CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc., parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has reached a significant milestone with the opening of its 600th international restaurant location on June 23 in Kazakhstan by franchisee The Caspian International Restaurants Company, a division of Kuwait Food Company. Aggressive global expansion goals include 1,000 international Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s locations by 2017.
“Around this time last year we celebrated the opening of our 500th international restaurant in St. Petersburg, Russia. In just over one year, we’ve grown our international portfolio by another 100 units, an incredible achievement that’s as much a testament to the strength of our brand and business offering as it is to the commitment of our franchise partners in developing Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s abroad,” says Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings.
The new Astana Hardee’s location is the 10th in the country and the 271st location operated by franchisee Kuwait Food Company and affiliates. Kuwait Food Company is a longtime partner with CKE developing the Hardee’s brand throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.
The opening of the 600th restaurant in Kazakhstan follows recent openings of new international Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s locations this year in Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, the Bahamas, and the Middle East. With the opening of the new Kazakhstan restaurant, the CKE system is now 75 percent franchised, with international locations representing 17 percent of the system.
“We have an outstanding group of international franchise partners who play a pivotal role in the growth and success of our brand, and we are dedicated to helping them build strong, profitable restaurant businesses that are sustainable for the long term,” says Ned Lyerly, executive vice president of international at CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. “At CKE our mission is to provide a distinctive and superior level of satisfaction to our guests and stakeholders around the world. For our franchise partners this satisfaction includes ensuring that our franchise offering delivers an outstanding return on their investment in our brand. It’s this philosophy that has resulted in the accelerating growth of our international business including commitments from existing franchisees to build more than 900 international locations in the coming years.”