Carl's Jr. hamburger outlets have been popping up all over Texas for several years now and the parent company, CKE Restaurants, is considering moving here, too.
That's because California -- the state in which Carl Karcher set up a small hot dog stand 70 years ago and from which he proceeded to build a hamburger chain empire – is no longer a friendly place to do business. As his slogan says, "That's just the way it is."
"It costs us $250,000 more to build one California restaurant than [it does] in Texas," CKE CEO Andrew Puzder explained in a recent address at the California Chamber of Commerce. "And once it is opened, we're not allowed to run it."
According to Puzder, it takes up to 16 times longer in California than it does in Texas to acquire all the permits necessary to open a new restaurant – anywhere from eight to 24 months there, versus a month and a half here.
Getting a new restaurant opened in California is only the first hurdle, however. From that point on, general managers and their employees must comply with union-friendly work rules that drive up costs, reduce flexibility, stifle creativity, and make conscientious customer service extremely difficult.
"It's not like we have kids working in coal mines or women working in sweatshops," Puzder protested. "People are just dying to get out there and make money. But California is setting a bar here. You can't work smarter, harder, longer, or better."
Texas, however, has proven itself to be a very friendly place to do business – thanks to our governor's and our legislators' commitment to creating a welcoming economic and legal environment for entrepreneurs. Again, that's just the way it is.
And that's why CKE and its Carl's Jr. restaurants may soon be calling the Lone Star State home.
California's loss is our gain. Let's celebrate our good fortune with a juicy, charbroiled Western Bacon Six Dollar Burger from Carl's Jr.