Engaged Franchisees Key To CKE Success

Blue MauMau:

Andrew F. Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants Inc. and the recipient of numerous leadership awards, speaks with Blue MauMau on the art of leading franchise owners. No stranger to being plunged into a firestorm, the former attorney led the about-face of the troubled CKE Restaurants and Hardee’s brand nearly a dozen years ago as a new CEO.

In a Wall Street conference over two years ago, I listened for two days to CEOs of some the largest quick service restaurant chains making presentations to analysts and reporters. The word franchisee was hardly heard. While many of the speakers treated their chains as if they were wholly company-owned, Mr. Puzder mentioned franchisees over and over again in his presentation, speaking about how he was working with them to carry out strategy. Franchisees seemed central to CKE Restaurant’s focus.

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