Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cracker Barrel Statistics

Sometimes on our road trips, we're feeling adventurous and go out to eat at a restaurant that we've never heard of before. Other times, we wimp out and go to a place like Cracker Barrel.

Yes, all Cracker Barrels are the same. But that's why we go there! Whether you're in Alabama, Utah, or wherever, can be assured that the Cracker Barrels are just like they are at home.

Cracker Barrels are often located near interstates and clumps of hotels, so this isn't the first time we've gone to a Cracker Barrel while on the road. And thanks to my Restaurant Serving Times spreadsheet, I can quantify exactly how many times we've eaten at one while on a road trip. Yeah!

Since June 2004 (when I started the spreadsheet), I've been to Cracker Barrel 18 times. The serving time is in parantheses; last Saturday's visit in Montgomery fell six seconds short of being the fastest Cracker Barrel on record.

6/18/04: West Valley City, UT (14:27)
7/24/04: Jacksonville, FL (15:16)
3/12/05: Jacksonville, FL (18:17)
6/17/07: Morrisville, NC (16:40)
9/15/07: Gaffney, SC (11:36)
5/1/08: Morrisville, NC (17:10)
6/23/08: Morrisville, NC (26:11)
11/16/08: Morrisville, NC (16:45)
1/30/09: Morrisville, NC (10:22)
9/13/09: Morrisville, NC (15:17)
10/13/09: Morrisville, NC (10:39)
11/14/09: Morrisville, NC (10:27)
3/7/10: Morrisville, NC (12:58)
7/17/10: Morrisville, NC (19:40)
12/27/10: Cave City, KY (8:28)
2/23/11: South Hill, VA (19:17)
12/18/11: Morrisville, NC (13:42)
3/24/12: Montgomery, AL (8:34)

The home location (Morrisville) obviously has the lion's share of the visits, with 11. It used to be a tradition of ours that whenever Amber returned from an international business trip, we would head straight for Cracker Barrel. Amber doesn't travel internationally for work anymore, so we've only gone to the local Cracker Barrel three times since January 2010. (As opposed to seven times in 2008-2009.)

But as for the other locations, I'm counting 7 different states represented here: North Carolina (of course), Utah, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Alabama. Not bad!

Cracker Barrels are a lot easier to find in the South, so I've never been to one in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or anywhere north or east of there. Although apparently, State College has one now.

18 visits sounds like a lot, but that number still falls well short of Bob Evans. My Bob Evans count is 31 visits in 8 years, including 14 visits to the Cary location alone. (We used to go to Bob Evans a lot more when we lived in Cary. We've "only" been to the Durham location 7 times.) Bob Evans restaurants are mostly concentrated in the Midwest and aren't as nationally distributed as Cracker Barrels, so those 31 visits are only spread out among 5 states (North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, West Virginia), as opposed to 7.

It's not a goal of mine to go to Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans in as many states as possible; it's just a by-product of our road trip habits.

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