Founded in 1960, Hardee's was opened by Wilber Hardee in Greenville, N.C. In just five months, he had his first franchisee.
The company was acquired by another entity -- California-based CKE Restaurants Inc., franchisor of Carl's Jr. Restaurants -- in 1997.
The fast-acting business man, along with his roots and acquisition played a big part in why Hardee’s is ranked as No. 12 in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list.