What Do the Stars Mean on Cracker Barrel Aprons

What Do the Stars Mean on Cracker Barrel Aprons? Answered

Last Updated on July 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Have you noticed those stars on Cracker Barrel aprons? They may seem like simple decorations, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. 

Recently, while dining at Cracker Barrel, I wondered about the significance of those stars. 

Curious, I tried to ask one of the servers about its meaning, and it was a fascinating story. So, what do the stars mean on Cracker Barrel aprons? Keep reading.

What Do the Stars Represent on Cracker Barrel Aprons?

Woman Wearing an Apron

The stars on Cracker Barrel employee aprons symbolize achievement in the PAR program. 

This program has four levels, and employees who complete each level earn a star. 

“Cooking is 80 percent confidence, a skill best acquired starting from when the apron strings wrap around you twice.”

Barbara Kingsolver, American Novelist & Essayist

These stars are visible markers of an employee’s progress and dedication. 

They signify not only individual accomplishment but also the commitment to continuous improvement and excellence in service that Cracker Barrel values in its employees.

What Is the History Behind the Star Tradition?

The tradition of employees earning stars traces back to Cracker Barrel’s founder, Dan Evins, in the early 1980s. 

Seeing the unique challenges of managing a restaurant [1] and a retail store, Evins devised a program to support employee growth. 

This program aimed to enhance technical and leadership skills, aiding employees confidently assisting store, restaurant, and retail managers. 

Evins’ vision was to foster professional development while maintaining Cracker Barrel’s high standards of service and hospitality, thus laying the foundation for the star tradition we see today.

How Many Stars Can a Cracker Barrel Server Potentially Earn?

In the PAR program at Cracker Barrel, servers can earn a maximum of four stars. 

These stars symbolize milestones in their professional development and signify their dedication to excellence within the company. 

As servers progress through the program and complete each level, they receive a star to recognize their achievements. 

This structure provides clear goals for employees to strive towards and encourages ongoing growth and improvement in their roles as Cracker Barrel servers.

What Does Each Star Symbolize?

  • Star 1: This star marks the beginning of your journey as a Cracker Barrel server. After completing online quizzes and trial runs, you receive your one-star apron, signifying your official status as a Cracker Barrel server.
  • Star 2: You take on additional responsibilities beyond serving with the second star. You begin handling side jobs such as prepping desserts and salads during downtime, demonstrating your commitment to contributing to the smooth operation of the restaurant.
  • Star 3: Achieving the third star elevates your role further. You’re responsible for overseeing and checking others on their side jobs. You also sign their checkout papers, indicating your authority and reliability in completing tasks efficiently.
  • Star 4: The fourth star represents a significant milestone. You become a mentor tasked with teaching and guiding new stars. This position positions you as a valuable asset to the team, bridging the gap between fellow servers and management while also preparing you for potential leadership roles in the future.

How Difficult Is It to Be a Server at Cracker Barrel?

Cracker Barrel Server

Being a server at Cracker Barrel requires physical stamina [2] and adapting to diverse environments. 

Servers must stand for long periods, handle hot and cold food items, and lift loads of up to 40 pounds. 

“Behind every star on a Cracker Barrel apron lies a journey of hard work, perseverance, and a passion for hospitality.”

Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Moreover, they must follow instructions accurately and collaborate effectively with colleagues and managers to ensure guest satisfaction. 

While challenging, the role offers opportunities for personal and professional growth, rewarding those who thrive in fast-paced, customer-centric environments with a fulfilling career in hospitality.


What is the most crowded day at Cracker Barrel?

Thanksgiving is the busiest day at Cracker Barrel. With families gathering to enjoy traditional meals and celebrate the holiday, it’s no surprise that this day sees a surge in diners. 

Which state boasts the largest number of Cracker Barrel outlets?

Florida leads the pack with 60 Cracker Barrel locations, comprising approximately 9% of all outlets in the US. 

With its warm climate and popularity among tourists and locals alike, Florida stands out as the state with the highest concentration of Cracker Barrel restaurants.

Which states don’t have any Cracker Barrel restaurants?

Regrettably, Cracker Barrel hasn’t made its way to Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Vermont, and Wyoming. 

Despite its widespread presence across much of the United States, Cracker Barrel does not currently have locations in these five states. 

Travelers to these areas may need to seek alternative dining options.

Which state had the first Cracker Barrel?

The first-ever Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opened its doors in Lebanon, Tennessee, on September 19, 1969.

This historic location, founded by Dan W. Evins, marked the beginning of Cracker Barrel’s journey to becoming a beloved institution across the United States.

On A Final Note

As a regular diner at Cracker Barrel, I’ve always been curious about the stars adorning the aprons of their dedicated servers. 

Through my exploration, I discovered that these stars represent milestones in the Professional Achievement Recognition (PAR) program. 

Each star signifies progress and achievement, from becoming a certified server to taking on leadership roles and mentoring new hires. 

The tradition, initiated by Cracker Barrel founder Dan Evins, highlights the company’s commitment to employee development and excellence in service. 

It’s clear that behind every star is a story of hard work, dedication, and a passion for delivering exceptional dining experiences.


Shari Mason

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *