"Our accounts payable, payroll, and employee application documents are scanned into a workflow management system and the papers are never touched again."
— Mike Matheny, VP, Information Services

IBM AS/400s, HP RPG, DB400, C, C++, ORACLE
Restaurant and gift shop chain Medium-sized shop


Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. operates 300 combination restaurant/gift shops throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Founded in 1969, Cracker Barrel is a publicly-held corporation with revenues of $1 billion. Headquartered in Lebanon, Tennessee, Cracker Barrel has 25,000 employees. Cracker Barrel has won the Restaurant Industry magazine's best family dining award for the last five years.



Cracker Barrel has a number of IBM AS/400s, HP UNIX and NCR host processors for its client-server environment, and 4,000 Compaq PCs connected in a Novell Netware network. Each store typically has 10 to 15 PCs. Software languages include RPG, C, C++, Visual Basic, and PowerBuilder. Database management systems used include Software 2000, Sybase, and ORACLE. The company uses both an in-house developed EDI system and Primenos.

The company's 100 computer professionals work in the systems and applications group, support services, networks, quality assurance, centralized applications, client-server applications, or operations. Job titles include Programmer, Programmer/Analyst, Senior Programmer/Analyst, Systems Analyst, Senior Systems Analyst, Project Leader, Project Manager, and Group Manager. Recent projects include the implementation of ORACLE-based merchandise management and warehouse distribution systems. All restaurants are also being retrofitted with Pentium PCs and Windows-based software.


Computer professionals work in offices and cubicles in a nonsmoking environment. Flexible office hours are typically from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. The average workweek is approximately 40 hours. Employees seldom travel, generally only for training. Business dress is business casual and casual Fridays. Cracker Barrel offers its computer professionals technical challenges in a campus-like setting overlooking a lake with geese.

Cracker Barrel observes eight holidays. Employees earn two weeks of vacation after one year to a maximum of four weeks. The company pays for medical, disability, dental, and life insurance. There is a 401(k) plan as well as a stock purchase plan. Employees receive discounts at company restaurants and gift shops. The company has never had a layoff; it has grown every year.


Cracker Barrel looks for outstanding candidates who work well on a team, not necessarily those with matching skills. A Bachelor's degree in Computer Science is preferred. Current employees have an average of five years of experience and Bachelor's degrees. Entry-level computer professionals are typically hired for store support positions.


Internet inquiries are preferred.

Mr. Mike Matheny, VP, Information Services
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.
P.O. Box 787
305 Hartman Drive
Lebanon, Tennessee 37087
Phone: (615) 443-9327

Copyright 1998. Carol L. Covin. Covin’s Southeast Computer Job Guide