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CKE Restaurants CEO Ned Lyerly discusses the success of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s during the pandemic

The executive also shares plans for growth and innovation


It has been a long two years in the restaurant industry, and at CKE Restaurants, Ned Lyerly has been in charge of the company’s two brands, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, during that time

Both had their challenges during the pandemic. Carl’s Jr. has a large presence in urban areas of Southern California, which were hard hit by high infection rates and occupancy restrictions. Hardee’s, with restaurants mostly in suburban areas of the Midwest and Southeast, had a different problem: Some 48% of their sales normally occur during breakfast, and that daypart was hammered as consumers’ work and school patterns changed.

But Carl’s Jr. customers moved their purchasing to the chain’s suburban locations and Hardee’s customers spent more money during lunch and dinner, meaning that both chains have seen same-store sales increases throughout the pandemic.

In this podcast, Lyerly discusses how the chains have adjusted during his tenure. He also provides details about their new line of chicken products, their global center of excellence, plans for doubling their number of overseas locations from 1,000 to 2,000, strategies for domestic growth beyond the nearly 3,000 units currently in operation, and what’s in store for Carl’s Jr.’s 80th anniversary on July 17.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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