Thomas Heaney has been so loyal to his local Cracker Barrel in Columbus, Georgia for nearly 40 years that he is known in the area as Mr. Cracker Barrel!
Though Thomas lives 30 minutes away from the Cracker Barrel restaurant, he has never let that stop him from traveling to eat there. He has eaten over 10,000 meals at Cracker Barrel, and at one point, he even had at least one meal a day at the restaurant for 36 years straight!
“I eat lunch mostly,” Mr. Cracker Barrel said. “Chicken and dumplings are my favorite.”
Thomas went on to say that the food isn’t the only thing that draws him to Cracker Barrel.
“The thing that impressed me the most about it was the people. The warm and caring nature that they had,” he said.
Thomas remembers one Christmas that he was planning on spending at home alone.
“I was feeling kind of low because all of my kids and family that I’ve got is in Florida and I wasn’t able to go to Florida,” he said.
When a server at the Columbus Cracker Barrel heard this, she came to the rescue!
“Asked me if I would come to her house,” Thomas said. “She had three kids. She said she was at home and she’d fix lunch and have Christmas right there and I could stay all day if I wanted to.”
These days, Thomas loves to wear his Cracker Barrel hat and a custom made Cracker Barrel belt buckle when he eats at the restaurant. Though he ate there every day for 36 years, he recently had to cut down to four meals a week there instead of seven.
Thomas said that he has kept all his receipts from his meals there, and when he puts them all together, they weigh over 10 pounds!