This week on Fox Business, I spoke with Closing Bell’s Liz Claman about business growth and minimum wage.  During the segment, I stated that there would be less opposition to a modest increase in the minimum wage over time.  However, the Administration is proposing an immediate 40% increase in the minimum wage and the unions want a 100% increase.  Artificially driving wages up 40% immediately would require business to raise prices for consumers and reduce employment opportunities for those most in need of jobs.  A better solution for our U.S. economy is a gradual increase in minimum wage that businesses could rationally absorb.  To view the entire Closing Bell segment, click here.Fox Business Liz Claman 9.17.14


In a recent Orange County Register op-ed titled, Are things good enough in California?, I discuss the challenges facing California under one-party rule. Under Governor Brown, Californians experience increasing poverty, declining opportunity and significant income inequality. California’s wealth gap is unlikely to close anytime soon if the status quo remains.

Neel Kashkari, who is running for California Governor against Brown, understands our Golden State problems. Kashkari’s plan includes practical solutions to improve individual, business and economic prosperity. To read my full op-ed, click here.

And, to see and hear Neel outline his ideas and positions during the September 4 Gubernatorial debate, click here. Based on Neel’s outstanding performance during the debate, it’s not surprising that Brown’s team won’t allow the two candidates side-by-side on stage again.


Yesterday, Fox Business News’ Stuart Varney and I discussed the Treasury Department’s recent announcement that it’s looking for ways to curb corporate tax inversions overseas. For the record, the company that I run, CKE Restaurants, is not looking to do an inversion nor do we hold money overseas. But, if the Treasury Department manages to put restrictions in place, American companies will be at a disadvantage in the global economy. The real solution is to amend the tax code.

Click here to view the full interview: Varney & Co. Interview


CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin and Andy Puzder.

CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Andy Puzder.

This morning I spoke with Joe Kernen on CNBC’s Squawk Box who seemed just as puzzled as I am about why the Administration doesn’t understand that government policies don’t create jobs. Businesses create jobs. We also discussed how most people use minimum wage jobs as a stepping stone for the next opportunity. Many may be surprised to know that the vast majority (approximately 95 percent) of our Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant employees older than 22 (out of high school and college) earn more than the federal minimum wage. Even fewer people consider that besides wages, many companies provide benefits that add to an employee’s earnings. For example, at company-operated Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, we provide up to $10,000 toward college expenses to crew members who have worked for us for at least one year and maintain a “C” average. That can be a substantial addition to their earnings. We do this because we know the value of engaged, striving, ambitious employees. Their success is our success.

And, speaking of success, CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin also asked me how Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s differentiates itself from the competition in a crowded marketplace. It’s simple. We stay laser focused on offering premium, restaurant-quality food, with fast food convenience, at a fast food price for our target audience of young, hungry guys and those who aspire to be young.

We are always striving to sell burgers, grow our business and provide jobs. While government certainly has a role to play, at the moment, it just needs to stay out of the way.


In my article titled “Here’s What Obama Still Doesn’t Get,” I write about President Obama’s disturbing statement that he thinks his administration has “managed the economy pretty well . . . .” Evidently, the President doesn’t understand that the federal government is not supposed to manage the economy. Politicians in Washington don’t create jobs or economic growth. America’s businesses and hard-working taxpayers are the key to rebuilding a healthy economy. Our free market economy has produced more wealth and distributed it more broadly than any economy that’s ever existed. That happened without government management.

To read the full article at, click here.


U.S. needs corn for food more than for fuel

On August 11, 2014, in opinion, by admin

Yesterday, the Orange County Register posted an opinion-editorial of mine regarding the impact of government-mandated ethanol production. The result of this mandate is an increase in feed corn prices, which drives an increase in protein prices, which drives an increase in food prices. We can all feel it. Grocery and restaurant bills for all Americans continue to rise.

In the article, I write that

While there’s never a good time for food costs to rise, this is a particularly bad time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture annually measures the percentage of households that experience ‘food insecurity,’ meaning that their access to adequate food for active, healthy living is limited by lack of money and other resources. Since 2008, food insecurity has been at elevated levels. Part of the problem is that we’re using a meaningful portion of our food supply for fuel. The United States is the world’s largest corn producer and corn is our primary feed grain. It’s also the primary component in the production of ethanol for fuel. These competing uses have set off a multibillion dollar chain reaction, unnecessarily increasing food costs.

To read the article in full, click here

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On Wednesday, August 28th, at a Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Austin, Texas, I was honored to share the stage with Texas Governor Rick Perry and several other proud Texans. It was a privilege to introduce the Governor, a true defender of the both free enterprise and our American values. I’ve known Governor Perry for three or four years now. He originally cold called me to thank me for opening restaurants in Texas. I have only the highest admiration for his continuing efforts on behalf of Texas and in keeping Texas a prosperous and business-friendly state.
Gov. Perry and Andy
The event itself celebrated Carl’s Jr.’s commitment to Texas – to grow business, provide jobs and give back to the community. Our local restaurants engage and support local community groups all the time. It’s a part of our heritage and part of our business. As we grow, we give back. In Texas, we’ll be donating to the Lone Survivor Foundation: a Texas-based organization founded by former U.S. Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in 2005 facing Taliban fighters. After surviving his operations in Afghanistan, Marcus returned home to his ranch in Texas, the center of his post-combat recovery and restoration. Marcus wrote the 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book “Lone Survivor” and, based upon first hand experiences of what is needed for holistic healing while honoring his lost comrades from Operation Redwing, Marcus established the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010.
I’m proud that our Carl’s Jr. success in Texas will mean we can continue to support the Lone Survivor Foundation and other local community groups there. Good citizenship is good business. And, it’s the American way. | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Earlier this week, Stuart Varney from Fox Business asked me to comment about President Obama’s recent interview in The Economist in which the President said corporate America has done well under his economic policies and that chief executive officers should stop complaining about regulations. Well, CEOs like myself speak up because someone must represent U.S. entrepreneurs and business owners. As a CEO, my job is to help our franchisees grow their independent businesses which in turn creates job opportunities. But, we can’t grow business if we’re bogged down with costly, time-consuming, inefficient regulations that hinder our ability to grow. Click here to see the full interview on Fox Business’ Varney & Co.


In my Wall Street Journal opinion-editorial posted today, I outline the realities and potentially devastating economic effects of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) ruling that McDonald’s Corp. could be treated as a joint employer of its franchisees’ workers. The NLRB’s determination directly threatens the franchise business model that has encouraged countless American small business owners, creating jobs and broad-based economic growth. To read the full op-ed titled “Why Do the Feds Want to Dismantle the Golden Arches?” click here.


Last week, posted my editorial regarding U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s call for “economic patriotism.” Mr. Lew recently stated that “[w]e should not be providing support for corporations that seek to shift their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.” He is implying that U.S. companies are engaging in wrongful and disloyal conduct, in reality, they’re simply reacting to our outdated tax system by attempting to put themselves on the same footing as their foreign competitors. As with many Obama administration economic policies, the Secretary’s statements sound so reasonable but ignore so much.

To read the complete editorial posted today on, click here