Industry News | December 17, 2008

Hardee's Takes Aim at Full-Service

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As part of its recent efforts to upscale its menu and capture full-service patrons looking for a deal, Hardee’s today rolled out the Ham & Three Cheese Breakfast Burrito.

Ham & Three Cheese Breakfast Burrito Packed with diced ham and melted cheddar, American, and Swiss cheeses, the newest menu addition stays true to the traditional Hardee’s formula: big servings, big taste, and big calorie counts. Clocking in at 590 calories and 1870 milligrams of salt, the Ham & Three Cheese Breakfast Burrito is not for the health-conscious.

“Breakfast items have a lot of salt,” says Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. “There’s no added salt, but cheese has salt and smoked ham has salt. So it is what it is. The reason people use cheese and ham is because it adds a lot of flavor.”

Along with the new breakfast burrito, the brand is also debuting a new side item, Country Potatoes, and bumping its signature Hashrounds off the menu.

“This was more of a quality decision,” Haley says. “We wanted to try to have a side item that was more like a side item you’d find at diners and other full-service breakfast places.”

Country Potatoes The Country Potatoes are cubed chunks of whole potatoes, with the skin left on, and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper--a far cry from the “ubiquitous formed, shredded potato offerings common to virtually all other fast-food chains’ menus.”

Hardee’s has been tryin to mature its menu and compete directly with full-service concepts for years—debuting items like Made from Scratch Biscuits and hand-scooped ice cream shakes--but recent company efforts have kicked the competition into high gear.

“Now we’re going through the menu and seeing where we can raise the quality of all the items and ingredients to see how close we can get them to sit-down restaurant quality,” Haley says.

The Ham & Three Cheese Breakfast Burrito is being tested at select Carl's Jr. locations but has not been rolled out at the Hardee's sister brand.

--Blair Chancey

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.