Hardee’s is an American fast food brand that is expanding across the world. In this article, we’ll find out more about the business and whether there are Hardee’s franchise opportunities.
Hardee’s is well known throughout the United States, but the brand has not yet reached UK shores. Consequently, investors are always interested to find out whether the business is considering making the move across the Atlantic. Let’s find out whether there are Hardee’s franchise units up for grabs.
In its home country, Hardee's is most popular in the southern and Midwestern states, where it has established the majority of its restaurants. At the moment, the chain's parent company operates a total of 3,100 restaurants, half of which are Hardee's locations. The other half is made of Carl's Jr units, a brand which works closely with Hardee’s and often uses the same recipes and menu items. These are centred around burgers and traditional US fast food offerings, but Hardee’s also sells a range of chicken dishes, burritos, desserts and drinks.
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History of Hardee’s
Founder Wilber Hardee established Hardee’s in 1960. The original location proved so popular that Hardee partnered with two other entrepreneurs to expand the business into Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The story goes that soon after this second restaurant opened, Hardee lost his share to his partners in a game of poker. After this, he sold the rest of his shares and left to pursue other business ventures.
Hardee’s two ex-partners, Gardner and Rawls, decided to adopt the franchising model and soon built an expansive franchise network of hundreds of locations. In 1966, Gardner left the company to pursue a political career, but this didn’t stop Hardee’s continuing to grow. In the early 1970s, it acquired the restaurant chain Sandy’s and began converting its locations into Hardee’s restaurants, but it wasn't until the end of the decade that this process was completed.
After many mergers and acquisitions in the 1980s, CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. bought Hardee’s for just under £250 million. This meant Hardee’s was now part of one of the largest fast food networks in the US.
Does Hardee’s franchise?
Hardee's franchises do exist across the globe. While virtually all the brand’s restaurants outside of the US are franchise units, the US is home to both company-owned restaurants and franchised ones. Currently, the chain is looking for new franchisees who want to open locations in the east of the US or in the Middle East. Hardee’s is particularly interested in discussing investment opportunities with those who have the capital and business expertise required to open multiple locations over a relatively short period.
However, the fast food brand is not currently offering franchising opportunities in the UK, and isn’t likely to in the near future. At the moment, Hardee’s is mainly focusing on reshaping the brand and forging a new identity that distinguishes it from its sister company, Carl’s Jr. Although this close partnership was beneficial in the past, it’s now felt that both brands would benefit from pursuing their own identities.
How to get involved with Hardee’s
If you want to become a Hardee’s franchisee, you must be prepared to open your restaurant in the US. You’ll need a net worth of at least $1 million and liquid assets of over $300,00. Once you’re on board, you’ll pay a development fee of $10,000 and a franchise fee of between $15,000 and $25,000, depending on how many restaurants you’re launching.
The Hardee’s franchise contract lasts for 20 years, so you should be fully committed to the brand and its values before you sign up. If you do, you’ll get the chance to enrol onto a 10-week training programme to get up to speed. Then, you’ll get help with site selection, restaurant design, equipment ordering, ongoing operations and marketing.
When your business is up and running, you’ll pay a royalty fee of four percent of gross sales and an advertising fee of up to seven percent. To find out more about Hardee’s franchise opportunity, click here.
The fast food market in the UK
The fast food and takeaway industries are thriving at the moment, as people increasingly favour cheap, tasty food they can eat on the go. Despite the healthy eating movement that has taken hold of the food industry in recent years, fast food outlets are still proving highly profitable, making them a fantastic choice for interested franchisees.
Today, there are more than 52,000 fast food and takeaway businesses in the UK, generating around £19 billion for the economy. The number of sales made in this sector increased by 20.6 percent in 2018, but the overall growth in the number of fast food outlets this decade is also impressive. There are now 34 percent more fast food and takeaway units in the UK than there were before 2010.
Similar franchise opportunities
If fast food is your thing, there are plenty of other franchise opportunities in the lucrative sector. Take a look below to find out more about a few of your options.
Our top burger franchise opportunity, Rocket’s, is a fast-casual burger brand that has been franchising for 27 years. It currently has a network of 51 restaurants and serves “hamburgers, fries, hand-dipped milkshakes and buttermilk chicken; all made fresh-to-order from open-view kitchens”.
Rocket’s has developed a business model that balances high quality with convenience. All Rocket’s burgers are made with premium Irish meat that is never frozen. What’s more, all meals are made to order and served within six minutes.
- Becoming a Rocket’s franchisee: The restaurant franchise prefers investors to have previous experience in the industry but this isn’t essential. It’s more important that you believe in the brand and are business oriented.
- How much you need to invest: An initial investment of €200,000 to €600,000 is required.
- What you get for your investment: Rocket’s will be on hand to help when you find your perfect premises.
Subway is a very well-known brand in the UK, but you might not have realised that there are more than 43,000 stores in over 110 countries! This is a huge brand, and it’s looking to expand even more with the help of franchise partners.
This sandwich franchise began life as Pete’s Super Submarines in 1965, when 17-year-old college student Fred DeLuca was given $1,000 by friend Peter Buck to start his venture. Today, it sells a wide range of delicious, customisable sandwiches to suit every taste.
- Becoming a Subway franchisee: Subway is looking for savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for the brand. You should have expertise in the market, as well as good time management and communication skills.
- How much you need to invest: If you want to be a part of this global brand, you will need to invest £100,000 – £200,000 in your food business.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll take part in a two-week training course prior to launch day so you can get to grips with all aspects of the business. You will also benefit from the University of Subway (an online training programme), experienced Business Development Agents and an established supply chain.
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3. Papa John’s
Pizza is a go-to choice for many of us when we fancy fast food. With over 5,000 stores across the globe, Papa John’s is one of the leading pizza delivery franchises. In the UK, there are more than 400 locations serving up fresh, doughy goodness.
Since its UK launch in 2000, pizza lovers haven’t been able to get enough of Papa John’s. In fact, this pizza franchise has been named the UK Pizza Delivery Operator six times by the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association.
- Becoming a Papa John’s franchisee: The UK is spearheading the ambitious brand’s international expansion. As it isn’t necessary to have previous experience in the fast food sector, Papa John’s is looking for individuals who are entrepreneurial and confident communicators.
- How much you need to invest: Costs can vary, but normally the investment will fall between £170,000 and £225,000.
- What you get for your investment: Amongst the tried and tested training and support packages on offer, you’ll get a free oven, targeted marketing support and access to a royalty reduction programme.
Becoming a fast food franchisee
There’s no denying that fast food is huge business, not only in the UK, but all over the world. So, there’s scope to start a lucrative business by joining the sector and offering customers great food to eat on the go. To browse other fast food restaurant franchise opportunities, just click here.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©