Cracker-Barrel Franchise Cost, Fees & Requirements 2024

A beloved homestyle restaurant in the United States, Cracker Barrel offers classic American-style cuisine that many have come to know and love.

From its signature biscuits and gravy to fried chicken and hot apple cider, Cracker Barrel has become famous for its comfort food. Cracker Barrel offers a delicious Cracker Barrel breakfast menu.

Each Cracker Barrel store sits on several acres of land, meant to evoke a small-town feeling.

This family-friendly dining experience is a favorite among people of all ages and has become an iconic American symbol.

So it’s natural to wonder if Cracker Barrel is available to franchise and become a business owner. However, you must do your own research first, as the people are talking about: Is Cracker Barrel going out of business 2024?

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Cracker Barrel franchise, including what it is, whether it offers to the franchise, and what alternatives are available.

Cracker-Barrel Franchise

About Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel has become a beloved family chain restaurant across the United States, offering classic American-style cuisine to guests.

The Southern-country-themed meals come with signature all-you-can-eat biscuits, gravy, fried chicken, and hot apple cider.

At Cracker Barrel, guests can enjoy traditional tabletop peg games while waiting for their food or browse through the gift store to find vintage candies, throwback toys, and other souvenirs.

Each store is designed to resemble an old country store, providing a warm atmosphere that welcomes over 230 million people every year.

The unique combination of dining options, shopping experiences, and classic rustic décor make Cracker Barrel stand out from other restaurants.

Guests can enjoy a comfortable family experience in each store by taking part in the classic peg games or browsing through the plethora of items in the gift shop.

Cracker Barrel Franchise History

Cracker Barrel Franchise History

Cracker Barrel began as a simple concept by its founder, Dan Evins. With the idea to improve gasoline sales, Evins created an old-fashioned country store that he remembered from childhood.

On September 19th, 1969, the first Cracker Barrel opened in Lebanon, Tennessee, and it quickly became popular with customers, mostly highway travelers.

In February of 1970, Evins officially incorporated Cracker Barrel, and the chain began to expand rapidly, reaching 13 locations by 1977.

In 1981, Cracker Barrel entered the public market to raise money for expansion, and by 1992, it had reached a billion-dollar market value.

From 1997 to 2000, Cracker Barrel opened more than 400 new stores across 45 states, and today, there are more than 660 locations nationwide.

This makes them one of America’s favorite family restaurants with an iconic Southern-style charm.

Cracker-Barrel Franchise Model

Cost or FeesAmount
Initial InvestmentN/A
Franchise FeeN/A
Estimated Outlets600+

Request Free Info

How Much Does It Cost To Open a Cracker Barrel Franchise?

Cracker Barrel does not offer franchising opportunities, as all of its stores are company owned and operated.

This means that individuals cannot open their own Cracker Barrel franchise and must instead look for alternative options.

When Dan Evins opened the first Cracker Barrel in 1969, he chose to forgo franchising, instead relying on private investors to finance his expansion.

Growing while still retaining control of his business, Evins eventually went public in 1981, becoming a stock market darling and sparking a trend that other restaurant chains have followed since.

As such, any individual interested in becoming involved with the Cracker Barrel brand must pursue alternate options, such as starting their own independent restaurant or investing in Cracker Barrel stock.

Though there is no official figure on how much it would cost to start one’s own Cracker Barrel-style restaurant, estimates range anywhere from $2 million up to $10 million depending on the location and size of the building required. 

Additionally, those interested in investing in the chain can purchase stocks through various online brokers with the minimal cost associated.

Why Doesn’t Cracker Barrel Offer Franchising?

Why Doesn't Cracker Barrel Offer Franchising

Cracker Barrel is one of America’s favorite family restaurants, offering a unique dining experience in classic rustic décor.

The iconic Southern-style chain has become beloved for its homestyle cooking and nostalgic atmosphere, but it doesn’t offer franchising opportunities to individuals.

Despite popular demand, the restaurant chain is company owned and operated, meaning that plans to expand through franchising have never taken off.

Many speculate that this is due to the company’s commitment to quality control; as such, Cracker Barrel would rather maintain corporate oversight instead of relinquishing control to another business owner.

In addition to quality control concerns, it’s cost-prohibitive for franchisees to open their own Cracker Barrel locations due to the size of each store.

Each location requires several acres of land in order for them to build their signature country store with old-fashioned charm and peg games for customers.

Cracker Barrel Revenue & Profit

Cracker Barrel has seen considerable growth in recent years, with its 2022 revenue reaching a record $3.27 billion, up from 2021’s $2.82 billion.

This impressive feat places the American family restaurant chain amongst the top-performing companies in their sector and highlights an impressive level of financial stability.

Moreover, the company’s average restaurant sales per store in 2022 was $3.8 million, indicating that each location is highly profitable and lucrative for the chain.

This figure is even more impressive compared to competitors like Denny’s, which has reported an average restaurant sales per store of $2.9 million for the same period.

Overall, Cracker Barrel’s high revenues and profits demonstrate that it is a reliable and profitable investment opportunity for those interested in becoming involved with the brand without having to open their own locations, that is, through stock market investing options.

What Are Some Alternatives To Cracker Barrel Franchise?

While Cracker Barrel may not offer franchising opportunities, there are many other renowned family restaurant chains that do.

Here are some of the most popular ones that you may want to consider if you’re interested in opening your own franchise:


Denny’s is a renowned American family restaurant chain that has been around since 1953.

It currently operates over 1,400 locations across the United States and is one of the most popular family restaurants in the country.

Unlike Cracker Barrel, Denny’s does offer franchising opportunities to individuals interested in becoming part of their brand.

The initial investment for Denny’s franchise ranges from $250,000- $2,500,000, depending on size and location; this includes the cost of building your own restaurant. 

One of Denny’s greatest advantages is its established presence throughout North America.

The chain has been around for over sixty years and continues to expand its reach, with new locations popping up every year.

This makes it an ideal option for those interested in opening their own family restaurant, as they already have an existing customer base to work with. 


IHOP is arguably one of the most popular family restaurant chains in the United States.

It offers a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, as well as a range of traditional American favorites.

This chain has been around since 1958 and operates over 1,600 locations nationwide.

IHOP offers franchising opportunities to individuals interested in becoming part of their brand.

The initial investment for an IHOP franchise varies depending on size and location but is generally between $400,000 and $3 million.

This covers franchise fees, training and support costs, equipment and supplies, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and more.

IHOP is an excellent option for those looking for an established family restaurant chain that offers franchising opportunities and has made a name for itself in the industry.


When it comes to American family restaurant chains, Applebee’s is one of the most recognizable names out there.

With almost 2,000 locations across the United States and other countries, this chain has become synonymous with casual dining experiences for families and friends.

Applebee offers franchising opportunities and management contracts depending on your needs.

The initial investment for a franchise varies from $1 million to $7 million, depending on the size and location of your restaurant.

The royalty fee for Applebee’s is on par with other competitors in the same sector and tends to be lower than that of Denny’s.

Overall, Applebee’s is an excellent option if you’re looking for a reliable family restaurant chain with plenty of brand recognition already established in its sector.

With its affordable initial investment and reasonable royalty fees, Applebee’s could be a great option for those considering opening their own restaurant franchise.

Aspiring entrepreneurs in the restaurant franchise realm have choices like Salata Franchise, Firehouse Subs Franchise, Qdoba Mexican Eats Franchise, Del Taco Franchise, and Philly Pretzel Factory to consider.

Cracker Barrel Comparison

CompanyCracker BarrelDenny’s
Year Founded19691953
Franchise FeeN/A$10,000
Initial InvestmentN/A$250,000- $2,500,000
Number of Outlets600+1,700+


Cracker Barrel is undoubtedly one of the most popular family restaurants in the United States, with millions of loyal customers visiting its locations every day.

Unfortunately, the chain does not offer franchising opportunities, making it less attractive to those interested in owning their own restaurant.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives out there for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to open their own family-style restaurant franchise.

Denny’s, IHOP, and Applebee’s are just a few of the many restaurant franchises available that offer a variety of menu options, locations, and initial investments.

Frequently Asked Question

Is Cracker Barrel A Franchise?

No, Cracker Barrel is not a franchise. The chain is owned and operated by the same company that founded it in 1969. 

Who Owns Cracker Barrel?

Cracker Barrel was founded by the late Dan Evins in 1969 and is currently under the leadership of its CEO, Sandra Cochran.

How Much Does It Cost To Open a Franchise Similar to Cracker Barrel?

The cost to open a franchise similar to Cracker Barrel will vary depending on the chain you choose, with initial investments ranging from $250,000 to $7 million.

4 thoughts on “Cracker-Barrel Franchise Cost, Fees & Requirements 2024”

  1. There is an old closed down Golden Corral in The Colony TX next to a Walmart SuperCenter that I think would be a great for a Cracker Barrel Restaurant location…

    Thank You 😊


Leave a Comment