CKE engages SMG to measure customer experiences at Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. brands

SMG Insights | Jul 12, 2017 SMG Insights 07/12/17

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. has selected Service Management Group (SMG) to measure the customer experience for 3,000 Hardee’s® and Carl’s Jr.® locations in North America. In 2018, the program will expand to include an additional 800 international locations across 41 countries. SMG is a global leader in customer experience (CX) measurement, helping more than 450 brands around the globe to listen, understand and act on feedback and behavioral data.


“CKE was very specific about where they’ve been and where they’re headed,” said SMG President and COO Chris Egan. “They’re hungry to learn more from their customers in an effort to give them an even better dining experience. We’re excited about the level of engagement from the CKE senior leadership team. From day one it’s been a real partnership, and we’re extremely optimistic about the impact this program will have on their business.” 

Both Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. have a long history of menu quality and innovation within the quick service restaurant (QSR) category. The concepts celebrate the great American classics with premium ingredients and handcrafted menu items. And based on customer feedback, you’ll also see offerings that reflect evolving tastes and dining trends.

To identify key areas of focus for innovation, CKE is launching an SMG VisitView survey to measure and improve customer experiences at the location level. The program identifies and measures key drivers and includes built-in text analytics to uncover themes for operational success. The resulting customer data is available at the corporate, field and location levels via the smg360® reporting dashboard and mobile reporting app.

While the dashboard gives corporate users 24/7 access to insights that drive business decisions, the reporting app makes it quick and easy for location managers to see where to focus and to take fast action via push alerts.

Additionally, CKE takes advantage of SMG’s BrandGeek® data to access branded benchmarks. SMG is a leader in the hamburger QSR space, and branded benchmarks will prove particularly helpful as CKE makes strategic decisions about future innovations.

“Now is the right time for us to move from an internally-managed model, to partnering with a full-service, global technology and insight leader like SMG,” said CKE Vice President of Operations Support Ryan Hanawalt. “We put the customer first in everything we do, so detailed consumer insights are critical to our success. We expect this new partnership to make significant changes in the way we connect with and learn from our customers around the world.”

Learn more about SMG VisitView and our other CX offerings.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company headquartered in Franklin, Tenn. CKE is not a franchisor and conducts substantially all of its restaurant activities and operations through its subsidiaries. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC own, operate and franchise the Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito® and Red Burrito® concepts. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s operate as one brand under two names, acknowledging the rich regional heritage of both banners. After recent international openings in Chile, Cambodia and Kenya, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC now have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 41 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 and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™, 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 94 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 21 percent of the system. For more information about CKE, please visit or its brand sites at and

About Service Management Group

SMG (Service Management Group) partners with more than 450 brands around the globe to create better customer and employee experiences, which drive loyalty and performance. SMG uniquely combines technology and insights to help clients listen better, act faster, and outperform competitors. Strategic solutions include omniCX™, Brand Research, and Employee Engagement. SMG evaluates 200 million surveys annually, across 130 countries. To learn more about SMG, visit or call 1-800-764-0439.

Customer Experience Update