Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s launch renovation campaign

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Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. franchisees plan to remodel stores over the next four to six years./Image courtesy of CKE Restaurants.

The owners of Carl’s Jr. and Hardeen establishments plan to invest a total of $500 million in renovations over the next four to six years, designed to streamline operations and add new technology to the restaurants.

This includes the brands’ franchisor, CKE Restaurants, which is itself investing $60 million to remodel company-owned stores. Ninety-five percent of chain restaurants have committed to the renovations, which are expected to take place over the next four to six years.

Renovations have already begun, and the company expects to complete some 500 by the end of 2022. The two brands operate about 2,600 U.S. restaurants combined and about 3,800 globally.

The reimagining will include new signage, brand statement elements, new interior and exterior menu boards, improved lighting, bathroom and subway tiles. It is also designed to facilitate the “daily life” of operators and employees.

The remodeling took place in Columbia, SC over two years ago. At the time, the market was underperforming broader system sales, but it has since outperformed the company.

Chad Crawford, Chief Brand Officer for CKE, called the effort “a long overdue revolutionary moment for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.”

“These transformations are more than a new paint code,” Crawford said in a statement. “They are about telling our customers, team members and franchisees that they are heard and valued.”

Hardee’s and Carl’s operate what is essentially one brand with two names. And both have underperformed their rivals in recent years. Hardee’s system sales have declined 1.5% over the past three years, primarily due to unit closures. The brand operates 2,122 global units, most in the southeastern United States, down 5% over the past three years.

Carl’s has performed better, with system sales up 5% over the past three years, while the number of units has fallen 1.1%. It operates 1,634 restaurants, most of which are in the western states. Both brands have, however, increased their presence in international markets in recent years.

CKE, owned by Atlanta-based private equity firm Roark Capital, recently launched a new loyalty program for both brands, called My Rewards, available through Hardee’s and Carl’s apps.

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