- 2023 Franchise 500 Rank
#108 Ranked #127 last year
- Initial investment
$1.3M - $2.1M
- Units as of 2022
2,153 3% over 3 years
From their bacon-topped burgers to their spicy chicken sandwiches, everything about Hardee's may be good to the last bite! The Hardee's menu includes many favorites, including hand-breaded biscuits, gravy, and even their famous monster biscuit.
Hardee's was founded in 1960 and is currently franchised by CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. The first Hardee’s restaurant was opened in Greenville, North Carolina, but the brand has since grown. Hardee’s now boasts over 1,500 franchises across the United States, as well as over 400 internationally. Some are located in Pakistan, Asia, Latin America, and other mid-eastern countries.
Hardee’s may be known for its burgers, but it also sells chicken sandwiches, biscuits, and other potential favorites.
Why You May Want to Start a Hardee's Franchise
Hardee's caters to a community environment by inviting customers from diverse backgrounds to come together to eat delicious food and have a good time.
Hardee’s has worked to make improvements to its existing takeaway and home delivery system. The franchise believes it uses the newest technologies to come up with the state-of-the-art systems. Their models use technology to track orders and deliveries, as well. It may reduce labor and make everything easier for employees, while also improving the customer experience.
When you open a Hardee's franchise, you are also entering a brand that has more than fifty years of experience in the food industry. Hardee's franchised restaurants have been operational since 1962 and have accumulated a wealth of experience and specific expertise, potentially leading to their newer franchisees succeeding with the backing of an experienced company.
What Might Make a Hardee’s Franchise a Good Choice?
To be part of Hardee's 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.
Hardee’s has partnered with third-party financial sources that may help you cover the franchise fee, startup cost, equipment, inventory, and payroll if necessary.
Hardee’s offers a substantial discount off the franchise fee for qualified veterans, potentially making the company a good one for veterans to consider.
How To Open a Hardee’s Franchise
To open your own Hardee's franchise, you should first submit an inquiry form. If you are seen as a good fit, you may hear from a Hardee's franchise representative to guide you on the next steps towards opening your own location.
Before making any financial commitment or signing an agreement, you must perform your due diligence and establish if this is the right opportunity for you. Speak to existing franchisees and ask questions directed to the Hardee's team. If your net worth and available liquid capital match the brand’s requirements, you may qualify to open a Hardee's franchise, and you can get started with an initial investment and relevant training.
With that, you may be well on your way to dishing up some of the tastiest burgers in town!
- Franchising Since
- 1962 (2023-1962 years)
- # of employees at HQ
- Where seeking
This company is offering new franchisees worldwide.
This company is offering new franchisees in the following US states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia
- # of Units
- 2,153 (as of 2022)
Information for Franchisees
Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Hardee's 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
Definition: The initial fee paid to a franchisor to join their system
What you need to know: Found in Item 5 of the FDD, this may be a flat fee, or may vary based on territory size, experience, or other factors.The franchise fee is an up-front (one-time) cost that a new franchisee pays to the franchisor. This fee is usually due at the signing of the franchise agreement and covers the right to use the franchisor's trademarks, name, and related business systems.
- Initial Investment
- $1,252,000 - $2,131,000
Definition: The total amount necessary to begin operation of the franchise
What you need to know: The initial investment includes the franchise fee, along with other startup expenses such as real estate, equipment, supplies, business licenses, and working capital. This is outlined in a chart in Item 7 of the FDD, showing a range of possible costs from low to high.
- Net Worth Requirement
Definition: The minimum net worth you must have in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company
What you need to know: Net worth is the value of a person's assets minus liabilities. Assets include cash, stocks, retirement accounts, and real estate. Liabilities include items like mortgages, car payments, and credit card debt.
- Cash Requirement
Definition: The minimum liquid capital you must have available in order to qualify to become a franchisee of this company.
- Royalty Fee
Definition: A ongoing fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis.
What you need to know: Most franchisors require franchisees to pay an ongoing royalty fee, which is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD. This fee is typically a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales, but may also be a flat weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Ad Royalty Fee
Definition: An going fee paid to the franchisor on a regular basis to support advertising or marketing efforts.
What you need to know: This may also be called advertising fee, marketing fee, brand fund fee, and more, but the basic purpose is the same-- to support promotion of the brand systemwide. As with the royalty fee, it is detailed in Item 6 of the FDD, and can be a percentage of weekly or monthly gross sales or a weekly, monthly, or annual fee.
- Term of Agreement
- 20 years
Definition: The length of time your franchise agreement will last.
What you need to know: Franchise terms are typically anywhere from 5 to 20 years in length, but are sometimes instead dependent on factors such as the term of your lease. Once your term is up, you may have the option to renew your agreement, typically for a smaller fee than the original franchise fee.
- Is franchise term renewable?
Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.
- Third Party Financing
- Hardee's 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
NewsletterMeetings & ConventionsToll-Free LineGrand OpeningOnline SupportSecurity & Safety ProceduresField OperationsSite SelectionProprietary SoftwareFranchisee Intranet Platform
- Marketing Support
Co-op AdvertisingAd TemplatesNational MediaRegional AdvertisingSocial MediaSEOWebsite DevelopmentLoyalty Program/App
Additional details about running this franchise.
- Is absentee ownership allowed?
- Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit?
Definition: The business can be run from your home and/or a vehicle, and it is not necessary to have a retail facility, office space, or warehouse.
- Can this franchise be run part time?
Definition: This business can be run by the owner on a part-time basis (less than 40 hours per week) and/or as a side business; it is not necessary for the business to be open/run full-time.
- Are exclusive territories available?
Definition: An exclusive territory is a fixed area in which you are given the right to operate and in which no other units of the same franchise may be opened.
What you need to know: Territory size may be based on factors such as radius, population size, zip codes, and more. Details can be found in Item 12 of the FDD.
Interested in ownership opportunities like Hardee's? Request a free consultation with a Franchise Advisor now.
Franchise 500 Ranking History
Compare where Hardee's landed on this year's Franchise 500 Ranking versus previous years.
Curious to know where Hardee's ranked on other franchise lists? Find out below.
Ranked #108 in 2023
Entrepreneur’s 44th annual Franchise 500® ranking shines a light on the unique challenges and changes that have shaped the franchise industry over the last year—and how franchisors have adapted and evolved to meet them.
Ranked #35 in 2023
If you're interested in an opportunity with international appeal, start your search with our ranking of the top franchises seeking to expand outside the U.S.
Ranked #4 in Hamburgers in 2022
Our annual list of the top restaurant and other food franchises, divided up by category, is the perfect place to start if you’re craving a food-based business opportunity.
Are you eager to see what else is out there? Browse franchises that are similar to Hardee's.
Entrepreneur's Source, The
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- Frozen custard, specialty burgers
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
- Smoothies, salads, wraps, sandwiches, flatbreads
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