CKE Restaurants, Inc. Reports Period Two Same-Store Sales

Hardee's Same-Store Sales Increase 3.1 Percent, Highlighting Premium Product Strategy Trailing 13-Period Average Unit Volume at Hardee's Exceeds $1 Million

Carpinteria, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:CKR) announced today period two same-store sales for the four weeks ended Mar. 23, 2009, for Carl's Jr.® and Hardee's®.

Brand Period 2 Year to Date
FY 2010 FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2009
Carl's Jr. -7.0% +6.0% -5.3% +3.8%
Hardee's +3.1% -2.1% +3.2% -0.2%
Blended -2.7% +2.4% -1.7% +1.9%

Commenting on the Company's performance, chief executive officer Andrew F. Puzder said, "On a very positive note, Hardee's period two same-store sales increased 3.1 percent, which also follows a period one same-store sales increase of 3.2 percent, validating the success of our premium product strategy. Also noteworthy, as of the end of the period, Hardee's trailing-13 period average unit volume was $1,004,000, surpassing our initial $1 million goal for the brand. When our current management team took over in fiscal 2001, Hardee's average unit volume was just $716,000 and the overall opinion of the brand was highly unfavorable. Since then, we have transformed the lunch and dinner menu, upgraded our facilities and improved the level of service to our guests. Today, Hardee's ranks at or near the top of consumer surveys for taste and quality of food, friendliness of employees and cleanliness of stores – a scenario many thought was impossible less than a decade ago. In addition, in this difficult sales environment, Hardee's sales are positive 3.2 percent year to date."

"While period two blended same-store sales decreased 2.7 percent, it is important to emphasize the headwinds we faced from the ongoing deep discounting of low-quality menu items by our competitors, which negatively impacted sales at both our brands. In addition, Carl's Jr. rolled over the most difficult sales comparison of the year for either brand and transitioned into a new product offering during the latter half of the period."

"We are working diligently to get Carl's Jr. back on the positive same store sales track to which we are accustomed although the poor condition of the California economy, which is worse than most other states, makes growing sales particularly difficult at this time. Carl's Jr. made progress in this respect during the period as its two year same store sales results improved from negative 2.2 percent in period one to negative 1.0 percent in period two."

"Keeping with our strategy of offering our guests a casual-dining quality burger at a fast-food price, Carl's Jr. debuted the Kentucky Bourbon Burger on Mar. 11. The Six Dollar Burger™ version features a charbroiled 100 percent Black Angus beef patty topped with a zero proof, sweet Kentucky bourbon sauce, onion straws, Pepperjack cheese, lettuce and tomato. We also offer this burger on our single and double charbroiled beef patty platforms. Media support for the product was only in place for the final week of period two. Carl's Jr. also returned to its roots with the return of Jumbo Chili Dogs. A staple of the initial menu back in the 1940's, the current version features a Farmer John® hot dog topped with our spicy beef chili, onions and mustard. Originally sold for 20 cents each, our Jumbo Chili Dogs are available today at 2 for $3," said Puzder. As of the end of period two, the trailing-13 period average unit volume at Carl's Jr. was $1,518,000."

"Hardee's promoted the Chicken Parmesan sandwich and Little Thickburgers® at lunch and dinner during period two, and introduced Texas Toast Breakfast Sandwiches at breakfast. Featuring two slices of grilled and buttered Texas toast, egg, American cheese and a choice of bacon, sausage or ham, the sandwich is sure to satisfy the heartiest of appetites," Puzder continued. "Two days after the end of the period two, Hardee's introduced the Western Bacon Thickburger®, its version of the sandwich that has been a cornerstone of the Carl's Jr. menu for almost three decades. A new television commercial featuring supermodel and reality show hostess Padma Lakshmi began airing this week in Hardee's markets, as well as select Carl's Jr. markets."

For period two, consolidated revenue from company-operated restaurants (exclusive of all franchise-related revenue and royalties) was approximately as follows:

Carl's Jr. $49.2 million
Hardee's $37.6 million
Total $86.8 million

The Company will report same-store sales results for period three of fiscal year 2010, ending Apr. 20, 2009, on or about Apr. 29, 2009.

As of the end of its fiscal fourth quarter on Jan. 26, 2009, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,116 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,195 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,908 Hardee's restaurants.

Safe Harbor Disclosure

Matters discussed in this news release contain forward-looking statements relating to future plans and developments, financial goals and operating performance that are based on management's current beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that are often difficult to predict, are beyond the Company's control and which may cause results to differ materially from expectations. Factors that could cause the Company's results to differ materially from those described include, but are not limited to, whether or not restaurants will be closed and the number of restaurant closures, consumers' concerns or adverse publicity regarding the Company's products, the effectiveness of operating initiatives and advertising and promotional efforts (particularly at the Hardee's brand), changes in economic conditions or prevailing interest rates, changes in the price or availability of commodities, availability and cost of energy, workers' compensation and general liability premiums and claims experience, changes in the Company's suppliers' ability to provide quality and timely products to the Company, delays in opening new restaurants or completing remodels, severe weather conditions, the operational and financial success of the Company's franchisees, franchisees' willingness to participate in the Company's strategies, the availability of financing for the Company and its franchisees, unfavorable outcomes in litigation, changes in accounting policies and practices, effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting, new legislation or government regulation (including environmental laws), the availability of suitable locations and terms for the sites designated for development, and other factors as discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law or the rules of the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: CKE Restaurants, Inc.



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