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.
Discussion on the Logo
According to Mashable, it all started when a Twitter user posted a photo of the logo. Cracker Barrel’s logo is a man sitting next to a barrel. The social media user said that a long line connects the barrel to the letter “K” in Cracker Barrel.
The person wrote that the line was a whip. They claimed that “cracker” is slang for “whip” and whips were sold out of the barrels of country stores. They are claiming this is how the restaurant got its name.
Quickly after the media and social media users pointed out the inaccuracy with pretty much everything claimed.
Original Tweet is False
This is reportedly all false. Multiple new networks have reported and pointed out how many of the statements in the tweet are not correct. Politifact labels the news a “baseless rumor.”
Back then, the barrels, like the ones seen in the logo, stored soda crackers. This is where the restaurant got its name. The line seen in the logo is a common calligraphy flourish. It is common in logos.
Matt Walsh, a comedian and writer, wrote on Twitter, “No I didn’t know that Cracker Barrel gets its name from the whips used against slaves. I didn’t know that because it’s nonsense that someone on the internet made up. Cracker barrels were literally barrels full of crackers. That’s where the name comes from you, blithering morons.”
People Uneasy Toward Cracker Barrel
The theory on the logo and the name were false. However, social media users still point out their discomfort with the popular Southern restaurant.
Another person wrote, “The Cracker Barrel discussion is another example of how people debate what is or isn’t racist in a civilization that is entirely organized around racism.”
Others said that the original tweet is in fact false. However, they point out, as previously mentioned, the company’s past lawsuits.
Cracker Barrel’s logo and name falling under scrutiny is not an unordinary experience right now. Many companies are rethinking their names and logos. This includes things like Eskimo Pies, the Washington Redskins, Mrs. Butterworth, and Aunt Jemima.
Even country artists like The Chicks and Lady A have changed their names. Companies and people are changing their names to remove any racist and outdated connotations.