After 20 long years operating as sister brands, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are officially calling it quits. (But don’t worry, it’s on good terms.) In efforts to separate their joint image and rebrand the two fast-food chains as separate entities, Jason Marker, CEO of the chains’ parent company CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., explains that the company plans to focus on the two chains’ distinct voices.
“We look at them as two regionally iconic brands,” Marker told Nation’s Restaurant News. “We think they have distinct customers, I often talk to people [and say] these brands grew up very differently. And they stand for very different things,” Marker said, adding that Hardee’s, which operates in the Southeast and Midwest, is an authentic, “Southern classic brand” with “food that feeds the soul” while “Carl’s is about boldness.” To make this distinction clear to fans, Hardee’s is ditching the joint brand’s raunchy ads featuring models devouring gut-busting burgers and has adapted the wholesome tagline, “Tastes Like America” instead. Carl’s Jr.’s latest ad campaign promotes the slogan “Big Taste You Can Feel.”
How does this affect customers?
Hardee’s is planning to undergo some serious redesigns, with 10 remodels scheduled to take place by September 2018 and 100 by January 2019, to appeal to a younger audience, USA Today reports. The menu will also highlight Hardee’s freshly-baked biscuits, hand-scooped milkshakes, and hand-breaded chicken tenders to capitalize on the comfort culture. But it wasn’t always that way.
In 1997, CKE Restaurants paid a whopping $327 million for Hardee’s in 1997—which was the fourth-largest fast food chain in the nation at the time—and joined forces with Carl’s Jr., Consumer Reports states. At the time, Carl’s Jr. focused on its breakfast menu, deeming Hardee’s the king of lunch and dinner. Now, Hardee’s breakfast amounts to 47 percent of its overall business while Carl’s Jr. derives only 17 percent from the first meal, USA Today reports.
Only time will tell how many more changes the two fast food joints intend to roll out. We’re crossing our fingers that the new innovations will help both brands climb up on our list of Every Chain Restaurant In America—Ranked By Popularity.
And if you’re looking for a definitive guide to finally shed the muffin top—that doesn’t include endlessly scanning the calorie counts on fast food menus—grab a copy of the 14-Day No Sugar Diet now!