CKE Restaurants

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CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
Founded1956; 65 years ago (1956) in Anaheim, California, US
FounderCarl Karcher
Key people
Ned Lyerly (CEO)
RevenueIncrease US$1.280 billion (2012)
Increase US$68.897 million (2012)
Increase US$-6.261 million (2012)
Total assetsDecrease US$1.480 billion (2012)
Total equityDecrease US$414.7 million (2012)
OwnerRoark Capital Group
Number of employees
20,200 (Jan 2012)
Footnotes / references
Map showing US states with Hardee's locations in red and states with Carl's Jr.'s in yellow. States with both brands are orange.

CKE Restaurants Holdings (an acronym from Carl Karcher Enterprises) is an American fast food corporation and is the parent organization for the Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito brands.[4][5] CKE Restaurants is a subsidiary of the private equity firm, Roark Capital Group, and is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee.[6]

In October 2020, CKE Restaurants operated or franchised to locations in 44 US states and 43 foreign countries and US territories.[2][7]



In 1941 Carl's Jr. founder, Carl Karcher, entered the fast food market with his purchase of a hot dog cart in Los Angeles, California.[2][8]


In 1956, Karcher opened the first Carl's Jr. restaurants in Anaheim and Brea, California.[3][9]


In 1996, CKE acquired Rally's and Taco Bueno. Rally's was later sold to Checkers in 1999. Checkers and Rally's then followed a similar regionalization concept as CKE has for its Carl's Jr. and Hardee's chains. Taco Bueno was sold in 2001 when private investment group Jacobson Partners purchased the chain for US$72.5 million dollars to help aid CKE Restaurants in a debt battle.[10]

In 1997, CKE acquired Hardee's from Canadian-based company Imasco.[11]


In September 2000, Andrew Puzder was named CEO.[12] Prior to becoming CEO, Puzder had been the personal attorney to founder Carl Karcher since 1986.[13]

In March 2002, CKE purchased Santa Barbara Restaurant Group (SBRG), acquiring with it direct ownership of the Green Burrito brand.


On February 26, 2010, THL Partners agreed to acquire CKE Restaurants.[14] However, CKE Restaurants was, instead, acquired by Columbia Lake Acquisition Holdings, an affiliate of Apollo Management VII in July 2010, after CKE accepted a US$693.9 million takeover offer from Apollo Global Management, ending the earlier takeover agreement with THL Partners.[15]

On November 20, 2013, Roark Capital Group agreed to acquire CKE from Apollo Global Management for US$1.65–$1.75 billion.[16]

On March 4, 2016, CKE Restaurants Holdings announced that they would be consolidating their corporate offices in St. Louis, Missouri, and Carpinteria, California, and moving them to Franklin, Tennessee.[6][8] CKE's Anaheim, California, office remained open until it was consolidated with the Franklin headquarters in 2018, with most of the Anaheim office's jobs outsourced to India and the Philippines.[3]

In December 2016 Andrew Puzder was nominated by US President Donald Trump as US Secretary of Labor and resigned from CKE Restaurants as CEO in March 2017.[17][18] Puzder ultimately withdrew from the nomination after his own admission of hiring an undocumented immigrant, failing to pay taxes and controversy from his companies' labor violations became public during the confirmation process.[19][20][21][22]

On March 21, 2017, CKE announced the selection of Jason Marker as CEO for the company, succeeding Andrew Puzder. Marker, a New Zealand native, had previously served as President for Kentucky Fried Chicken US, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, which is a direct competitor to CKE Restaurants. In June 2018, Marker was the subject of an age discrimination suit by a 58-year-old CKE marketing employee who was terminated in 2017 after 16 years of employment and had relocated with the company to Tennessee.[23] The suit alleged Marker "began to publicly and privately display his shock and disgust with the fact that the CKE executive and management team consisted primarily of employees over the age of 50.", with Marker reportedly saying it was "depressing" and "something had to be done" about it. The suit also listed four top officials in the company over 50 who had been replaced by younger employees.[24]

On April 12, 2019, Ned Lyerly was named CEO and appointed to CKE's board of directors. Lyerly had worked with CKE for over 30 years at the time of his appointment and was previously the president of CKE's international operations.[25]


CKE conducts an annual Stars for Heroes in-store fundraising campaign by soliciting donations from customers at both Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants to benefit US military veterans and their families. Since the program's launch in 2011, Stars for Heroes raised nearly US$5 million by 2015.[26]


As of October 2020, there were over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 US states and 43 foreign countries and US territories.[2][27]


  1. ^ "CKE Restaurants, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date April 11, 2012" (PDF). Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d "Fact Sheet". Carl's Jr. Archived from the original on 2020-10-17. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  3. ^ a b c Chen, I-Chun (2018-11-20). "Carl's Jr. parent CKE closing shop in Anaheim". L.A. Biz. The Business Journals. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  4. ^ "CKE RESTAURANTS INC Form 8-K Current Report Filed 2013-03-18". Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  5. ^ "CKE Restaurants, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date December 12, 2012". Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Hardee's parent moving HQ to Nashville area". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  7. ^ "CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. Opens 700th International Restaurant | CKE Restaurants Investor Center". Archived from the original on 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  8. ^ a b Luna, Nancy (2017-01-19). "Bye, bye Carl's Jr.: Parent company CKE moving California HQ to Nashville". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  9. ^ Malnic, Eric (2008-01-12). "Carl Karcher, 90; entrepreneur turned hot dog stand into a fast-food empire". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  10. ^ "CKE WILL SELL ITS TACO BUENO UNIT FOR $72.5 MILLION". The New York Times. 15 March 2001. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
  11. ^ "CKE RESTAURANTS INC (Form Type: 8-K, Filing Date: 05/05/1997)". Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  12. ^ Melanie, Trottman; Jargon, Julie; Bender, Michael C. (2016-12-08). "Trump Picks Fast-Food Executive Andy Puzder as Nominee for Labor Secretary". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  13. ^ Ramirez, Jaclyn (2020-01-16). "Andy Puzder, Former CEO of CKE Restaurants, Named Senior Fellow at Pepperdine School of Public Policy". Business Wire. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  14. ^ "CKE RESTAURANTS INC (Form Type: 8-K, Filing Date: 02/26/2010)". Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  16. ^ "Roark Capital to buy CKE Restaurants from Apollo". Reuters. 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  17. ^ Cao, Rachel (2017-03-21). "Former secretary of Labor pick Andy Puzder resigns as CEO of CKE Restaurants". CNBC. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  18. ^ Everett, Burgess; Palmeri, Tara; Levine, Marianne (2017-02-15). "Labor nominee Puzder withdraws". Politico. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  19. ^ Noguchi, Yuki (2017-02-15). "Trump Labor Nominee Andrew Puzder Withdraws, First Cabinet Pick To Fall". NPR. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  20. ^ McCormack, Michael; Glenn-Gregg, Simon (2017-01-12). "Mapping Andy Puzder's Labor Violations". The Century Foundation. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  21. ^ Robaton, Anna (2017-01-27). "Labor Secretary nominee's company underpays workers, group says". CBS News. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  22. ^ Nass, Rachel (2017-01-12). "Carl's Jr. Workers Detail Mistreatment at Puzder's Restaurants". National Employment Law Project. Archived from the original on 2020-05-03. Retrieved 2020-10-18.
  23. ^ Elliott, Stephen. "New Hardee's, Carl's Jr. CEO accused of age discrimination". Nashville Post. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  24. ^ Snyder, Eric (2018-06-29). "New Hardee's CEO accused of age discrimination". The Business Journals. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  25. ^ Maze, Jonathan; 2019 (2019-04-12). "Ned Lyerly named CEO of Hardee's, Carl's Jr. owner CKE Restaurants". Restaurant Business. Retrieved 2020-10-17.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Raise $1.4 Million for U.S. Military Charities | CKE Restaurants Investor Center". Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2020-10-17.
  27. ^ "Carl's Jr". Retrieved 2016-04-05.

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