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Hardee’s longtime franchisee buys 34 stores

ROCKY MOUNT N.C. Boddie-Noell Enterprises, the largest Hardee’s franchisee, said it has purchased 34 units in North Carolina from the concept’s franchisor, marking the biggest expansion in Boddie-Noell’s 45-year history. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal increases Boddie-Noell’s count of Hardee’s stores by 10 percent, to 343, and raises its tally of units in North Carolina to 135, most of which are in the eastern half of the state. The largest concentration of the newly acquired restaurants will be six locations in Raleigh.

Five of the acquired Hardee’s locations are in Rocky Mount, the town where the concept was founded in 1962.

Bill Boddie, Boddie-Noell’s president and chief executive officer, said this is a big day for the operator because it propels the company into the next phase of its expansion. Boddie said the company sees potential for growth in the acquired markets.

Hardee’s parent CKE Restaurants Inc. announced earlier this year that it intends to sell 200 company units of the quick-service burger brand to focus on building out core corporate markets.

CKE president and chief executive officer Andrew F. Puzder said in a release that he couldn’t be more pleased with the sale of restaurants to Boddie-Noell. “As our largest Hardee’s franchisee, Boddie-Noell has been a key contributor to the revitalization of the Hardee’s brand, and we view their acquisition of these restaurants as further commitment to the brand’s future and continued growth. Mayo and Nick Boddie were among the first franchisees and when you are building a brand for the long term, history and continuity are important. Hardee’s has always looked to the Boddies to help grow this brand and, in 45 years, we have never been disappointed.”

Boddie-Noell’s purchase of the 34 stores will add 750 employees to its payroll, bringing the total number of people it employs in North Carolina to 5,500. The company says this makes it one of the largest privately held employers in the state. Overall, it employs more than 12,750 people.

The company said it plans to remodel the acquired restaurants.

Boddie-Noell was founded by brothers Mayo and Nick Boddie and their uncle Carlton Noell in 1962. The brothers’ first franchise restaurant opened in Fayetteville, N.C.

Boddie-Noell’s other company-owned restaurant brands include Texas Steakhouse & Saloon, and Cafe Carolina and Bakery cafes. It also operates franchises of the Moe’s Southwest Grill fast-casual chain.

It also has major land-development projects completed or under way along the North Carolina coast and in Virginia.

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