You can order a Budweiser Beer Cheese Bacon Burger at a Carl’s Jr. west of the Rocky Mountains. And you can get the very same burger at a Hardee’s restaurant east of the Rockies.
The two restaurants have the same logo — a little smiling star. And they often share ad campaigns.
So why maintain two separate brands? Turns out that was not part of the original plan.
“There were initial attempts to try to convert Hardee’s to Carl’s Jr.,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer of CKE, the parent company of the two restaurants. Haley said Hardee’s customers rejected attempts to rebrand their beloved local restaurants as Carl’s Jr. when CKE acquired Hardee’s 20 years ago. “And that loyalty kind of kicked in, and it really didn’t work very well at all. Sales declined pretty significantly,” he said.