Cracker Barrel Old Country Store - Business of the Month July 2014

Jul 14th, 2014

Eatery offers hospitable environment, friendly staff


With many different restaurants to choose from in Las Cruces, restaurants need to go above and beyond to attract cus­tomers.Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

What attracts customers? What about a location that let’s you travel back in time with great food and products.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store first opened in 1968. Danny Evins knew way back that the folks traveling down the rela­tively new interstate highway would be trav­eling back in the other direction. He knew that if he offered good country cooking at a fair price with a side of genuine hospitality, they would likely stop in on there way back.

Cracker Barrel’s purpose is to provide a friendly home away from home in their old country store and restaurant. Their guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shop­ping that is surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage, all at a fair price.

The business has many unique features such as rockers on the front porch, antiques on the walls, a traffic light to clean rest­rooms and oil lamps on the tables. There are also things families experience together, like checkers by the fireplace.

Cracker Barrel’s services are provided by hospitable, family oriented people. They of­fer good country cooking, breakfast all day and no alcohol.

Manager, Dory Mendenhal, has been around the business for many years.

“My folks owned and operated bar/grill taverns my whole life,” Mendenhal said. “The first time I cooked on a flat-top grill I was eight years old and I felt a fryer for the first time when I was twelve. The restaurant business has been in my family for as long as I can remember.

When asked what advice he would give to others who are planning to start a busi­ness he replied, “Keep it simple; it will allow you to be flexible, which is critical early on as you find your niche.”

Cracker Barrel keeps their competitive edge by having continuous improvement, by being part of the company for fourteen years and improving every year.

The business is a performance-based company. It is the expectation that every single employee contributes to the vision of being the best restaurant company in the United States.

They live by the clear understanding that their employees are their most valuable asset.

“If you take care of them they will take care of our guests,” Mendenhal said. “The guest experience will never exceed the em­ployee experience.”