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Old 01-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
llori7
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OT: Anyone work at Cracker Barrel?

I applied at CB a couple months ago. I got called for an interview (for a server) and I go tomorrow! I put on the application, that I am only available Saturday and Sunday mornings. I used to work at the Outback, so I have lots of serving experience. I was wondering, what can you tell about the job: Do you leave with your tips right away? Or do you get them in your paycheck? Is there extensive training? Do you have to memorize (be tested) on the menu? What are the shifts like? Are they flexible as far as taking off? I am trying to compare it to the Outback--We took our money home at the end of the night, but we cashed everyone out ourselves. We had to do classrooms and lots of training. We had menu and liquor tests.

Anything you can tell me would help out a lot!! Thanks so much!!

Lori
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #2
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I don't know about working there but I am wishing you luck!
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:43 PM   #3
SandrA9810
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I can call my aunt, she works retail and hosting, but she also does new hire training.

There's constantly tests on your progress, that's how you earn your stars. And as you get a star, you get a pay raise for that position. So if you do hosting and serving, you'll have two different pay rates. And there's a set of tests for each position. You have to wait a certain amount of time before you can take the next test... but there's no limit to how long afterwards that you have to take it. Like you have to wait a min of 90 days but you have up to a year or something to take the test.

You have to work a min of 24hrs per week to qualify for benefits. Time off is generally by who's in charge of making the schedule. But she earns 1 week per year of vacation at part time. And she doesn't seem to have a problem requesting days off. At her store, the schedule is not posted that far in advance, like it's posted thursday/friday before the next week. But since she's availabe all the time, she seems to have managers changing her schedule even the night before on her.

There's no liquor... so that helps a bit. I do think you have to memorize most the menu offerings. And you have to memorize a script about seasonal offerings and push it to every customer. When she does hosting, she has to seat them with the script, push the daily special. Like during the fall they offer coke a cola cake, but at the end of the season when they still have tons of stuff to make up the cake, they have to push it even harder to get rid of all of it. That happened during the summer time with the strawberry shortcake, and the incoming arrival of the coke cake.

I'm not sure about cashing out your tips. I know she deals with it as a cashier, so she would know, she's just never told me how it works.


Sunday breakfast is like the hardest hit day of the week. And saturday is just busy all day. Shifts start as early as 6am, but I don't think any later than 10pm.

ETA: You walk out with your tips in cash. And the only sharing is if you have to share a large party. In training or in a meeting, you get min wage. If you're serving you get your server's pay.

Last edited by SandrA9810; 01-03-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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I used to know a girl who worked there and wanted to offer -for what it's worth - this itsy teensy bit of advice:

Be nice to the senior citizen tour groups, especially at breakfast.

They will sit and order a cup of coffee and a biscuit and be at the big tables for 50 minutes. . .but then each and every one of them will tip you a dollar and all you had to do was come around with a full coffee pot occasionally. . .


She said she liked it and that they were always looking for weekenders and 2nd job people, at least at her location, which was uber touristy and had no colleges nearby.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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Can't help you with the questions, but good luck!

And...if you can find out if they ever plan to sell Baked Potato Seasoning again, I'd love you forever!
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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I can't help you but thought I'd bump this up for ya Good Luck!


Oh, and if any employees do pop in.....Do you know if they still have the Apple Chicken salad with the bacon & Bleu Cheese & Apple Cider dressing? That was delicious!!!!!
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:59 AM   #7
llori7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandrA9810 View Post
I can call my aunt, she works retail and hosting, but she also does new hire training.

There's constantly tests on your progress, that's how you earn your stars. And as you get a star, you get a pay raise for that position. So if you do hosting and serving, you'll have two different pay rates. And there's a set of tests for each position. You have to wait a certain amount of time before you can take the next test... but there's no limit to how long afterwards that you have to take it. Like you have to wait a min of 90 days but you have up to a year or something to take the test.

You have to work a min of 24hrs per week to qualify for benefits. Time off is generally by who's in charge of making the schedule. But she earns 1 week per year of vacation at part time. And she doesn't seem to have a problem requesting days off. At her store, the schedule is not posted that far in advance, like it's posted thursday/friday before the next week. But since she's availabe all the time, she seems to have managers changing her schedule even the night before on her.

There's no liquor... so that helps a bit. I do think you have to memorize most the menu offerings. And you have to memorize a script about seasonal offerings and push it to every customer. When she does hosting, she has to seat them with the script, push the daily special. Like during the fall they offer coke a cola cake, but at the end of the season when they still have tons of stuff to make up the cake, they have to push it even harder to get rid of all of it. That happened during the summer time with the strawberry shortcake, and the incoming arrival of the coke cake.

I'm not sure about cashing out your tips. I know she deals with it as a cashier, so she would know, she's just never told me how it works.


Sunday breakfast is like the hardest hit day of the week. And saturday is just busy all day. Shifts start as early as 6am, but I don't think any later than 10pm.

ETA: You walk out with your tips in cash. And the only sharing is if you have to share a large party. In training or in a meeting, you get min wage. If you're serving you get your server's pay.
Thanks! DO you know if you have to start as a hostess and work up to a server? Or can I just start as a server?
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:28 AM   #8
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Good luck today!!
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:32 AM   #9
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No help here...just good luck and can you give me the recipie to Outback's Ceaser salad dressing?????
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:45 AM   #10
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Hi! I worked as a server at both Outback and Cracker Barrel. While I enjoyed Outback more, Cracker Barrel had a much higher table turnover. The tips aren't as big as what you would get at Outback but because of the high turnaround, I made pretty much the same. I enjoyed the fast pace of Cracker Barrel but I found that the customer's were harder to please at Cracker Barrel (of course, not all ). My thought is that with there being so many Cracker Barrel's and so many more people have gone to CB than Outback that people expect something they had in a North Dakota CB to taste EXACTLY like that every time.

I started as a server and never was a hostess. IMO (and this may just be at the Cracker Barrel I worked at), they had a pretty thorough training process. I don't remember being tested or if it was it wasn't very hard (but it was about 8 years ago when I worked there). Also you were eligible every so often to take "tests" which would give you another star on your apron and like a nickel more per hour on your paycheck.

You do get to take your tips home every night and you don't have to split your tips with anyone (i.e. hosts/bussers). I've worked at a lot of restaurants and I have never seen bussers try and steal as much money as I did at Cracker Barrel so be sure to pick up your tips as soon as you see the people gone. I caught quite a few bussers (of course, there again this just may be where I worked).

It is one of the most exhausting serving jobs but it does have it's perks. Discounts on food/merchandise, not having to deal with the customer paying you because they go to the store, no alcohol served so you don't have to wait on a bartender for a drink or deal with the customer who wants a margarita with fresh lime, 6 cubes of ice, 32 grains of salt around the rim, a twist of lemon, and shaken lightly , and good flexibility. I never had an issue taking off and one thing I really liked is that sometimes at restaurants they are run poorly or with "favorites" (i.e. the manager's bff's getting what they want first and then screwing everyone else) but it seems like there's policies in place for just about everything.

At our Cracker Barrel you had to bring anything you wanted to bring into work (i.e. purse) in a clear, see through bag and it had to be locked up in a locker.

Good luck! I hope you like it. If nothing else you'll make pretty good money working Sat-Sun's!

**Oh, I wanted to add that at CB after training you usually follow a server for 1-2 days, they follow you for a day, then you get a table, then you get a section of 3-5 tables. Of course the timeline varies on how comfortable they are (or you feel you are) with what you're doing.
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