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Quick Serve Restaurant Righteousness: CKE Restaurants

Published on May 25, 2007 by in Research

Burgers aren't all I eatCKE (NYSE: CKR), franchiser and operator of Carl’s JR and Hardee’s, gets it. CEO Andy Puzder of CKE wants to give people delicious food, health concerns be damned. In doing so, he demonstrates the crucial tenant of “don’t listen to what your customer says, listen to what your customer does.”

My opinion is that the media is the main supporter of healthy eating. We’re certainly not hearing it from our customers,” said Andrew Puzder, who is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.”And [surveys] show that while consumers say they want to eat healthier, what they actually want is a big juicy burger,” Puzder said during an interview Tuesday with CNNMoney.com.

Puzder said he will continue to use edgy advertising, such as the infamous Paris Hilton ad for Carl’s Jr ., to make the brand stand out in consumers’ minds.
Indeed, while bigger competitors like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are rushing to introduce salads, fresh fruits, low-fat yogurt and chicken wraps in an effort to appease an anti-obesity lobby that blames fast-food menu for the nation’s battle with the bulge, Puzder makes no apology for selling what he called “decadent” food.

Consider the “Original Six Dollar Burger” on the Carl’s Jr. menu. It consists of a charbroiled, 100-percent Angus beef patty with two slices of melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickle, mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup on a toasted sesame seed bun. Total calories:1,010. That’s almost half of the recommended daily calorie intake for an adult.

Recommendation: Giving the people what they want, ignoring the hysteria of the media, sexually provocative advertising, thickburgers. How can we not be long CKE? Additionally, it’s strong satanic fundamentals make it a candidate for inclusion in the LoS Satan’s Portfolio Index, which would further stimulate demand from all those institutions who would be forced to stick CKE in their portfolios.

Hat tip to reader Dan

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