If you have ever been on any highway in the United States you will recognize the Cracker Barrel logo (see above).
I recently came across their Wikipedia page and discovered that their entire strategy was to open restaurants near highway exits. This makes a ton of sense! Open restaurants along the highway. Imagine driving for miles and not seeing anywhere to eat until you come across a Cracker Barrel. This is similar to a water stand in the middle of the desert.
I did a little more digging and found out the founder Dan Evins use to work at a Shell Oil gas station! He borrowed $40,000 and opened his first Cracker Barrel in 1969 right by the Tennessee State Route 109. They now have 600 stores nation-wide and $2 Billion in revenue.
The first Cracker Barrel store
I remember thinking on long road trips “What is the Cracker Barrel, I see it everywhere!” My parents would never take me there even though I would beg for it, I know now because we are vegetarian and most dishes on their menu are meat based. Till this day I still have yet to make it into a Cracker Barrel – will someone please tell me what’s inside?
Trusted and Recognized Symbol Representing Security… it works!
Cracker Barrel Logo is a trusted and recognized symbol representing security for those in unfamiliar surroundings. This same strategy is recognized more obviously at McDonalds. Another example, to a lesser extent would be The Machine Shed. This icon targets Farmers and truckers from the Midwest,with reputed expertise in the home cooking arena,now refered to as comfort food. Make no mistake,this same strategy is quite effective today and employed with regularity by the Kwik Trip Corporations. Your own comfort level,sense of security and of knowing exactly what to expect when you enter, is why you will drive in to the Kwik trip in lieu of the other convenience stops. It works !