Cracker Barrel’s Facebook page usually doesn’t spark much discussion, but that changed when the company said this week that it would add plant-based sausage patties to the restaurant chain’s menu.
Suddenly, customers flocked, with some calling the decision “rubbish” and “rubbish” and vowing never to return. By Thursday morning, the post on Facebook had attracted more than 7,000 comments, while a typical Cracker Barrel post usually gets around 100 replies.
“Are you kidding? Who do you think your customer base is?” one person wrote. “I still ordered the double meat breakfast and it’s not on the menu.”
Added another, “Go wake up, go bankrupt!”
In response to the negative reviews, proponents of plant-based options and menu choices joined the fray, with one commenter noting, “Imagine this being triggered by breakfast.”
To be sure, restaurants have been adding or testing plant-based options for years, including fast-food giants like McDonald’s and Burger King. But Cracker Barrel appears to have angered some customers who see the chain as a bastion of old-fashioned values, such as serving real meat at every meal, and thus embroiled in America’s culture wars.
Headquartered in Lebanon, Tennessee, with 660 company-owned locations in 45 states, Cracker Barrel is known for its menu of Southern and country staples such as chicken, dumplings and country schnitzel.
Cracker Barrel is no stranger to controversies, although these involve more serious issues than plant-based foods, such as discriminate Against gay workers.and
In an email response to the Impossible Sausage Bounce, Cracker Barrel told CBS MoneyWatch it was “thank you”[s] Our fans love our all day breakfast menu. The company added that it hopes to add options “to satisfy every taste bud” — whether people want to stick to traditional favorites like bacon and sausage, or crave a new, nutritious plant-based option, Impossible sausage for example. “
The emphasis on more options aligns with some pro-impossible sausage comments on the company’s Facebook page, with many commenters noting that meat is still on the Biscuit Barrel’s menu, and customers don’t have to order vegetable patties if they don’t. want to. Others with dietary restrictions praised the addition of plant-based menu items.
“It’s stupid for everyone. Great for those of us with kidney problems who have to follow a plant-based diet,” one commenter wrote. “No one’s gonna take yours Sausage, now I have something to eat in addition to veggies and couscous.”
Others are content to make fun of people’s anger over vegetarian options.
“I also hate the idea of having options on the menu that I don’t particularly want to eat! Restaurants should limit their choices to my specs, that’s all! How dare they cater to anyone other than me!” wrote one Facebook user road.
The real test will be whether customers order the impossible sausage patty at Cracker Barrel, not any social media backlash. McDonald’s, for example, has ended its trial of a plant-based burger, which some analysts say has low demand, according to Dive into a restaurant.