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Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. parent names ex-Caribou exec as CFO

Dive Brief:

  • CKE Restaurants, Inc., parent of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s quick service restaurant chains, named former Caribou Company chief financial officer Brandon Turner as its new CFO.

  • Brandon was most recently CFO and chief operating officer at Hero Bread, a food-tech startup. Prior to that he was CFO at Caribou Company, where he oversaw finance operations for a group of five brands comprised of Caribou Coffee, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Bruegger’s Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel Company, according to a company release.

  • The privately-held Franklin, Tennessee-based CKE said it expects to benefit from his expertise in finance, franchising, operations, supply chain and strategy as the company grows.

Dive Insight:

For the past two years, CKE has focused on building a digital presence and mobile apps. These improvements are helping the company’s restaurants to maintain their customers, according to QSR Magazine.

This month the company introduced a loyalty program called My Rewards, and to encourage adoption, the company is offering customers a free sandwich when they sign up and also giving customers points for every dollar spent. Digital loyalty programs have emerged as a key point of competition between major quick service restaurant brands because they are seen as driving customer spending. 

Like many restaurants, CKE was hurt early in the pandemic by mandated closures and subsequently laid off 30% of its employees at its headquarters in 2020, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. But the company said it is now executing a “growth transformation.” 

CKE CEO Ned Lyerly said in a statement that Brandon’s “entrepreneurial spirit, strong finance focus and results orientation will be perfect complements to our team. Brandon’s proven track record in dynamic, multi-unit food service environments will be on display as we build on our momentum and create value for stakeholders in our business.”

Turner said he was looking forward to working with “franchisees and restaurant operators to build on the successful track record of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. My role is in service to those who serve our guests, and I look forward to contributing to the team as we continue to grow value for our stakeholders.”

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have over 3,900 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 42 foreign countries and U.S. territories. 

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