The CEO of Hardee’s parent company CKE, Andy Puzder, said fast food restaurants are opening businesses around the world, more outside the US than in the US. The reason is regulations that make opening a business in the US too expensive and too difficult.
Hardees in the United Arab Emirates
“Under the current U.S. business climate, regulatory and tax restrictions tend to curb otherwise dynamic entrepreneurial energy,” Puzder said. “We’d love to see more growth in domestic markets. Unfortunately, it’s easier for our franchisees to open a restaurant in Siberia than in California.”
Puzder said other than the North Pole and Antartica he can’t think of a place he’s not opening up. They have 36 locations in Russia and see endless opportunities in China. All of those locations are apparently offering better business opportunities than the US.
Puzder cited the reasons for the reduced expansion in the US: ethanol regulation, which has resulted in higher beef costs, a rising minimum wage and higher labor costs due to Obamacare as three obstacles that make doing business in the U.S. more difficult than in the past.
CKE is turning to technology and looking into options for mobile ordering as well as tablet ordering within its restaurants as are many of the restaurants.
As Puzder said, raising the minimum wage and requiring healthcare for people working over 30 hours is really a call for increased automation.
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