If you want to start your own restaurant & are searching novel is a business opportunity, you ought to consider purchasing a Cracker Barrel franchise. It provides an unparalleled combination for guests seeking a fun experience with its distinctive ambiance and Southern-style home cooking.

But there are a few things to think about before you launch your own Cracker Barrel-style business. To ensure everything goes properly, you must be aware of the expenses involved and the time commitment needed. You also need to be familiar with the laws and guidelines related to running a firm. 

Cracker Barrel is a popular American restaurant chain known for its country-style dining experience. Based on the information I found, it’s important to note that Cracker Barrel doesn’t franchise its stores; all of its locations are company-owned and operated. The company has experienced considerable growth in recent years, with its 2022 revenue reaching a record $3.27 billion, up from 2021’s $2.82 billion.

What is a Cracker Barrel Restaurant?

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., commonly referred to as Cracker Barrel, is an American chain of combined restaurant and gift stores. Established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee, by Dan Evins, the franchise has grown to over 600 locations throughout the United States. The Cracker Barrel brand represents a unique blend of Southern-style comfort food, country-themed ambiance, and a shopping experience that offers a variety of nostalgic, vintage, and unique products.

The Franchise prides itself on providing an inviting atmosphere where families can gather, travelers can rest, and friends can reconnect. Its menu features classic American comfort foods such as biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, and country-fried steak, as well as seasonal and regional specialties. The gift store component of Cracker Barrel locations carries a wide range of products, including home decor, apparel, toys, and food items, often reflecting a nostalgic or vintage theme.

Cracker Barrel restaurants are typically located near highways and interstates, making them a popular choice for road trips and long-distance travelers. The combination of a home-cooked meal and a unique shopping experience has made the Franchise a beloved part of American culture.

Is Cracker Barrel a franchise opportunity?

Basically, can you buy the Cracker Barrel franchise, no you cannot. All of their stores are company-owned and operated. This means that, unfortunately, you wouldn’t be able to own a Cracker Barrel restaurant through a franchising agreement.

As previously mentioned, Cracker Barrel does not offer franchise and so no requirements; all locations are company-owned and operated. However, I can provide you with some general information about the company.

Cracker Barrel Franchise Review and Inf
Industry Type Food Franchise Opportunities
Sub Category Country-style Dining and Gift Store
Year Established 1969
Company Name Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.
Founder/Management Head Dan Evins (Founder), Sandra B. Cochran (President and CEO)
Franchising Started Cracker Barrel does not franchise its stores
Employees at Company H.O not publicly available
Franchise Expansion Plan Cracker Barrel does not offer franchises
Number of Units 664 locations (as of September 2021)
Number of Franchise Units Cracker Barrel does not offer franchises
Social Media Handles Facebook
Company Office location  305 Hartmann Drive, Lebanon, TN 37087, United States

Facts That Nobody Told You About Cracker Barrel 

Are you looking to get into the Franchise? Good choice—but there are some things you should know before making your decision. Here are a few facts that nobody told you about Cracker Barrel:

  • Cracker Barrel is a 70-year-old company, and the first restaurant opened in 1969. It originated with a gas station in Lebanon, Tennessee, and since then has grown to over 650 restaurants across 44 states and Canada.
  • Yearly sales have been increasing steadily over the past decade, and that means more money for franchise owners.
  • Cracker Barrel does not offer franchising opportunities. All of their stores are company-owned and operated.
  • The ongoing royalty rate is 3.2%. This is much lower than other QSR (quick service restaurant) franchises and gives franchise owners more freedom to manage their profits.
  • The HQ supports a variety of causes both inside and outside of its restaurants, from taking care of its employees to supporting local charities and initiatives.

So if you are looking for an opportunity to invest in a brand that has proven itself over time with increasing profits and support for social causes, then Cracker Barrel could be right up your alley!

How much do Cracker Barrel franchise owners make?

As I mentioned before, Cracker Barrel does not offer franchises; all locations are company-owned and operated. Therefore, there are no Franchise owners, and no earnings figures are available for this hypothetical scenario.

So, what do you need to know in order to franchise with companies equivalent to Cracker Barrel? Here’s the deal

  • Financing and capitalization

To start off on the right foot with this franchise opportunity, you’ll need access to plenty of liquid capital. You’ll need at least $1 million in liquid assets and a total of $4 million in net worth—this is due to the high cost of setting up a new restaurant.

  • Training and Experience

You’ll also need restaurant experience and knowledge. This means practical experience in the operation of a full-service restaurant as well as 10 years of managerial experience operating a multi-unit business or managing a large staff.

  • Location and Site Evaluation

The location has to have easy access and visibility from local highways; it should have ample parking spaces and be able to accommodate both indoor and outdoor dining areas. A team from the franchise will review your chosen site and offer feedback on whether it will work for their franchise model.

  • Other Cracker Barrel Franchise Cost  and Requirements 

Lastly, you must be ready and willing to live within 25 miles of your chosen site for the first year after you launch the restaurant. You must also be ready to attend all training events—both online and in person—as well as adhere strictly to all policies, procedures, and guidelines set out by brand/company corporate offices during the term of your franchise agreement.

Cracker Barrel Franchise

How much does a Cracker Barrel-like franchise cost?

Although the company does not provide franchise opportunities at present, when it comes to starting a franchise, you’ll find that the cost might not be too outrageous. According to the company, the total cost, including setup and equipment, can range from $1.9 million to $3.6 million in the United States. Obviously, the specifics can vary depending on a number of factors.

Here’s a breakdown of these costs

  1. Initial franchise fee
  2. Initial costs
  3. Equipment and furniture
  4. Advertising expenses
  5. Working capital

Cracker Barrel like franchise Training for Franchises

Are you trying to find a business opportunity that will let you succeed and give your clients a fantastic experience? Then stop your search right now.

This one can prove to be a fantastic chance for people wishing to establish a restaurant because of its mouth-watering, home-cooked Southern cuisine, its friendly, welcoming ambiance, and the employee training programs that come with it.

You’ll have access to thorough training and assistance once they start franchising. With your franchise comes comprehensive training that covers all aspects of running a successful business, from customer service to operations and marketing.

The training is done both in-store and in virtual classrooms, so you have access to the best information no matter where you are located. Plus, this type of franchise also has an extensive mentorship program so that experienced franchisees can help new ones find success.

You’ll also get help setting up your business. The franchising team will provide help with everything from choosing a location to setting up the store and purchasing equipment, leaving nothing up to chance and ensuring you have all the support you need for success.

Cracker Barrel franchise Operations for Franchises

If you’re ready to get into the franchise, you might be wondering what kind of operations you need to get started. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you think—Cracker Barrel operations will generally be efficient and straightforward if they decide to offer franchises. 

This type of franchise might have a lot in place already to make sure its franchisees have everything they need to get off the ground running. The brand has extensive experience finding ideal locations for new stores, designing attractive interiors, and providing comprehensive support so that franchise owners can concentrate on providing good customer service without worrying about all those other details.

How is Cracker Barrel franchise territory granted to franchises?

The company will take a number of factors into account before awarding a territorial agreement and conducting background checks on all principals, including personal credit history and criminal records.

Additionally, here are a few things you should know when it comes to territory grants:

  • Each franchise is only allowed one outlet per target market.
  • All franchisees must agree to enter into a mutual non-competition agreement that prevents them from competing with other franchises in their respective target markets.
  • All franchisees are expected to adhere to certain operational standards and policies set by Company.
  • Any additional outlets outside of the original Target Market must be approved by the Company.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for an opportunity to start your own business with strong brand recognition and a supportive parent company, look no further than Cracker Barrel if they start franchising. And remember—by understanding the process behind acquiring territorial agreements, you can make sure your franchise plan is on track for success!

What is the franchise term of agreement and renewal?

You might want to know what’s up with the agreement and renewal terms when it comes to signing up for this type of franchise. Well, your initial agreement can be estimated to run for a term of 15 or 20 years, although this can be amended in certain circumstances. You can also resign at the end of the initial term, depending on circumstances and individual agreements.

You’ll also have to keep up with ongoing obligations, ranging from:

  • Paying the royalty fee
  • maintaining product quality standards
  • Meeting operational requirements
  • enhancing customer service standards

Of course, these all come with a few conditions attached—if you don’t meet any of these obligations, then your renewal may be denied. Pretty standard stuff! But it’s something to keep in mind when signing up for this type of franchisee.

Does Cracker Barrel provide financial assistance to franchises?

Are you curious about whether this type of franchise provides financial assistance to its franchisees? The answer is yes!

When it comes to investing in this type of franchise, the company might provide a variety of financial assistance programs and options that can help you get started. This includes things like financing offers, veteran incentives, and even discounts on equipment.

  • Financing Offers

For those who qualify, Cracker Barrel offers financing through its franchise financing program. This program can help offset the cost of initial franchise fees, which range from $25,000 to $35,000 depending on the type of franchise.

  • Veteran Incentives

As a salute to veterans who have served our country in the armed forces, this type of franchise is proud to provide valuable incentives to them through their Veterans Assistance Programme. This program offers qualified veterans discounts on their initial franchise fee.

  • Discounts on equipment

This type of franchise also offers equipment discounts on purchases of over $50,000 from approved vendors as part of their Equipment Programme. This program helps franchisees keep costs low by giving them access to discounted new and used equipment for their restaurant locations.

Cracker Barrel Franchise

Pros and Cons of Owning a Cracker Barrel like Franchise

As you consider investing in this type of franchise, you must weigh the pros and cons of such an investment. On the one hand, owning a business can be extremely lucrative and gratifying, but on the other, it requires a significant commitment of both time and resources. Here’s what to consider when making your decision:


First, let’s look at the pros. If you own this type of franchise, you’ll benefit from great visibility—the restaurant operates worldwide, meaning your franchise will get plenty of exposure to customers. In addition, they have an existing loyalty program that rewards customers with discounts, which will help keep them coming back to your store. Finally, owning this type of franchise also provides great support—As has its own team dedicated to helping you get up and running as quickly as possible.


But there are also cons to owning this type of franchise—namely, that it requires considerable financial investment upfront. Investing in a franchise isn’t cheap; you’ll need to cover startup costs like the franchise fee itself, plus things like licensing fees and legal costs. You’ll also need enough money to cover your monthly operating expenses while building up your customer base, and even after that time passes, owning a business comes with its own associated risks and responsibilities.

What are Cracker Barrel franchise reviews?

Since Cracker Barrel does not offer franchises, there are no franchise reviews available. As previously stated, all of Cracker Barrel’s locations are company-owned and operated. If you’re interested in customer reviews of Cracker Barrel’s dining experience, you can find those on various websites, like Yelp or TripAdvisor. 

Cracker Barrel Rankings

The company itself has earned various accolades and recognitions for its overall performance and dining experience, such as being recognised as one of America’s top family-dining restaurants by Nation’s Restaurant News.

Franchise Deck Analysis and Overview

Before you invest in this type of franchise, it’s important to do a franchise deck analysis and overview. This isn’t as hard as it sounds—it’s simply an evaluation of the potential risks and rewards.

Here are some things to consider when analysing a Cracker Barrel if they start franchising in the future: 

  • Calculate the total cost of running the franchise, including fees and royalties as well as operational expenses like marketing, staff, and supplies.
  • Estimate start-up costs, such as rent for the building, renovation costs, or buying furniture and equipment.
  • Analyse what kind of return on your investment can be expected (aka franchise profit).
  • Assess any potential risks involved in running this type of franchise.

It’s also crucial to carefully study all of the information. Before investing in a franchise similar to Cracker Barrel, you should fully understand what you’re getting into. You can choose whether or not this business is correct for you or not by just making an informed decision with the support of a strong understanding of the franchise deck.

Competition Analysis of Brand Franchises

Cracker Barrel Cost to Franchise Franchisee Fees Royalty + Ad fees Expected Profit Recoup of Capital FD Rating
Cracker Barrel  3.7/5.0
IHOP Franchise $1,152,954-$6,089,550 $15,000 4.5%+ 3.5% $59M 10-20 years 3.4/5.0
Denny’s Franchise $305K-$2.33M $10,000-$30,000 4.5-7%+3-3.25% $40,000 to $ 150,000 10-18 years 3.0/5.0
Waffle House Franchise $600,000 to 1Million $37,500 6% $65,000 to $130,00 8 to 15 years 3.8/5.0
Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise $121,400 – $1,787,700 $10,000- $90,000 5-9% + 5%  $75,000 to   $ 225,000 5.5 years 4.1 / 5.0
Steak ‘n Shake Franchise $1,208,000-$1,687,000 $25,000 5.5%+3% $1,403,587 5 to 8 years 3.9 /5.0

The Franchise Deck rating for the Cracker Barrel franchise is 3.7/5.0.

Cracker Barrel Franchise

Conclusion: Are Cracker Barrel Restaurants franchised?

The Cracker Barrel franchise is not a franchise ownership opportunity. It depends on your ambitions as well as your goals. If you’re looking for a reliable way to start your own business, have financial security, and own a piece of the American dream, then it’s definitely worth taking into consideration.

The Cracker Barrel business model provides you with access to an established brand, operational and marketing support, and industry expertise that can set you up for success. The company also offers competitive initial investment costs and the potential for long-term growth in an already-established market.

Furthermore, franchisees can definitely benefit from the brand’s loyal customer base as well as their experienced field personnel, who are available to provide ongoing support and assistance. 

So if you think you have what it takes to be part of this amazing franchise opportunity in the future, then definitely give this type of franchise some serious consideration. 

You can explore the restaurant franchise opportunities categories can look at:

  1. IHOP Franchise
  2. Scooter’s Coffee Franchise
  3. Biggby Coffee franchise
  4. First watch franchise
  5. Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise
  6. Wayback Burgers Franchise
  7. Dutch Bros Coffee Franchise
  8. Waffle House Franchise
  9. Denny’s franchise
  10. Cracker Barrel Franchise
  11. Underdog BBQ Franchise
  12. Sweetgreen Franchise
  13. Shipley Donuts Franchise
  14. Mini Donut Franchise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Is the Cracker Barrel profitable?

Yes!  The brand reports that it took in approximately $3.2 billion in sales and has over 656 locations across 43 states, making it a hugely successful franchise model.

  • Can you make money owning a Cracker Barrel like a franchise?

Absolutely, if they start providing franchises.  The average profit from restaurants like Cracker Barrel tends to reach $4.5 million in net sales each year, with an annual net profit of nearly $350,000 per location. This means that you can make a steady profit from a single franchise location if you manage it well.

  • Is Cracker Barrel a franchise?

It is not a franchise, it is company-owned. 

  • How much is a Cracker Barrel like a franchise?

The total cost of opening this type of franchise, when compared to its competitors, is estimated to be around $5 million, but your exact investment amount will depend on several different factors, such as location and the size of the restaurant itself.

  • How do Cracker Barrel like franchises make money?

This type of franchise might earn money through sales of food and merchandise, including its signature southern-style dishes and home decor items available in each store’s retail shop.

Published On: May 14th, 2023 / Categories: Blog, Food Franchise Opportunities /

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