Why Fans Are Still Mourning Cracker Barrel's Discontinued Chicken Salad Sandwich

chicken salad wrap on plate with bag of chips
chicken salad wrap on plate with bag of chips - Facebook

Replete with many southern-inspired classics, Cracker Barrel is the place for wholesome, down-home menu options. One popular item once included on the menu was the chicken salad sandwich, which was a perfect fit for lunch or even a light dinner. While diners absolutely loved this menu offering, it was sadly discontinued in 2017. And while it's been absent from the menu for six long years now, devoted Cracker Barrel customers still clamor for its return.

A post on Twitter highlights the emotional tumult that occurred once the item was removed from the menu. The poster shared her father's hilarious lament that "corporate America got me in the jugular AGAIN" after Cracker Barrel struck the sandwich from its menu. This sentiment was mirrored by a commenter, who stated, "It's 2019 and I'm still upset about this." Another Twitter user was similarly bereft, saying, "I go starving for my fav chicken salad sandwich..and it's been removed from menu..so disappointed." It's clear that customers still miss this sandwich and would love to see it return, which begs the question: Why did Cracker Barrel discontinue its chicken salad sandwich in the first place?

Read more: 11 Discontinued Fast Food Chicken Items We Wish Were Brought Back

A Pared Down Menu For Modern Times

Cracker Barrel storefront
Cracker Barrel storefront - The Image Party/Shutterstock

Nation's Restaurant News shared a peek behind the curtain when it comes to Cracker Barrel's menu creation process. According to the chain's vice president of Culinary and Menu Strategy Cammie Spillyards-Schaefer, "We delete menu items from time to time to make room for new signature, craveable menu items that our guests love." This was the case in 2020 when Cracker Barrel released a statement introducing its new "simplified menu."

The new menu release coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic, which Spillyards-Schaefer claimed had an impact on customer eating habits. "According to our research, 66% of Americans who visit a casual dining restaurant at least once a quarter say they are craving familiar comfort foods more than ever," the VP explained. However, one could argue that chicken salad sandwiches definitely fall into the category of comfort foods, which makes it somewhat surprising that it didn't find a home on the new menu.

While the chain never gave an official reason why the sandwich was removed, it likely had much to do with customer demand. Per CNN, restaurants try to boost revenue by eliminating the "least popular or more expensive items," and these eliminations affect "a relatively small number of customers." It's not clear if that was the case with Cracker Barrel's chicken salad sandwich, but customers are more concerned about whether it will make a triumphant comeback.

Will The Chicken Salad Sandwich Ever Return To Cracker Barrel?

fried chicken and steak tips in serving dishes on table
fried chicken and steak tips in serving dishes on table - Facebook

Cracker Barrel isn't afraid to add new menu offerings to serve its customers. In spring 2023, the southern-style eatery introduced new items like loaded steak fries, mini strawberry cheesecake, and bacon fried chicken. During that same period, Cracker Barrel also updated its family bundles with new options like cheeseburger slider platters and sirloin steak tips.

As for the much-missed chicken salad sandwich, there's no indication that it will ever return to the menu. Cracker Barrel has kept mum about the sandwich, and recent menu updates have not included it among the new items. Fortunately, there are numerous copycat recipes on the internet that allow you to replicate the delicious meal right in the comfort of your home. In addition to chicken breasts, one recipe calls for dill pickle relish, mayonnaise, red onions, carrots, and other tasty ingredients to best mimic Cracker Barrel's iconic sandwich that departed from the menu far too soon.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.