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Transcript of Cracker Barrel
Literacy at Cracker Barrel includes all terms and rules the employees must know and follow. Literacy gets more specific when you get into each position at Cracker Barrel and what all their rules and guidelines are.
Terms and Rules That Everyone Knows
There is a Peg game on every table for the guests to play while they wait for their food.
The people on the outside recognize me as an employee because of my uniform. They probably think of me as the hostess since I am standing at the podium when they come towards the restaurant and I take them to their table.
The people on the inside recognize me as a hostess, someone to seat their sections with people. Sometimes they see me as help because if they ask me to do something I will help them out with it.
The "Outsiders" and "Insiders"
Cracker Barrel Community Literacy
I had to undergo many different types of training before I became literate in the community. I had to start by going to training. There was a manager who first trained us by going over all the rules and principles of working at Cracker Barrel. Next I had to take a few computer courses to learn about being a hostess and also general health hazards. After that I got to train on the floor with another hostess to learn everything about being a hostess. Once I had a few shifts of experience with another hostess, I would be scheduled to work by myself.
I became literate in this community by training and practicing a lot. I first knew I was literate when I felt comfortable to work as a hostess by myself. Also when I worked with others and I knew what they were talking about when they would use certain Cracker Barrel lingo.
Some days out of the week are usually busier than others and we normally have more than two hostesses on those days. Each hostess has a certain position to do. Sunday mornings are our busiest day and we usually have five hostesses.
Each employee knows the requirements for the uniform.
Black, blue or tan pants with no back pocket lines.
Oxford shirt, ironed before every shift.
Black, slip resistant shoes.
Apron with a crease down the middle.
If hair is longer than your shoulders you must tie it back.
The Guiding Principles for every employee:
Hospitality First- always care for the guests.
Urgency With A Purpose- move quickly with a purpose
Appearance- uniforms presentable.
Teamwork- help each other out.
Inside the restaurant there are many different types of tables. They are considered to be rounds, two tops, four tops, and six tops. Each table has a table number and the employees need to know each number so if someone says go to table 233, then you know which table they are talking about.
Everyone knows the lanterns are to be lit by 4:00 p.m. everyday.
Position 1: Main
This hostess stays at the main podium and calls the parties of people over the intercom to be seated. They also get the menus ready and any kid's menu or special menu (Braille, large print,or Spanish)
Specific Terms for Hostesses
In this photo the table on the left is called front round, because it is in the front dinning room, and the table on the right is called a four top, more specifically table 151.
Position 2: Front
This hostess sets up a mini podium right in front of the entrance to Cracker Barrel. They take the names, number of people in a party, and give the quote time to the guests as they enter.
Position 3: Scout
This hostess stays inside the restaurant and radios to the other hostesses how many tables she is going to have clean and ready for new guests. She also determines where the larger parties will sit.
Position 4: Seat
There are usually two hostesses who seat. They listen to the scouter to which table is clean and ready and the seater takes the party with menus and silverware to the clean table.
Every hostess knows how to fill out a standing line sheet. This is what we use when we go on a wait.
The first column we record the number of people in a party. If it is a party of five we ask if they are okay to sit at a four seating table with a chair at the end, if yes, then we put a dot next to the five. For a party that is six or larger, including "Big fives" (fives who want a table larger than a four top) we circle the number.
The next column is for if someone is in a wheelchair (WC), needs a highchair (HC). sling (SL), or booster chair (BC).
Next we record the minutes that they arrived.
Next we skip a column and the last column is the quote time for that party.
The column we skipped is the to be filled out when you call the party when their table is ready. Then we record the minutes on the clock again.
Standing Line Sheet
Every hostess must complete the side work before they can clock out and leave for the day.
Organize the high chairs and booster seats. Make sure they are all clean and hung up on the hooks. Then sweep the area below them.
Take the trash behind the podium to the trash room and put a new bag in the trash can.
Make sure the blinds in the restaurant are at the correct level.
Stock the silverware so the shelves behind the podium are full and there are two bins in the podium.
Stock the kid's menus and crayons. Fold kid's menus and put crayons inside of them and add to the bin of kid's menus.
Restock the Coca-Cola cooler. Add drinks to the cooler so it is full. Then add ice so the drinks are cold for guests. Next, empty out the bucket that collects the melted ice.
Cracker Barrel's mission Statement. This is what all employees must follow while at work. Our job is to please the guests and give them a good experience.
Every employee knows what "PARing" is. When you begin at Cracker Barrel you start out as a "Rising Star."
After one month of working you can "PAR up." Which means you have take a 25 question test about your certain position. To pass the test you can't miss more than two questions.
If you pass your test then you "PAR up."
Each time you "PAR up" you get a pay raise and a new apron with another star. PAR II happens three months after PAR I. PAR III happens four months after PAR II. And PAR IV happens seven months after PAR III.
Guests, "outsiders," view the employees differently depending on their stars. They know a person with more stars will be more experienced at Cracker Barrel.
The most amount of stars on an apron you can have is four.
After that you "PAR up" every year.
Employees can chose not to PAR but then they will not get a pay raise or more stars on their aprons.
No Empty Tables
Every Position at Cracker Barrel has an absolute.
The hostess absolute is no empty tables.
This means when we are on a wait, a hostess has to be walking to a table with a party as the busser is cleaning it.
That way the table is sat right after it is clean.
If we are on a wait and we have a large table available, say a six top, and we do not have any large parties on our list, then we must seat the large table with a smaller party.
That way we are completing our absolute for hostesses.