Cracker Barrel's Headquarters Is Absolutely Massive

Cracker Barrel fans know and love the chain for its country-fried chicken and its classic, hearty sides like green beans, mac and cheese, and buttermilk biscuits ... and that's just the menu talking! The eateries also exude a southern, back-road, small-town, 'let's sit on the porch and drink sweet tea' vibe, and the adjacent general store-style shops conjure up a desire to buy some old-fashioned candy and a rocking chair. With locations across the country that feature such a homey atmosphere, it's no surprise that Cracker Barrel's headquarters in Lebanon, Tennessee is designed with nothing less than a country-inspired touch in mind.

According to Cracker Barrel's website, the headquarters is set on 98 acres of what was once farmland and is made up of seven buildings totaling 650,000 square feet. As employees and visitors walk the campus' trails, they'll find it features three artificial lakes, a wealth of wildlife including deer and birds, as well as a variety of foliage, including the rare Spring Creek Bladder Pod tree, which is considered an endangered species and can only be found in that area of Tennessee. The website does not disclose how many rocking chairs are on campus, but it does point out that the company sells 70,000 rockers every year.

Where the Cracker Barrel magic happens

So what's inside those seven buildings in Cracker Barrel HQ? Upon a trip to the Lebanon headquarters, Delish visited the Product Development Kitchen where dishes such as the Southern Fried Chicken were born, designed, and vetted for ultimate tastiness, and discovered the training kitchen where Cracker Barrel managers gather from near and far to learn about how to make the latest menu items. Then there's the Retail Development Center, where the staff plans out what will be sold in the company's quintessential country shops with their small town feel, merchandise they test out in the campus' mock store.

The employees who staff Cracker Barrel's headquarters are no less unique than the grounds and the departments themselves. Take Larry Singleton, for instance, the company's décor manager, whose job it is to select the quirky antiques featured in each restaurant location that diners expect to be dazzled by. In the last 50 years, Singleton and members of his family have chosen about one million pieces of historic memorabilia (via Delish). That's a whole lot of vintage signs, wooden knickknacks, and yellowing family photos, but it all contributes to Cracker Barrel's signature aesthetic, creating a place that feels like, and a meal that tastes like, home.