CKE to Invest $500M in Digital Transformation

More than 500 Carl's Jr. and Hardee's locations across 20 markets being updated by the end of the year.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor, Restaurants
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CKE Carls Jr

CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's,  and its franchise community is investing a $500 million in its physical and digital transformation over the next four to six years, with more than 500 restaurant locations across 20 markets being updated by the end of the year.

The reimaging will focus on holistic renovations, technology advancements and streamlined operations contributing to improved guest, franchisee and team member experiences.

The project includes $60M alone from CKE on corporate locations. With 95 percent of all restaurants already committed to the reimage efforts, this will be a priority business initiative for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's over the coming years.

"The QSR industry is a game changing and unconventional group to be a part of -- brands are constantly upping their game to meet the demands of today's evolving consumer," said Matthew Walls, chief global development officer of CKE Restaurants. "...We have continued to innovate our menus to lean into that, but we are the first to admit that our restaurants haven't kept up. Elevating two brands that are due for much-needed upgrades is no small feat, but one that our team is passionate about."

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Guests and team members can expect to see changes ranging from: new signage, brand statement elements, freshly installed interior and exterior digital menu boards, to upgraded lighting, bathrooms and subway tiling. The market transformation, geared towards making the day to day easier for operators, team members and franchisees, rolled out in Columbia, SC, more than two years ago.  At that time, the Columbia market's sales were outperformed by the system. Now, Columbia consistently outperforms the system.

"This initiative is a revolutionary moment for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's that is long overdue," said Chief Brand Officer of CKE Restaurants, Chad Crawford. "These transformations are more than a fresh coat of paint. They are about telling our customers, team members and franchisees that they are heard and valued. We think our loyal fans will be excited with the upgrades they will see as Carl's Jr. and Hardee's."

This milestone follows the recent launch of CKE's new loyalty program, My Rewards, available through the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's brand apps.

"Our customers are the resounding 'why' behind all that we do, so the combination of launching our My Rewards loyalty program and the transformations within our restaurants are both a direct result of really listening to them and understanding their needs," said Crawford"Through both, we are more excited than ever to take on the challenge of innovation and invest in our customers. At the end of the day, everything connects back to our people."

CKE's market transformation efforts have already begun and will continue to roll out throughout 2022 and beyond.