Vietnam Vet Gets Fired from Cracker Barrel Over a Corn Muffin

The restaurant’s policy prohibits employees from giving guests free food.

Joe Koblenzer was fired after giving a man in need a corn muffin
Joe Koblenzer was fired after giving a man in need a corn muffin

Joe Koblenzer acted in kindness by giving a man in need a corn muffin during his shift at the Cracker Barrel in Venice, Fla. But Koblenzer, 73, wasn’t rewarded — he was reprimanded.

A man entered the Cracker Barrel, at 445 Commercial Ct., and asked for mayonnaise and tartar sauce. Koblenzer, a host at the restaurant, gave the man what he’d asked for but also threw in a corn muffin, MySunCoast reports.

Koblenzer admitted he had been written up for similar offenses in the past. He had previously been scolded for giving a fountain drink away and a woman a cup of coffee.

“The general manager called me in and said he had some bad news for me,” Koblenzer told WWSB.  “Joe, we are going to have to let you go.”

What Do You Think: Should this man be fired because of Cracker Barrel’s policy? Let us know in the comments section.

A spokesperson for Cracker Barrel said Koblenzer was given multiple warnings and reminders of the company’s policy.

Koblenzer said he was aware of the rule and understood why he was let go.

“They legally can do this because I did break the rule,” he said. “I completely forgot about it.”

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Bill Bolster June 29, 2014 at 10:11 AM
The free muffin, drink, coffee bring people back. If Cracker Barrel is so backward they just lost a customer. I urge others to do the same. By the way "Thank You", for your service to our country during a difficult time. I wonder how much service the manager has given our country. Or is it just for profit?
Brian Wester June 29, 2014 at 04:32 PM
I agree with you Bill, the corporation should probably look at their policies. I am a location manager for a company that does the exact opposite, we do whatever we need to make people happy and bring them back. If that means an occasional free drink or whatever, we are encouraged to do so. HOWEVER, the policies of Cracker Barrel are different. This man broke the rule for the thrid time and was let go. He was already given two warnings not to give things away. I think Cracker Barrel is a stingey company, but rules do no good if you don't stick to them. If they let this guy give away free drinks and muffins, what's to stop every employee in the company from giving away a free drink or muffin? They are sticking to their pre-set rules, good for them and the management team. I also thank this man for his service but being a vet doesn't entitle you to break the rule and steal from the company you work for. It's not like Cracker Barrel is forcing him to work against his will, he is working there by his own choice and is getting paid for the hours he works.
Lee Jacobsen June 29, 2014 at 07:24 PM
Stingey?? Cracker Barrel practically gives you extra food on the way out, including extra biscuits, muffins, lemonade etc, food for the road, but it is extra food that came with a meal....the free refills that don't go to waste. They ask you if you want refills for the road, seems generous enough....if the Vet wants to give food away, again, Walmart does it all the time, so does Sam's Club, Costco, and others, go work for them...when you own your own company, then you have the right to dictate wages, etc, of the CEOs, otherwise, negotiate your pay based on your worth, and, if you are worth a lot, skills, talent, etc, you will be paid accordingly. Baseball is an example. Cabrerra gets ten grand for every pitch he looks at. Is he worth it? You bet! He, and others bring in the fans, who spend the money, and buy the pizza, and have a good time. That is called business, and , when extra is left over, why, that is profit, the reason a business exists in the first place. Want a business? Forget the scams like vitamin drinks, Amway, etc. Go to garage sales, buy low, sell on Ebay high, it's easy to average 1-3 grand extra profit a month once you figure out your interests and your marketplace, and that is easy money in addition to a full time job and fun with the family, extra money enough to take them all out to Cracker Barrel for a treat....
Paul Morsewich June 30, 2014 at 05:53 AM
Time to cut into the profit margin muffin of the executives. How many millions did they each take home this year and all the years prior to 2014? Time for an IRS Audit for Cracker Barrel since they skirted the muffin issue real kindly. Employee wages for regular employees in Florida are horribly low enough, poverty level (Congress rich elite still can't pass a vote, to give a good minimum wage). The elderly with a fixed income nor military retirement is not easy. The borders between Mexico and Texas have been wide open for over a week.The Border Patrol in Texas has been given orders by homeland security to stand down. Guess what the citizens of this country are giving them! Why hasn't this news hit the main press anywhere but on infowars.com with Alex Jones Austin, TX This news is all true!! A coke, a corn muffin and a M-16 I am so glad when I was in swamp water up to my nose, scared to death I would step on and be eaten by a crocodile all while I was being shot at with automatic AK-47 live fire! All I wanted was a corn muffin!
Lee Jacobsen June 30, 2014 at 08:30 PM
Paul, you are choking on your corn muffin, time to drink some Koolaid and come to your senses. When you own your own company someday, then you will have the power and the right to set company policy, including compensation. Smart enough to earn millions of dollars in order to be paid millions? Good for you! Odds are, you will pay folk at the top in accordance to the risk they took when forming and planning the company with you. Don't like risk? Many folk don't , as most companies, around 90% , fail in the first 3 years. The ones that take that risk deserve the rewards, however slim or large they might be, in proportion to the risk expended, because they did something most folk are too afraid to attempt, yet folk like you expect a share of the pie when those folks taking risk succeed. Sorry, doesn't work that way, depite what Obama preaches. Want to share in the risk, that is what folks do everyday when they buy stock in companies, hoping they will succeed, and the stock will rise as a result. Do you have any stocks? If so, you own part of a company, and are a risk taker!! By the way, the ones who start the company, or their families, take the most risk, which is why they often have the most stock. Henry Ford failed twice before FoMoCo was a winner....Don't have the smarts like Ford? Well, join the rest of us, we aren't as rich as Ford was either, for that reason....Ditto for Gates, Jobs, Disney, all had ideas and took tremendous risks....and got rich, and now you think you deserve some of it....explain why.....what was the name of your company again???


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