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Hit the Road this Summer with Cracker Barrel and the Greatest Family Road Trip™ Game


LEBANON, Tenn. –With warmer months upon us, families are packing up and hitting the road for their summer vacations. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® (Nasdaq: CBRL) is getting ready for a busy season itself.

Kicking off on May 26th, the restaurant chain is launching the Greatest Family Road Trip™ Game. While on the road, families can stop by a Cracker Barrel for a bite to eat and a chance to play the game to win more than $1,000,000 in prizes, including over 90,000 gift cards. One guest, who is lucky enough to collect all of the winning license plates, will win the grand prize – a brand new Monaco® RV or $250,000 in cash.

“As an ever popular destination for road trip stops, Cracker Barrel is excited to offer its guests the Greatest Family Road Trip™ as a fun game for the whole family to enjoy while on the road this summer,” said Michael A. Woodhouse, Chairman and CEO, CBRL Group, Inc.

The restaurant chain recently conducted a survey among its guests about the family road trip experience. “We were delighted to find out that even in difficult economic times people think positively about this true American tradition. More than 70 percent of survey participants take multiple road trips a year. This summer, despite the increasing gas prices, 70 percent of Cracker Barrel guests are planning to travel as much or more than usual. We would like to be a part of their experience by providing a familiar stop on the road and new, fun ways to pass the time, “said Peter Keiser, VP Marketing for Cracker Barrel.

Along with the Greatest Family Road Trip™ Game, Cracker Barrel wants to offer families traveling this summer more tips and tricks for making the most of their family road trips:

Research your destination. Whether you are visiting family or headed out to an amusement park, you’ll get the most out of your trip if you know in advance the places of interest on the road so you can plan your stops accordingly. One of the greatest ways to start your vacation earlier and to limit complaints later on is to get everyone involved in the planning. And if you aren’t sure yet where your next family road trip will take you, ask family and friends for advice. More than half of survey participants believe that the best way to plan a trip is to take recommendations from people you trust.

Pack with a plan. More than 75 percent of people surveyed said that they plan what to pack ahead of time. Take a cue from these organized travelers and make a list of what will be needed on the trip one to two weeks before leaving. Some of the essentials that Cracker Barrel guests recommend are road maps, cameras, snacks and drinks to enjoy in the car, napkins and a trash bag for the empty packaging. Make sure you bring individual entertainment (books, DVDs, iPods, video games) for every family member for those moments when everyone feels they had “too much togetherness.” If your kids are young, you need to have enough surprises for the duration of the trip in order to avoid the dreaded “Are we there yet?”

Keep the pace. To keep everyone’s sanity in check, make sure to take frequent stops to stretch, get some fresh air and grab a bite to eat. Cracker Barrel’s survey found that while on the road, 66 percent of people stop to eat at sit-down restaurants. This extended stop gives travelers enough time out of the car to feel refreshed and ready for the next leg of their journey and helps keep tempers in check and tantrums at bay. Some of our guests shared with us that they love to take short stops to take pictures at the welcome sign of every state they visit. This is not only an opportunity to get out of the car but also a way to create memories and conversation pieces for the future.

Fill up on fun! Long car trips don’t have to equal hours of boredom. Most survey respondents said that they listen to music or had family conversations to keep themselves entertained. Families with kids love playing games together as a way to make the miles fly by faster. Some of the most popular games are “I spy,” car bingo and, of course, the license plate game. Just let your imagination fly and you can invent your own counting game. And, don’t forget to stop by Cracker Barrel and check all the games, toys and travel essentials that our retail store offers. For longer trips, pick up a book on CD or tape from one of our stores. You may return them to any Cracker Barrel at your convenience.

Relax! Even some of our most organized survey participants like to leave their travel schedules open. In fact, fewer than 10 percent of respondents have their entire trip fully planned. The rest leave a lot of room for spontaneity. Some love to take a road off the beaten path and see what new they can discover, others prefer to take their time and relax or learn more about the local communities they drive by. Whatever your temper, leave the schedules behind; it is a vacation, after all.

Bring your best attitude. Even if you forget to pack everything you planned or the kids wouldn’t stop fighting, or if you fear facing crazy drivers out there and loads of laundry when you come back, remember the family road trip vacation is still one of the most enjoyable experiences survey participants talk about. So, get ready to stock up on memories that will keep you laughing all year long.

Cracker Barrel has always been committed to the family experience and is excited to help families enjoy their road trips this summer. So, pack-up the car up and hit the road, remembering to stop by Cracker Barrel frequently after May 26th to play the Greatest Family Road Trip™ Game.


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