retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times had a piece over the weekend about how Carl's Jr., the 72-year-old California-based fast food retailer that specializes in "bosomy brand ambassadors, debaucherous burgers and a clientele that leans toward young, hungry dudes."

Carl's Jr. is owned by CKE, which also owns the Hardee's chain. The CEO, Andy Puzder, points with pride to the fact that it "sells 20 times more Western Bacon Cheeseburgers, with 740 calories apiece, than it does BBQ chicken sandwiches, which each have 390 calories. 'It's not our personality and it won't become our personality," Puzder said of the health craze that has swept rivals such as McDonald's. 'All of our products are indulgent, decadent'."

And while Carl's Jr. does offer fish sandwiches and has plans to offer a veggie burger, Puzder says that generally the company plans to stick "to a tried-and-true tactic: promoting premium products such as its Six Dollar Burger instead of relying on low-priced items on a dollar menu. 'You can demean your product if you're locked into a price point,' he said. 'We'd rather have a message of value for the money rather than one about a lot of gut-filling, bottom-feeder stuff'."
KC's View:
Nothing wrong with debaucherous burgers, as long as you are transparent. Which I guess is part of the point of the bosomy brand ambassadors.