While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, how it’s being offered seems to be a point of contention on one restaurant’s Facebook page.
On Monday, Cracker Barrel proudly announced on Facebook that it now carries Impossible Sausage, a meatless breakfast patty made from plants, as an option on its Build Your Own Breakfast menu.
This seemingly innocuous announcement riled up many in its Facebook community, with some fans commenting how angry at the restaurant they were for offering a meatless option at all.
“Don’t you ever try to push that crap in my direction. Stick to the basics that made your franchise a success,” wrote one Facebook user.
“You just lost the customer base, congratulations on being woke and going broke,” commented another user.
“Are you kidding me? Who do you think your customer base is? I still order the double meat breakfast and it’s not even on the menu anymore,” wrote another person, who did not further divulge whether or not they actually receive that breakfast when they order it, especially since, by their own admission, it’s not on the menu anymore.
“I only eat vegetables I can recognize,” wrote someone else on Facebook.
“I just lost respect for a once great Tennessee company,” remarked yet another person in the comments.
There are hundreds and hundreds more comments just like these, decrying the very idea that the Southern restaurant chain would ever offer a vegetarian option to anyone, let alone them. In less than two days, Cracker Barrel's post has garnered more than 3,600 comments, many of them consisting of people absolutely furious with the diner chain, proving that people are really passionate about their pork-based products.
On the other hand, while some of Cracker Barrel’s Facebook fans piled on in criticizing the menu addition, other folks stepped in to defend the restaurant and its new menu.
“Y’all really need to grow up. Absolutely no one asked you to eat this. I won’t eat it, but I am glad the options are there for those who will. Imagine being this triggered by breakfast,” wrote one Facebook user.
“I also hate the idea of a menu having options that I specifically don’t want to eat! Restaurants should limit their options to exactly my specifications and nothing more! How dare they cater to anybody other than myself!” someone else said, sarcastically.
“I mean... I’m allergic to shrimp... so should I attack any place that serves it? Or do I just... not eat it,” remarked another person on Facebook. “Good lord.”
Facebook wasn’t the only place the plant-based sausage debate was happening, either. On Twitter, one user posted a couple of stand-out comments in a thread that has been retweeted nearly 7,000 times and liked over 115,000 times.
“Everyone’s having a normal one on the Cracker Barrel Facebook page,” said the user, who added their thoughts in subsequent tweets about the brouhaha. “Also just funny how these are the same people who yell about businesses being able to make their own decisions, yet here they are getting mad that they are doing just that."
On July 21, Cracker Barrel announced it upgraded its all-day homestyle breakfast offerings with a new menu format and new selections. Amongst all the less controversial new items it now offers, including Stuffed Cheesecake Pancakes and Spicy Chicken Sausage, it also added the Impossible Sausage to its Build Your Own Breakfast menu as an option.
Cracker Barrel also said this addition marks the first time it included a plant-based protein on their menu “at a time when more than ever, consumers are seeking plant-based options that are better for them.”
When reached for comment on the new menu item’s reception on social media, a Cracker Barrel spokesperson told TODAY Food, "We appreciate the love our fans have for our all-day breakfast menu. At Cracker Barrel, we’re always exploring opportunities to expand how our guests experience breakfast and provide choices to satisfy every taste bud — whether people want to stick with traditional favorites like bacon and sausage or are hungry for a new, nutritious plant-based option like Impossible Sausage."
All in all, the internet saga can be summed up by the most-liked statement in the now-infamous Facebook post’s comment section:
“I bet some of you went absolutely wild when they added Diet Coke to the menu way back in the day,” wrote Facebook user Crow Truett in a comment that has been liked over 1,900 times. “Probably wrote some completely unhinged letters to the editor for your local paper. Imagine being so angry over a restaurant with a large menu adding a sub-choice to an item they already carried. ‘Excuse me waiter, I ordered a steak, but the table over there ordered a salad. I’m leaving and never coming back!’”