant “was awake.”

It’s important to note that while the people who complain the most online may or may not be the chain’s customers, whoever they are, they don’t seem to be paying much attention to how Cracker Barrel works.

Although the chain is notorious to discriminate In the 1990s and 2000s, including Gay workers fired in 1991 With no “normal heterosexual values,” it has been a leader in the inclusivity movement in recent years.

In 2019, the company took a firm stand against discrimination, banning anti-LGBTQ Knoxville pastor Grayson Fritz and his church members from using the Tennessee cookie bucket as a meeting place.

“We believe this environment is critical for our employees for a number of reasons,” a Cracker Barrel spokeswoman told Knoxville News Sentinel then. “The guest experience should never surpass the employee experience because our success starts with the employee experience.”

The chain’s score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index has more than doubled from 35 in 2011 when CEO Sandra Cochran took office to 80 in 2022.

Last June, the company said on its Facebook page It has been on a “journey of improvement and understanding”, adding that “Cracker Barrel is a place where people of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities, walks of life, political preferences and sexual orientations can come together and feel at home. .”

Like the recently announced plant-based sausage, the announcement drew protests from some self-proclaimed customers. But in its most recent earnings report, the company reported revenue of more than $790 million, up nearly 11% from the previous year. Comparable-store restaurant sales increased 10.9%.

For its part, Cracker Barrel chose to focus on the providing to wealth In response to its new meatless option, it said: “We thank our fans for their love for our all-day breakfast menu. At Cracker Barrel, we are always exploring opportunities to expand the way our guests experience breakfast and provide satisfying Options for every taste bud — whether people want to stick to traditional favorites like bacon and sausage, or crave a new, plant-based option like Impossible Sausage.”

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