Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr.

company_name = Carl's Jr.
parent = CKE Restaurants
company_type = Wholly owned subsidiary
company_slogan =
foundation = 1941
location = Anaheim, California
key_people = Carl Karcher, Founder
industry = Fast food
num_employees =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
products = Fast food (including hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes)
homepage = []

Carl's Jr. is an American fast-food restaurant chain, located mostly in the Western United States and West Coast regions. It is also in the process of expanding into Canada, Mexico, and China. It was founded in 1941 by Carl N. Karcher, and is owned by CKE Restaurants, Inc. Along with its sibling restaurant chain Hardee's, Carl's Jr. is the #4 US QSR burger chaincite web |url= |title=CKE Restaurants, Inc. | | |date= |accessdate=2007-10-17 ] after McDonald's,cite web |url='s/--ID__10974--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml |title=McDonald's Corporation | | |date= |accessdate=2007-10-17 ] Burger Kingcite web |url= |title=Burger King Holdings, Inc. | | |date= |accessdate=2007-10-17 ] and Wendy's.cite web |url='s/--ID__11621--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml |title=Wendy's International, Inc. | | |date= |accessdate=2007-10-17 ]

Company profile


Carl N. Karcher got his start in the food industry in 1941 by owning several hot dog stands in Los Angeles, most notably on the corner of Florence and Western in South L.A. By 1945, Karcher owned a stand-alone restaurant in Anaheim, California called Carl's Drive-In Barbecue. In 1956, Karcher opened the first two Carl's Jr. restaurants in Anaheim, California and Brea, California; so named because they were a smaller version of his drive-in restaurant. The restaurant chain was characterized by its fast service and its logo, the bright yellow five-pointed Happy Star. CKE's other chain, Hardee's, also shares this logo.

In 1981, with 300 restaurants in operation, Carl Karcher Enterprises became a publicly held company. In 1988, Carl and his family were accused of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. They had sold large quantities of stock before the price dropped. Carl agreed to a settlement with the SEC and paid more than half a million dollars in fines. cite book|last=Schlosser|first=Eric|title=Fast Food Nation|publisher=HarperCollins|year=2001]

The late 1980s and 1990s brought trouble early-on and success later. Carl's Jr. chains had struggled to gain success in Arizona and Texas, perhaps diminishing hopes of expansion to other states, though later states like Nevada, Oregon and Washington proved successful. During the 1990's Karcher and the Board of Directors began clashing over marketing and business practices, including the chain's attempt at dual branding with such chains as The Green Burrito, which lead to Karcher's ousting as Chief Executive Officer in 1993. Soon after, the Board of Directors took a new approach by cutting the menu, lowering prices, and introducing a new marketing campaign which targeted younger urban and suburban males. During this time, commercials for Carl's Jr. featured an animated characature of Carl Karcher and the chain's mascot, Happy Star.

During the mid-1990s, Carl's Jr. unveiled its "If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face" campaign which featured younger people eating Carl's Jr.'s burgers with ketchup and juice dripping from the burger and onto clothes and other areas. Among its famous figures, NBA great Dennis Rodman was also featured in a famous ad in which one of his tattoos is seen eating a burger. Karcher admitted he was heartbroken by the new campaign which contrasted starkly from his conservative views.

Carl's Jr. quickly expanded, and currently has more than 1,000 locations in 13 U.S. states, as well as in Mexico, Singapore and Russia. In 2007, 4 new branches were opened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, located at 1-Utama Shopping Complex, Midvalley Megamall, Sunway Pyramid, and the new Pavilion KL Shopping Complex. In total, there have been 7 branches in Malaysia, the Masjid Jamek branch, Ampang Park branch and the Lake Gardens branch were closed in 1998.

Featured food items include the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger and the Six Dollar Burger, so called because it is claimed to be of the same quality of a burger one would pay six dollars for in a sit-down restaurant. In May of 2005, Carl's Jr. introduced "The Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger" in a controversial advertising campaign (see below).

In 1997, CKE Restaurants acquired Hardee's, a restaurant chain with 2,500 locations in the Midwest, Southeast and East Coast regions. Hardee's restaurants are gradually being converted to be more like Carl's Jr. with some of the same menu items and even adopting the same star logo. The chain has also opened at least one restaurant in a former Rally's location in Hollywood with a drive-thru lane, walk-up window and no interior seating. This location carries the branding Carl's Jr. Jr. CKE Restaurants has been announced that Hardee's will add all of the same menu items as Carl's Jr. around summer 2008, requiring Hardee's to replace the Thickburger campaign with the "Charbroiled Burgers" name.

In 2002, CKE Restaurants, Inc. acquired Santa Barbara Restaurant Group (the parent company of the "Green Burrito" brand). Some Carl's Jr. stores are now co-branded as Green Burrito locations. Three Carl's Jr. locations in downtown Los Angeles serve beer: Macy's Plaza on 7th & Flower, California Mart at Main & Olympic, and Citigroup Plaza at 5th & Flower. [cite web |url= |title=Fast Food and Beer | |date= |accessdate=2007-11-14]

In October of 2006, Carl's Jr. and sister-company Hardee's introduced a promotion with The Palms Casino Hotel to sell a $6,000 Combo Meal exclusively at The Palms. This meal includes the signature Six Dollar Burger, fries, and a $6,000 bottle of French Bordeaux. This meal is available on the Palms room service menu.

At the end of 2007, Carl's Jr. expanded into Canada and hopes to have restaurants ready to operate.

In 2008, Carl's Jr. eventually expanded into American Samoa, alongside fellow competitors McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and Checkers.

On January 11, 2008, Carl Karcher, the founder of hamburger chain Carl's Jr., died at the age of 90. A spokeswoman for CKE Restaurants said Mr. Karcher suffered from Parkinson's disease and was being treated for Parkinson's related pneumonia when he died at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, California. Many Carl's Jr. restaurants flew their flags at half staff in memory of Karcher.

CKE Restaurants has been announced that Carl's Jr. will be expanded up to about 19 Western U.S. states, which marks the chain to operate 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2008.


concepts to help expand brands without the additional expense of new buildings and land. [cite web |url=!/--ID__53993--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml |title=YUM! Brands, Inc. | | |date= |accessdate=2007-10-17]

Taco de Carlos was a fast-food Mexican restaurant chain, that spun off from Carl's Jr. In 1972 Carl Karcher Enterprises decided to get in on the Mexican fast-food business because it was a new phenomenon that was proving successful with Taco Bell going public just a few years earlier. Taco de Carlos offered menu items not found on Taco Bell, like the California Burrito, with the green chili, and the Machaca Burrito. It also served up the standard Carl's Jr. burgers. Some of the Taco de Carlos locations opened next door to a Carl's Jr. By the end of the 1970's Taco de Carlos had 17 locations, and that was about it. Carl Karcher Enterprises could never muster up enough business attention for Taco de Carlos, and the taco chain found itself in financial distress. Meanwhile, the bigger names like Taco Bell, Del Taco, Naugles, and Pup-n-Taco were enjoying success. In the early 1980s Carl Karcher Enterprises sold off most of its Taco de Carlos locations to Del Taco, and the rest to other buyers. In 1988, after strengthening the Carl's Jr. brand, they decided to try their luck again with fast-food Mexican fare, and struck up a co-branding deal with Green Burrito. [cite web |url=|title=Taco de Carlos, History of |author=Steve Johnson|date=2007-12-18 |accessdate=2008-03-11] [cite web |url=|title=Taco de Carlos, RIP |author=ChristianZ|date=2006-02-18 |accessdate=2008-03-11]


Hugh Hefner campaign

In November of 2003, Carl's Jr. and Hardee's began a television advertisement campaign, that featured Hugh Hefner, the founder of the Playboy empire. The purpose of the ad campaign was to "humorously allude to [his] enjoyment of variety" -- in comparison to the fast-food chain's variety in their menu.

The commercial featured Hugh Hefner speaking in documentary format. "People always ask me: 'Hey, Hef. Do you have favorites?' I tell 'em, 'No -- It's not about that." Three young, alluring women then offer their insights into Hefner's plight. "He can have anything he wants. I don't know how he makes the choice," says the first woman. The second says, "I feel for Hef. It's so hard to choose." And finally the third: "I don't know how he does it." Hefner's response? "I love 'em all. It just depends on what I'm in the mood for." The commercial concludes with Hefner biting into a hamburger while the announcer says: "Because some guys don't like the same thing night after night."

The advertisement caused somewhat of an uproar by various organizations such as the American Family Association. As a response, the parent company of Carl's, Jr., CKE Restaurants Inc., CKE President and CEO Andrew Puzder stated in a press release: "Who better to deliver the message of variety than Hugh Hefner? We're appealing to an audience of young, hungry guys who expect a quality product, but want to have something different from time to time .... As a pop-icon, Hefner appeals to our target audience and credibly communicates our message of variety."Fact|date=October 2007

Paris Hilton campaign

In May 2005, Carl's Jr. introduced its "Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger" in a television advertisement, which features Hilton Hotel heiress Paris Hilton in a provocative swimsuit soaping up a Bentley automobile and crawling all over it before taking a big bite out of the burger and giving her signature phrase, "That's hot." [ [ Carl's Jr. Unapologetic over Spicy Burger commercial] ]

The commercial has drawn criticism from television watchdog groups, including the Parents Television Council. The research director for the PTC, Melissa Caldwell, says; "This commercial is basically soft-core porn. The way she moves, the way she puts her finger in her mouth — it's very suggestive and very titillating." The Los Angeles, California-based group says they plan to mobilize their "more than 1 million" members to contact the restaurant chain and voice their concernFact|date=February 2007.

Andrew Puzder, CEO of Carl's Jr., says "the group needs to get a life…this isn't Janet Jackson — there is no nipple in this..there is no nudity, there are no sex acts — it's a beautiful model in a swimsuit washing a car."

In addition to featuring the ad on their web site, Carl's Jr. has also built a [ separate web site] to play a longer version of the commercial. In an unusual move, this site also includes a web-released parody of the official ad, created for California based recruiting firm Accolo. Their parody is a shot for shot copy featuring a large, hairy male model in place of Paris Hilton. The tagline is "Hiring the Right Person Makes All the Difference."

A similar Hardee's ad with Paris Hilton aired in June 2005.

Flat Buns campaign

In mid-August 2007, Carl's Jr. introduced its "Patty Melt Sandwich," in a television ad. The advertisement, parodying Sir Mix a Lot's Baby Got Back [ [ » Hot for Flat Buns: Phony Outrage and the Death of Satire - Blogger News Network ] ] , began with a teacher explaining how it was once believed the world was flat. And there are two young males and they start rapping about "flat buns," as the commercial was advertising how the Patty Melt Sandwich was on "flat buns." However the rappers are talking about the teacher's bottom when they are referring to "flat buns." The lyrics in their rap contain somewhat sexual lyrics, and there is a glimpse of a butt drawn on a black board right before one of the rappers erases half of it to make it "flat." The teacher character in the commercial that was a source of concern for educators was edited out of the ad. [ [ Carl’s Jr. expels gyrating blond teacher from commercial - Fast Food Maven - ] ] This commercial is no longer aired.

Fake Restaurant campaign

In 2008, Carl's Jr. introduced its "Fake Restaurant" ad campaign [ [ Fake Restaurant — Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s ] ] . This new campaign seems to be a departure from past ones in that it does not contain any 'sexual content'. By using actors and props, Carl's Jr. created a formal gourmet burger restaurant to demonstrate via hidden camera that show people enjoying the burgers and the fact they will happily pay $14-16 for a Carl's Jr. Six Dollar Burger, which actually is priced at only around $4.39 plus tax. The new Six Dollar Prime Rib Burger which is mainly advertised in the commercial is priced at around $5.79 plus tax.

Global locations

See also

* Yum! Brands (#2 fast food chain world wide, similar business concepts for multi-brand store locations)
** KFC
** Long John Silvers
** Pizza Hut
** Taco Bell

Other fast-food burger restaurants

* McDonald's (#1 US burger chain, #1 fast food chain world wide)
* Burger King (#2 US burger chain)
* Wendy's (#3 US burger chain)

External links

* [ Carl's Jr. official website]


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