With hundreds of job applicants filing through its doors, the management staff of the new Cracker Barrel restaurant in Statesboro Crossing is working long hours to have the restaurant staffed and ready for its scheduled March 7 opening.
"We have had a tremendous response from the community," said Derek Kidd, the restaurant's general manager. "Actually, we have been a little surprised at how strong the response has been. This is a great community, and we hope to do well here."
Julie Davis, senior director of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. said the Statesboro Cracker Barrel will be around 10,000 square feet, and contain the gift shop that has become such an important part of the restaurant's appeal.
"The restaurant will also have the wrap around porch with the rocking chairs," she said.
Davis said even though the Statesboro location isn't located just off of an interstate, that isn't unusual anymore.
"Several years ago we began to construct some ‘off' interstate locations," she said. "Even though they aren't on an interstate, they have the same look and feel as one on a major highway."
According to Davis, a total of 150 jobs will be created (both part-time and full-time). Although Kidd said that he can't elaborate on the number of applications the Statesboro restaurant has received since it began accepting them Feb. 8, he did say that he is very encouraged by the applicants that have come to the restaurant.
"It has really been an amazing turnout, and we have had some very good applicants," he said. "Without a doubt, we should be able to pull together an excellent staff."
Previous openings of big box stores and large chain restaurants in Statesboro Crossing have generated between 700 and 1,000 job applicants per location. Without confirmation from the company, it would appear that Cracker Barrel is receiving a similar response.
Kidd said many people have been confused by the sheer number of cars seen parked in front of the restaurant for the last several days.
"People think that we are already open, because there are so many cars here," he said. "You can tell that they are disappointed when they find out that we are in the hiring process, but just come back on March 7, because we will be ready to go then."
Kidd said all of the restaurant's employees will be trained on site.
"We can get everyone trained right here, from wait staff to kitchen personnel," he said. "We are equipped and ready to go."
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn., and operates 595 company-owned locations in 41 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m.
The Statesboro location will be the 40th Cracker Barrel location in the state, and is referred to as Store #685. To learn more about Cracker Barrel, and to get a sneak preview of their menu, you can visit their website www.crackerbarrel.com.
"This is going to be an exciting opening for me," Kidd said. "Come on out and let us serve you some of our eggs and bacon."