Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s get design makeover—fresh off MyPillow PR bump

After netting headlines for tweeting about FBI seizure of Mike Lindell’s cellphone in a drive-thru, the brands announce new logos, uniforms and ads.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s get design makeover—fresh off MyPillow PR bump

The new logo, design and brand identity are part of that plan, said Miller.

In making the investment announcement in May, Matthew Walls, chief global development officer for CKE, acknowledged investments in the chains' establishments had not kept up with its progress in food.

“CKE is known for having a finger on the pulse of what customers crave and we have continued to innovate our menus to lean into that, but we are the first to admit that our restaurants haven't kept up,” Walls said in a press release. “Elevating two brands that are due for much-needed upgrades is no small feat, but one that our team is passionate about.”

CKE has long been convinced its food is “best-in-class,” including items such as signature scratch-made biscuits at Hardee’s and unique flavor combinations of Carl’s Jr.’s sandwiches and burgers, Miller said. The company has maintained the brands regionally after Carl’s parent CKE acquired Hardee’s in 1997, with Carl’s Jr. operating in Western states with Hardee’s a stronghold in the Midwest and Southeast.

The redesigned Happy Star “gives the logo some ownable equity” by leading diners to the foods they crave, Miller said. He said Design Bridge “realized [the star] was one of those elements that has been a part of both brand's history for decades but never really had a purpose other than being there. He really is the guiding star to the brand, and that was a good unlock for us.”

Product packaging, employee uniforms, and interior designs are also getting new looks behind a new color palette also inspired by its food—charbroil black, American cheese yellow, flame red, and biscuit cream—and typography inspired by the wedges of the Happy Star. 

The changes come with new advertising that’s “unabashedly fun,” said Miller. New ads from 72andSunny feature goofy newscasters on the “Bite This Network.” Ads have begun running on regional TV, radio and on digital platforms including Snapchat, TikTok, Kargo, and Yahoo.

“People are paying a lot of attention to the news these days and this our way to seed into that conversation,” Miller said.

Including news that might happen at a Hardee's drive-thru.