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To paraphrase Shakespeare, a burger by any other name would taste just as beefy. Americans in various parts of the country have seen this concept play out if they've ever stopped at Carl's Jr. or Hardee's, depending on whether they're on the West Coast and Northeast or South and Midwest, respectively.
The smaller Carl's Jr. chain acquired Hardee’s in 1997. As sister restaurants, the latter has, while adopting much of the Carl's Jr. menu, managed to stick to its home-style appeal, with the former incorporating Hardee's handmade-quality items into its guy's guy grub image.
They've maintained a precarious joint-personality, both unified and not, in terms of their menus and advertising. That foggy relationship is set to clear up, however, as CKE Restaurants announced it would be taking the fast food chains in separate creative directions.
While parts of the brand will remain connected, the announcement of a so-called parting of ways is focused on Carl's Jr. finding its own voice. A CKE spokesperson said "I don’t want to give too much away right now, but rest assured, regardless where they sit and who they serve, quality, taste, value and an incredible customer experience will always sit at the center of both brands."
So what changes can you expect at your local Carl's Jr./Hardee's in the near future? Initially, when CKE acquired Hardee's, some locations became Carl's Jr. restaurants, however, a spokesperson tells us there are no plans to do so at the moment, meaning whatever version of the previously jointed chains you've got down the block is going to stay that way.
Additionally, the menus won't see any subtractions just yet, but new items will be in the works. For now, all the company is saying is Hardee's customers can expect a little something different in the morning, as it teased "we’re going to get creative with breakfast and biscuits."