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The Power List 2016: Andy Puzder

NRN presents The Power List 2016, our third annual list of the most powerful people in foodservice. The Influencers on the list are educating the next generation of chefs and restaurateurs and defending and advocating for the industry.

Andy Puzder
CKE Restaurants Inc. CEO Andy Puzder. Photo: Stephen Osman

CKE Restaurants Inc. CEO Andy Puzder knows how to get his voice — and the perspective of his business — heard.

In interviews and columns in national media like The Wall Street Journal, Puzder regularly criticizes legislation related to health care, minimum wage and immigration.

“Instead of creating a living wage, the fight for dramatic minimum-wage increases could leave millions with no wage at all,” Puzder argued in a December Wall Street Journal column.

This presidential election year, expect Puzder to be particularly vocal.

Just last month, he asked Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson at an Iowa summit about the dwindling labor participation among younger people. The Rising Tide summit — put on by Freedom Works, a small government group — hosted five Republican presidential candidates. “The situation for our youth is bad. We’re losing a generation,” Puzder said to Carson.

A self-described former student protester of the ’60s, Puzder has decades of experience sharing his ideas publicly. And he wants college students to follow in his footsteps. Puzder recently advocated for colleges to do a better job promoting free speech on campuses.

“If you are going to validate what you believe, you at least need to hear what the other side believes,” Puzder said last month on the Mark Reardon radio show, a CBS program in St. Louis. “And if you are going to try to convince people to come to your side in an argument, you don’t convince people of your opinion by stopping them from expressing their opinion.”

For his part, Puzder will be lending his voice as a large quick-service operator to advocate for business.

Contact Jenna Telesca at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @jennatelesca

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