ST. LOUIS (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Who bakes the best Hardee's(R) Made from Scratch(TM) Biscuits in America? Lisa Smith of the Hardee's in Greenfield, Ind. (1181 N. State St.), that's who. Lisa turned up the kitchen heat and beat out over 1,900 bakers to win the 2010 Hardee's Biscuit Baker Challenge SM, an internal competition where Hardee's seeks to find and honor their best biscuit baker. The 5 bakers with the highest scores competed in the final round of the competition, held on May 12 at Hardee's headquarters in St. Louis, Mo.
Lisa Smith competed in the Biscuit Baker Challenge along with Lee Damien of Virginia Beach, Va., Sherry Schwabe of Waldo, Fla., Angela Perazza of St. Mary's, Ga., and Elvia Arroyo of Des Moines, Iowa.
Biscuit bakers were judged on their knowledge of Hardee's biscuit procedures and standards as well as on their ability to prepare and bake a batch of Made from Scratch biscuits to performance standards and expectations. Baked biscuits were evaluated and judged on appearance, height, weight, diameter, texture, color and, of course, taste.
"Lisa is a highly skilled biscuit baker and proved to us all that she knows how to make the best biscuits," said Bob Starke, executive vice president of operations for Hardee's Food Systems, Inc. "With the best-of-the-best competing, the competition was intense and very close between all of the bakers. Though Lisa came out on top, all of the finalists did a fantastic job during the challenge and we are very proud of each and every one of them."
Hardee's signature Made from Scratch biscuits have been helping folks of all ages rise and shine for over 30 years. The world has changed a lot since the mid-1970s, but not Hardee's biscuits. They are still made fresh daily by dedicated biscuit bakers who arrive to work in the early morning hours to prepare and roll the dough by hand, and bake the biscuits to their signature fluffy texture and golden-brown color.
Selling well over 300 million biscuits a year, Hardee's is famous for its biscuit-centric breakfast, which accounts for nearly half of the chain's overall sales, among the highest in the industry. Because of this, Hardee's biscuit bakers, who each bake upwards of 800 biscuits a day, hold a highly esteemed position in the company; they are responsible for ensuring that the celebrated breakfast item is prepared consistently and held to the restaurant's rigorous quality standards.
"Our biscuits are a very big part of the company's heritage," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee's. "As an industry leader, Hardee's has often been targeted by many imitators trying to duplicate the success of our Made from Scratch biscuits. However, while some companies think that machine-produced, frozen biscuits are acceptable, a true biscuit connoisseur knows that nothing compares to Hardee's steaming-hot, buttermilk biscuits made fresh and from scratch by dedicated bakers who love what they do."
Five of the regional winners with the highest scores were flown to St. Louis to compete in the national finals of the Biscuit Baker Challenge at Hardee's test kitchen headquarters. They were presented with custom-made Hardee's hats and baker/chef coats and attended a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game in the Hardee's box suite where they were recognized on the field before the game. In addition to bragging rights for being the best, Lisa also received a commemorative plaque, $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip to the San Antonio River Walk for winning the Biscuit Baker Challenge. The runner-ups were also awarded $500 and finalist plaques.
Fans can view all of the excitement, nerves and candid footage of the competition at the Hardee's YouTube Channel. The video is housed under the "Best Breakfasts" tab. Pictures of the competition are also posted on the Hardee's Flickr site. For more pictures, videos and real-time updates, visit Hardee's on Facebook and Twitter.
Celebrating 50 years in the quick-service industry, Hardee's Food Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR) of Carpinteria, Calif. As of the end of fiscal 2010, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,141 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,224 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,905 Hardee's restaurants.