Fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. plans to expand in North Texas. The burger joint has had a bit of an on-again, off-again relationship with Texas. So here’s more about the Cali fast-food place:
1. The burger enterprise actually began as a hot dog cart, opened in Los Angeles in 1941 by Carl N. Karcher and his wife, Margaret. Within a few years, the Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue full-service restaurant was a reality (with burgers, of course).
2. How did it become Carl’s Jr.? In the early 1950s, the Carl’s franchise opened quick-service locations that were smaller than Carl’s Drive-In. Thus, “Carl’s Jr.”
3. In 1987, CKE Enterprises closed all 21 of it’s Carl’s Jr. locations in Texas. Carl’s Jr. didn’t return to Texas until the 2000s.
4. Have you ever been to a Hardee’s and wondered why it was so similar to Carl’s Jr.? They are both owned by the same parent company, CKE Restaurants Inc. They are considered “sibling” restaurants, but they’re more like twins. Identical websites, identical commercials, nearly identical menus.
5. With more than 1,100 locations, Carl’s Jr. is the eighth-largest burger chain in the country, according to restaurant research firm Technomic.
Now, for one thing you most likely did know.
Carl’s Jr. caused a huge stir for its racy 2005 commercial starring Paris Hilton.
It was the beginning of a long campaign of suggestive ads featuring scantily clad models — one that’s still going nearly 10 years later. Witness the latest commercial for the I Love Texas BBQ Thickburger, featuring Sports Illustrated model (and Texas native) Hannah Ferguson, and the return of Paris Hilton. For anyone who remembers the original Paris commercial, it’s quite familiar (and quite racy, so tread lightly if you’re at work):