Hardee’s Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Salad

Discussion
Sep 30, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

While larger competitors such as McDonald’s and Burger King are looking to reposition themselves as healthier eating destinations, Hardee’s has chosen to go in the “Thickburger”
direction.

Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for the chain, told the Charlotte Observer, “People in the restaurant industry vote with their pocketbooks and choose
based on their taste buds. There’s still a very large market for just a great-tasting burger.”

On the topic of salads, Mr. Haley said, “We’ve tested salads and offered salads many times over the years, and frankly the sales were so low, it didn’t justify keeping them on
the menu. It wasn’t a policy decision, it was simply a sales issue.”

“There’s some evidence people go to fast food for a guilty pleasure,” he added. “You’re there to splurge and eat something good and satisfying. If you’re going to eat a salad,
you’re probably going to go to a different place.”

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Hardee’s Thickburger menu as a differentiation strategy?

While bigger burgers are the emphasis, it should be noted that Brad Haley made the point that Hardee’s isn’t strictly going for the Thickburger consumer.
He told the Charlotte Observer, “Our feeling is you have to give your guests a range of choices. We also have a skinless charbroiled chicken breast sandwich on our menus
that’s very low in fat.”
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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