CKE Restaurants, through its franchisees, subsidiaries and licensees operates the Carl's Jr, Hardee's, Green Burrito and Red Burrito quick-service restaurants (QSRs). In total, CKE operates 3,052 restaurants in 43 states and 13 countries. CKE generated revenue of $1.59 billion in 2007.
With the exception of 16 Green and Red Burrito restaurants, CKE operates in the fast food hamburger segment of the QSR industry. This is a very competitive segment of the business, which CKE occupies with McDonalds, Burger King, and Jack in the Box, among others. The fast food hamburger industry is so competitive because each restaurant offers extremely similar food, and it is hard to differentiate one company from the competition. This leads to price wars in order to attract customers, which hurt the bottom line. Because the industry is so competitive, CKE has tried new ideas to gain an advantage over their competitors, like experimenting with multi-branded restaurants. Recently, CKE has created locations with both a fast-food hamburger restaurant and a Mexican food restaurant (Carl's Jr. is paired with the Green Burrito concept and Hardee's is paired with Red Burrito. The goal of these restaurants is to draw a whole family, who might have different tastes and cravings, to one restaurant. There are still only a few dual-branded CKE restaurants in America, but it is an interesting idea and shows that CKE Restaurants is willing to adapt to a challenging market.
In 2007, sales for CKE Restaurants totaled $1.59 billion and the company generated $104.5 million in income, which translates to year over year growth of 4.6% and 34% respectively. CKE Restaurants breaks down its revenue into two categories: revenue from company-operated restaurants and revenue from franchised and licensed restaurants. Company owned restaurants account for 80% of total sales, and franchises provide the other 20% of revenue. Also, revenue from franchised restaurants is growing slower than revenue from company-owned locations (5% vs. 3.2% in 2006).
Franchising is an extremely important part of the CKE Restaurants business model. At the moment, the majority of CKE restaurants are franchised or licensed out. As of November 2007, CKE had 986 company owned and operated restaurants and 2066 franchised and licensed locations, for a total of 3,052. This translates to about 32% company owned and 68% franchised. However, the vast majority of revenue still comes from the company owned restaurants ($273 million from company-owned stores versus $78 million for franchised ones). CKE continues to expand their franchisee program, with the number of company-owned locations decreasing 9%, and the number of franchisee locations increasing 10.5% in the last year. 
The Quick Service Industry (QSR) is one of the largest components of the over 440 billion dollar restaurant and food service industry, and is one of the most competitive industries in the world. Carl's Jr. and Hardee's most clearly fall under the fast food hamburger category, and competes against multi-national giants McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's. However, both chains also compete against other QSR concepts. Another huge player in this industry is Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC and Taco Bell. In addition, the Red Burrito and Green Burrito restaurants compete in an extremely competitive Mexican segment, with other well know restaurants Chipotle and Baja Fresh, and Jack in the Box's Qdoba, among others.