CARPINTERIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carl’s Jr.® has opened its 500th dual-branded Green Burrito® restaurant and will mark the milestone event with a grand-opening celebration Friday, Sept. 24, at the Anaheim, Calif. unit. Green Burrito now ranks as the fourth-largest Mexican fast-food restaurant chain in the US by number of units. This milestone restaurant is also one of the chain’s most environmentally friendly units, making it one of the greenest Green Burritos ever.
The community is invited on Friday to a “Grande Opening” celebration at the Anaheim restaurant, at 2820 E. Lincoln. Featuring live music, free food sampling and a chance to win a $1,000 Best Buy gift card, the event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The history of dual-branding at Carl’s Jr. dates back to founder Carl Karcher, who first envisioned a Mexican-food concept four decades ago. Karcher believed offering authentic Mexican fare would be the perfect complement to the burgers and fries he was offering at his increasingly popular Carl’s Jr. restaurants. He opened the first Taco de Carlos in 1972, eventually opening 17 units by the end of the decade. While Taco de Carlos didn’t make it past the early ‘80s, the concept of expanding the Carl’s Jr. menu to include Mexican food remained a goal for Karcher. In 1993, he first discussed the idea of dual-branding Carl's Jr. with Green Burrito menu offerings, and in 1994 opened the first dual-branded Carl's Jr./Green Burrito restaurant in Carson, Calif.
With a south-of-the-border menu, including the namesake Green Burrito, tacos and combo platters served in generous portions, the Green Burrito also features a full, self-serve salsa bar. Green Burrito now offers a nice complement to the Carl’s Jr. menu, which is known for big, delicious charbroiled burgers like the popular Western Bacon Cheeseburger®, Super Star® and a complete line of Six Dollar Burgers, made with 100 percent Black Angus beef.
CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., eventually purchased the Green Burrito chain outright in 2002. The chain grew to 300 restaurants by 2007, and expanded to 500 this month, with plans for continued expansion. Additionally, Hardee’s® has more than 180 restaurants dual-branded with a similar Red Burrito® menu.
“The opening of our 500th dual-branded Green Burrito restaurant certainly is cause for celebration,” said Michael Murphy, president of CKE Restaurants. “Carl Karcher knew that if we expanded our menu, it would appeal to an even wider audience. The man was a pioneer in the industry and our company’s success is testament to that.”
“Dual-branding is a win-win for our brands; guests have a wider variety of choices, and that drives increased traffic and sales into each unit,” added Murphy.
The Carl’s Jr./Green Burrito restaurant in Anaheim reopened Sept. 14 after a five-month renovation that involved razing the previous structure. The newly built restaurant was constructed with steel framing, 70 percent of which is recycled. The unit also boasts a raft of additional green features that should result in LEED certification, a process that provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures.
Other green features include a computer-operated electrical system that manages light and temperature inside the restaurant, adjusting automatically as the day progresses. The building uses highly efficient ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, includes solar tubes for daylighting the storage rooms, has a catalytic converter on the charbroiler to decrease emissions, and has LED lights in the building and parking lot. Carl’s Jr. opened its first “green” unit in Carpinteria, Calif., in January 2009. Another Carl’s Jr. unit in Irvine also is currently going through the LEED certification process.
“Our commitment to the environment with the development of these green restaurants is more than just lip service; it is a point of pride throughout the company and can be held up as an example for other businesses that sustainability should be a top priority,” Murphy said.
The new restaurant in Anaheim is open 6 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 24 hours on the weekends.
About Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. is celebrating nearly 70 years in the quick-service industry. What began as a lone hot dog cart in Los Angeles, Calif. in 1941 is today a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif. As of the end of its first quarter of fiscal 2011, CKE Restaurants, through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,134 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 16 countries, including 1,233 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,901 Hardee's restaurants. For more information, or to find a Carl’s Jr. near you, go to www.carlsjr.com. Carl’s Jr. social media sites include www.facebook.com/carlsjr, www.twitter.com/carlsjr and www.youtube.com/carlsjr.
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