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Carl's Jr chief glad ads were banned

Friday 1 Mar 2013 8:01 a.m.

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Burger chain Carl's Jr opened its eighth restaurant in New Zealand on Auckland's Queen St yesterday.

The chain is part of the Restaurant Brands group, which includes KFC and Pizza Hut. 

It aims to have 35 to 60 Carl's Jr restaurants in New Zealand in the future.

Andy Puzder, chief executive of Carl's Jr's parent company CKE Restaurants, says Kiwis have "embraced" the chain.

"The restaurants we have here are doing very, very well… We look at first-week sales, what a restaurant does the first week it's open. In the history of the company, the prior record was US$117,000 in the first week. We opened a restaurant here in November that did US$148,600 the first week.

"It's a world record I don't expect to see broken very soon – but if it is broken, it'll probably be broken here in New Zealand."

The great start for Carl's Jr comes despite their US-made TV advert being banned from screening here, after the Commercial Approvals Bureau ruled it used "sexual appeal in an exploitative and degrading manner" and used "sex to sell an unrelated product".

"Whoever banned them, I'd like to thank them," says Mr Pudzer, "because with only eight restaurants, we never could have gotten this kind of exposure if the ads hadn't been banned."

He told Firstline that some of the chain's ads do feature scantily-clad young women, and this was to appeal the chain's target market – "young, hungry guys".

"It's really an aspirational type of advertising. Some of the ads do have attractive women in them, some of them don't… what we're trying to do is appeal to people that aspire to be young. I'm 63 years old – I want to be a young, hungry guy. I've got a 14-year-old son who doesn't want to eat where the clown or the king are – he wants to eat where his 20-year-old brother eats. I have a 34-year-old daughter who wants to date young hungry guys."

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