Carl's Jr.

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2024 Franchise 500 Rank
#123 Ranked #74 last year
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Initial investment
$1.3M - $3.4M
Units as of 2023
1,695 Increase 2.5% over 3 years

Since the inception of the first Carl's Jr. fast-food drive-in in 1941, the company has blessed us with a wide variety of tasty American and Mexican delicacies. After solely operating a drive-in for five years, Carl's Jr. and his wife eventually opened two Carl's Jr. restaurants. They registered them under the name CKE Restaurants, Inc.

Through steady hard work and superb customer service, Carl's Jr. had managed to open 300 restaurants by 1981. Three years later, he went public, allowing others the opportunity to join the Carl's Jr. franchise family. Now, there is a large pool of Carl's Jr. restaurants globally. CKE restaurants acquired Hardy restaurants in 1997, bringing restaurant locations into the high hundreds. 

There are over 1,000 Carl’s Jr. franchises in the United States to go along with more than 500 international locations.

Why You May Want to Start a Carl's Jr. Franchise

It's hard to go wrong with a good burger. As you probably know, Carl's Jr. restaurants are known for their signature Charbroiled 100% Black Angus beef. Their diverse menu may attract a wide range of hungry customers.

As a Carl's Jr. franchise restaurant owner, you might serve a specialized breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu consisting of burgers, sandwiches, salads, sides, desserts, beverages, and American/Mexican breakfast items. The company has a product development team that works hard to keep your franchise fresh and exciting. They also have a digital customer loyalty program that may keep people coming back for their mouth-watering burgers. 

What Might Make a Carl's Jr. Franchise a Good Choice? 

You may also have access to Carl's Jr. field consultants, free updates on improving the way you run the business, and professionally crafted marketing services. Carl's Jr. might also be known for its investment in the marketing sector. They believe that effective marketing is how they attract a majority of their customers.

Most of the time, Carl's Jr. says that they prefer multi-unit contracts. However, they do consider single-unit contracts under certain circumstances. A franchise contract is usually a  20-year agreement.

To be part of the Carl's Jr. team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of a franchise fee and other startup costs. You should also prepare yourself for ongoing fees that will include advertising, royalty, and potential renewal fees. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements. 

How to Open a Carl's Jr. Franchise

Typically, Carl's Jr. will assign you a team to help develop a business plan as you decide on the location of your franchise. This may be a great opportunity to ask questions about territory restrictions and availability. 

Carl’s Jr. often assists with restaurant décor, design, ordering equipment, training your workers, and overseeing the construction, as well. Potentially, this could remove some of the stress associated with starting your own business—especially a restaurant. 

Afterward, the team may present your business plan to corporate, which will do a thorough check on your finances and the business plan. If your finances and site are approved, you can usually begin mandatory franchisee training right away. This training often consists of great learning experiences for your future franchise. 

If you're interested in owning your own Carl's Jr. franchise, you just might be into something good!

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Company Overview

About Carl's Jr.

Industry Food
Related Categories Hamburgers
Founded 1945
Parent Company CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc.
Leadership Max Wetzel, CEO
Corporate Address 6700 Tower Cir., #1000
Franklin, TN 37067
Social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1984 (40 years)
# of employees at HQ 408
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchises worldwide.

This company is offering new franchises in the following US states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington

# of Units 1,695 (as of 2023)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Carl's Jr. franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$1,303,000 - $3,436,000
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
Cash Requirement Information Circle
Royalty Fee Information Circle
Ad Royalty Fee Information Circle
Term of Agreement Information Circle
20 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

Third Party Financing Carl's Jr. has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

On-The-Job Training 400 hours
Classroom Training 51 hours
Ongoing Support
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? No
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

Compare where Carl's Jr. landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.

Additional Rankings

Curious to know where Carl's Jr. ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.

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Updated: December 12th, 2022