Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Make Further Break From Fast-Food Brethren With New Look
Jun 12, 2006
New Logos Designed to Move Chains Even Closer to Image of Sit-Down Restaurants
CARPINTERIA, Calif. – June 12, 2006 – Premium-quality food helped put CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR) sister chains Hardee's® and Carl's Jr.® on the map, and also helped the company's stock climb the charts. So today, the company announced the rollout of new, updated logos, designed to better reflect the quality of its menu items by giving the chains the look and feel of more upscale sit-down restaurants.
"Over the past several years, we have committed ourselves to making Carl's Jr. and Hardee's the ultimate destinations for premium quality, sit-down restaurant style hamburgers in a fast-food venue. With our 100 percent Angus beef line of Six Dollar Burgers and Thickburgers -- as well as our more recent addition of Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shakes and Malts -- we believe we have achieved this goal," said Andy Puzder, president and CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. "But it's not just our food that's a cut above typical fast-food fare," Puzder added. "Carl's Jr. pioneered limited table service in the QSR industry many years ago, and Hardee's has since adopted this same approach to service, so even the way we serve our food is more like what you would find in sit-down restaurants. As a result, it truly was time to make our logos better reflect what these brands are all about today."
The new logos, considered the next generation identities for both Hardee's and Carl's Jr., feature a script type designed to give the brand names more of a personal feel, like a signature. The brands' "Happy Star" icon -- recognizable from the earliest days of the Carl's Jr. brand and later added at Hardee's as well -- was made to look more three-dimensional and gold in color, transforming it from a cartoon character for children to a symbol of quality, literally like a gold star. This chic, retro-yet-modern look was found to communicate to customers that Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are the ultimate places to go for a quality dining experience -- at a fast-food price.
"Consumer research confirmed that the new logos were very well received among our base of young, hungry guys," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. "We found that fast-food customers, as well as our brand loyalists, not only really liked the new look, but they also thought it better represented the quality of our menu offerings and that it gave the impression that the overall dining experience would be better. We were pleasantly surprised that the new logos moved the brands ahead as far as they did in our guests' minds."
In fact, research showed that the new logos were seen as classier, more unique, more appealing and more attractive overall. Consumers noted the distinctive look made the brands more interesting, and better distinguished the chains from their competitors. The new logos, however, are just one of the steps both Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are taking as both brands update their look to match the quality of food and service found in the restaurants. Jewel tones will replace the primary colors often associated with fast-food in packaging, employee uniforms are being updated for a hipper, yet integrated, look and existing restaurant signage will undergo the logo makeover over time. New restaurant designs and remodel plans will also reflect the new look. Implementation of all new branding elements for both chains is currently underway.
Fourth period and first quarter same-store sales, released May 31, indicate that Carl's Jr. and Hardee's customers are supportive of the chains' focus on a quality dining experience. Increasing 6.8 and 7.9 percent during period four at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, respectively, same-store sales have continued to rise and are positive 5.6 percent at both brands on the year.
As of the fiscal year ended Jan. 30, 2006, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,160 franchised or company-owned restaurants in 43 states and in 13 countries, including 1,049 Carl's Jr. restaurants, 1,993 Hardee's restaurants and 102 La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill® restaurants. For more information or to visit a restaurant near you, go to www.ckr.com, www.carlsjr.com or www.hardees.com.