Carl's Jr. sticks with its 'indulgent' menu

As rivals such as McDonald's add healthy dishes, the fast-food chain says that is 'not our personality.'

By Aimee Picchi Mar 18, 2013 12:07PM

File photo of Carl’s Jr. in Santa Clarita, California (© Kim Kulish/Corbis)What's loaded with "tangy BBQ sauce," two strips of bacon, two all-beef patties and layered with two slices of American cheese, all for a grand total of 1,000 calories? 


That would be Carl's Jr.'s Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger. Loaded with 54 grams of fat, the burger is just one of the chain's high-calorie dishes that its chief executive is sticking with, despite McDonald's (MCD) push into healthier eating. 


McDonald's has added a new "Egg White Delight," a version of the Egg McMuffin that reduces calories by taking out the egg yolks, as my colleague Jason Notte wrote on Thursday. The fast-food giant is also introducing a line of fruit smoothies and "Premium McWraps," with chicken entrees wrapped in flour tortillas, according to Nation's Restaurant News.


Going along with the healthier food trends is "not our personality and it won't become our personality," Andy Puzder, the chief executive of Carl's Jr. owner CKE Inc., told the Los Angeles Times. "All of our products are indulgent, decadent."


That explains how Carl's Jr. earned a D+ grade from Men's Health, which wrote that the chain "is swimming against the nutritional tide, trying to attract those with hearty appetites and less concern about fat, salt and calories."


Its customers don't seem to mind. The chain sells 20 times more Western Bacon Cheeseburgers, which have 740 calories, than its BBQ chicken sandwiches, veritable lightweights at 390 calories, the Times notes. CKE also owns the fast-food chain Hardee's.


Puzder, whom the Times describes as a trim 62-year-old jogger, is also trying to keep prices unchanged, despite what he sees as a threat from Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act, which is slated to go into effect next year, has been attacked by fast-food chains over concerns that providing coverage will raise costs. 


Companies will likely increase part-time hiring, given the law requires large businesses to offer health coverage to full-time employees, Puzder said. Right now, four out of 10 workers at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have part-time hours. 


"We're doing what we can to keep the costs in line, and we don't want to raise prices," Puzder said. "But certainly price increases are on the table for everybody."


More on moneyNOW

17Comments
Mar 18, 2013 6:40PM
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I thought we lived in a free country!!! Its not the restaurants place to watch what we eat, its ours!!!
Mar 18, 2013 1:11PM
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The burger sounds better than an egg white delight. Better enjoy before the government bans them.
Mar 18, 2013 3:45PM
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Way to go Carl Jr. !!!!!!!!!

Tell Mens health and Mayor Bloomberg to kiss your buns. 

Mar 19, 2013 11:40AM
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Love Carl's Jr. Who cares if it is fattening? If you don't eat it every day, and cook healthy at home, it won't have much of an impact. Sheesh! (Believe me, I eat Taco Bell once a week, maybe twice. I am NOT active at all. I cook healthy meals at home and I still lost over 100lbs in the last two years.)
Mar 19, 2013 4:25PM
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Why to go Carl Jr! When I want a burger and fry, I'll see you then! I don't need agroup of fluff liberials telling me what I can eat...
Mar 19, 2013 4:53PM
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I'm all over this. If I want to eat healthy I"m not going to Carl Jr. I go there for lipids and I want them all. Bring on the $6 burger with fries and of course a diet coke.
Mar 18, 2013 1:03PM
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I `d eat there if they had pork rinds.You have to be a military man to be man enough

to eat them.

Mar 19, 2013 9:20PM
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I appreciate that Carl Karcher Ent. is being up front and honest about what they are serving.  Although high in calories and also likely fat content, they let you know that and the fact that is also tastes good.  Compared then to the Mc****andwiches and Chicken McBeeks, Claws and Eyeball McNuggets  that have thoroughly washed in ammonia before preparation and serving to yourself and kids, I'll go with Carl's Jr. / Hardees any time.  Pick your own poison.
Mar 20, 2013 7:31PM
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I AM SO SICK OF HEARING HOW EVERYONE SHOULD EAT. THE PRESIDENT WAS CAUGHT

ON CAMERA EATING RIBS,THICK HAMBURGERS,RICH DESSERTS, AND WHO KNOWS

WHAT OTHER FOOD HIM AND THE ADMINISTRATION STICK IN THEIR MOUTHS. BLOOMBERG

IS ANOTHER BUMMER.HE WANTS TO BAN SUPER SIZED SODAS,CIGARETTES,AND OTHER

DAILY TREATS PEOPLE ENJOY.LET PEOPLE LIVE THE WAY THEY WANT.THIS IS SUPPOSE

TO BE A FREE COUNTRY.

Mar 20, 2013 2:18PM
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Carls Jr is on the West Coast and Hardees is on the East Coast and they are the same company for over 3 years. Lets hope that Hardees menu get better food
Mar 29, 2013 10:41AM
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Heck yeah! Indulgent, decadent.., the American way. I'm tired of everyone caving to the "health conscious" and the government. Now that its involved in health care for all its "coercing" everyone to bend to its will. I hope they either repeal that nightmare or defund it before it destroys our country. PETA, you need to blow away, you bunch of freaks. Who do you think you are telling the queen to stop racing pigeons? PETA's nothing but a lot of busy-body bullies just like GLBT. Get over yourselves, nobody likes you. Cry-babies!
Mar 20, 2013 8:05PM
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if i wanted a cardboard picture of a great hamburger to eat instead the real, by god i'd ask for one
Mar 18, 2013 4:51PM
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I'm an occasional patron of a Carl's Jr. in San Diego and at over 70, I'm in good health.  I walk often and at 5-8 I keep a 31" waist---which I was at 18 in the army.  It's mostly about genetics--who we pick as parents.  Sure, I'd like to have a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner....how many can?  Growing up four of us had dinner at 6pm unless we were late at our jobs.  An hour for dinner and talk, then homework to 10 pm or so then lights out.  Some tv....this back in the early to late 1950s.  As for the ACA,  I'm all for it with its flaws.  I'm a third generation liberal Democrat,  Obama/Biden all the way.  He's only the second Demo prez to be RE-elected since FDR in '44.  Clinton in '96 was the first. 

Mar 20, 2013 5:02PM
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Does anybody know what Hardee's is? Because in my town. I only know how to see that?
Mar 18, 2013 7:55PM
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Carl junior will do a lot better if they learn to serve the food hot, but good to eat. They should hand paper  in toilets and please do not forget the soap!
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