CKE Press Release

El Diablo Thickburger

March 24, 2015

WARNING: NEW BURGER FROM CARL’S JR. AND HARDEE’S MAY BE TOO HOT TO HANDLE

CARPINTERIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Spice up your life, and appetite, with fast food’s hottest burger: today, Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® introduce the new Thickburgers® El Diablo. Available at Hardee’s today and at Carl’s Jr. starting Wednesday, Thickburgers El Diablo feature four sources of fiery flavor: sliced jalapenos, crunchy Jalapeno Poppers®, spicy habanero bacon sauce and pepper-Jack cheese, piled on top of a 100 percent Black Angus beef Thickburger along with crispy bacon, all served on a Fresh Baked Bun. Victoria’s Secret model and Sports Illustrated swimsuit star Sara Sampaio will heat up the small screen in an ad campaign to promote the spicy new burger, premiering this week.

“When it comes to spicy food, a lot of the consumer research being done on the topic today clearly shows that the public’s desire for heat just keeps growing and growing every year,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. “We’ve witnessed that phenomenon in our own restaurants, where potential menu items that used to be rated as ‘too spicy’ in our market tests just a few years ago are now just right. However, for Thickburgers El Diablo, we’re pushing the heat tolerance higher than we ever have before to satisfy even our most rabidly heat-seeking customers. The original idea for Thickburgers El Diablo came from our creative agency, 72andSunny, and it gets its spice up from four sources of heat, including the sports bar favorite Jalapeno Poppers, sliced jalapenos, habanero pepper bacon sauce and pepper-Jack cheese. And, it’s available on a 1/3- or 1/2-lb. charbroiled 100 percent Black Angus beef patty with bacon and served on one of our Fresh Baked Buns. Since spice levels build the more you eat, every bite of a Thickburger El Diablo is hotter than the last. In fact, we’ve even added a warning label on our large drink cups, and we advise that you get one with any Thickburger El Diablo because you’ll need it to help extinguish the burn.”

Following the viral success of their recent Super Bowl ad starring Charlotte McKinney for the All-Natural Burger, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s will up the wow-factor in a new ad showcasing the bold and spicy flavors of El Diablo, starring 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year and Victoria’s Secret model Sara Sampaio. Titled “Too Hot To Handle,” the eye-catching commercial created by 72andSunny features the sultry Portuguese-born model enjoying a Thickburger El Diablo in an ultra chic ice hotel. After a few bites of the fiery burger, it’s hard for anyone to keep their cool, even in a freezing-cold ice bar. As Sara, and the burger, turn up the heat, the ice begins to melt around them. The ad will begin airing on TV on Monday and can be seen on the chains’ YouTube channels this week.

The Thickburger El Diablo is available with a 1/3- or 1/2-lb. charbroiled 100 percent Black Angus Thickburger patty, starting at $5.49 for the 1/3-lb., and may also be ordered in a combo meal with fries and a drink starting at $7.99.

The chains will also offer a Crispy Chicken El Diablo sandwich featuring the spicy foursome on top of a premium, 5-ounce crispy chicken fillet starting at $5.99, and a side order of Jalapeno Poppers is available for $2.69. Prices may vary by location. For a limited time, visit www.carlsjr.com/coupons or www.hardees.com/coupons to download a coupon for $1 off any size Thickburger El Diablo combo, valid at participating locations.

Up to the fiery challenge? Post your takedown of a Thickburger El Diablo and tag it #DiabloDare for a chance to win a spicy special offer from Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

Follow Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s on Facebook (www.facebook.com/carlsjr and www.facebook.com/hardees), Twitter (@CarlsJr and @Hardees) and Instagram (@CarlsJr and @Hardees) for the latest product news and promotional offers. Download the Super Star® Rewards app from the iTunes Store and Google Play and check in to redeem Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s products on the spot, save points for a high-value reward, check out the full menu, and use the store locator to find any Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s in the U.S.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company headquartered in Carpinteria, Calif. Through its subsidiaries, CKE owns and licenses Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® quick-service restaurants. CKE operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s as one brand under two names acknowledging the regional heritage of both banners. CKE has a total of 3,549 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and 33 foreign countries and U.S. territories. Known for its one-of-a-kind premium menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™ and Fresh Baked Buns, as well as an award-winning marketing approach, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brand continues to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is now 81 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 18 percent of the system. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com.

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