About Carl's Jr.
The Carl's Jr. story starts not with the juicy charbroiled burgers the quick-service franchise is known for today. Instead, it begins in Los Angeles in 1941—with a hot-dog cart, which a young couple by the name of Carl and Margaret Karcher purchased for a grand total of $326.
Carl had grown up in Ohio, where, after completing the eighth grade, he had worked the family farm until moving to California. There, his employers had included a feed-and-seed store and a bakery, where he had climbed the ladder from a bread wrapper to a position in sales and delivery. But it wasn't until 1941, when he and Margaret bought their hot-dog cart, that his career really took off.
Their first day in business, the Karchers made $14.75—roughly equivalent to $253 in 2018. From that promising start, they grew their business, eventually opening up a Carl's Drive-In Barbecue in Anaheim in 1945, then the first Carl's Jr. in 1956.
Since then, Carl's Jr. has grown exponentially: It now counts more than 3,000 restaurants as part of its brand. The restaurant has also expanded its menu in that time, with options now including breakfast burritos, chicken tenders, and the popular Western Bacon Cheeseburger.
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