Yesterday, Roll Call posted an article titled “From the Drive-thru to Congress: the Fast Food Caucus Dishes.” The story highlights Senator Joni Ernst and other lawmakers who dedicated parts of their youth behind the fast food counter. The inspiration for the article was an ad that CKE Restaurants, parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., ran in the Des Moines Register two days after Senator Joni Ernst was elected in Iowa. CKE is also the company that I am proud to lead. As many of you heard or read on midterm election night, Senator Ernst mentioned Hardee’s in her acceptance speech:
“It’s a long way from Red Oak to Washington, from the biscuit line at Hardee’s to the United States Senate . . .” – Senator Joni Ernst, Election Night Acceptance Speech, November 4, 2014
We at CKE Restaurants, as well as our Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. franchisees, were thrilled to hear the Senator’s shout out for Hardee’s. We also appreciate that her comments point to the importance of entry-level jobs and the value these opportunities provide in helping people get on the ladder of success.
There has never been a nation that offered millions of people the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families. Our company-owned and franchise restaurants provide hundreds of thousands of jobs that enable people to move up the corporate ladder, support their college education, become a franchisee or launch an entrepreneurial career in another field. We have several executives and franchisees who started behind a Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s counter and worked their way up. I started my own career scooping ice cream for minimum wage at a Baskin-Robbins. And, now, I’m proud to lead CKE and the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. brand.
The Roll Call article features several examples of how the fast food industry doesn’t just fuel appetites, we fuel success. Whether your job is serving guests or making biscuits, running a crew or running a region, if you are dedicated to quality, team work and service, you are equipped with the skills and experience to fulfill your dreams. That’s the American way.