(NEXSTAR) – An otherwise unremarkable Facebook post about Cracker Barrel’s plant-based Impossible Sausage has devolved into chaos over the last several days, with some commenters claiming they would stop patronizing the restaurant because of the meat-free item.
“I just lost respect for a once great Tennessee company,” one commenter claimed.
“Send them back to Gates,” another remarked, presumably referring to synthetic-beef proponent Bill Gates. “We don’t eat in an old country store for woke burgers.”
It all started Monday, when Cracker Barrel invited followers to “discover new meat frontiers” in a Facebook post featuring a photo of its Impossible Sausage patties, which were first announced in June.
“Experience the out-of-this-world flavor of Impossible™ Sausage Made From Plants next time you Build Your Own Breakfast,” the post read.
Within days, the post had amassed over 6,000 comments — notably more than the few hundred responses (or fewer) that most of Cracker Barrel’s recent posts have generated.
Many voiced their opposition to plant-based meat, but the majority of the commenters appeared to be defending the addition, or at least trying to clear up any confusion over the menu.
“It’s amazing the snowflakes here getting triggered by a meat alternative showing up on a menu,” reads one of the top comments. “Y’all can still order regular meat, you know that right? Some of y’all need to grow a backbone immediately.”
“I also hate the idea of a menu having options that I specifically don’t want to eat!” another wrote, sarcastically. “Restaurants should limit their options to exactly my specifications and nothing more! How dare they cater to anybody other than myself!”
Cracker Barrel has since released a statement in response to the uproar, writing that customers can still “stick with traditional favorites” if they so choose.
“We appreciate the love our fans have for our all-day breakfast menu,” the company wrote in a statement shared with Nexstar. “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.”
On Thursday morning, Cracker Barrel further attempted to hammer the point home with an Instagram post featuring a side-by-side image of a pork sausage patty and an Impossible Sausage patty.
“Cracker Barrel: Where pork-based and plant-based sausage lovers can breakfast all day in harmony,” the caption read.
A representative for Impossible Foods, the company behind the Impossible brand of plant-based meat alternatives, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cracker Barrel had first announced its foray into plant-based offerings in June, in a press release suggesting customers had been inquiring about the addition of such items. At the time, the restaurant chain described its Impossible Sausage as “a craveable, juicy and savory sausage patty made from plants.”
Cracker Barrel is also far from the first national restaurant chain to expand its offerings to include plant-based meat options. Other major fast-food and fast-casual chains have added Impossible- or Beyond Meat-branded items, including Burger King, TGI Fridays, Dunkin’ and White Castle, to name a few.