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9 Facts You Might Not Know About Carl’s Jr.

Carl's Jr. has been serving up charbroiled hamburgers across the west and southwest for 60 some years, and what started as a small-time hot dog stand has now expanded across the country.

1. IT GOT ITS START AS A HOT DOG STAND IN LOS ANGELES.

In 1941, Carl Karcher was a truck driver who lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Margaret. Because his neighborhood had a bunch of successful hot dog stands, he wanted to get in on the action. He and Margaret used all their savings—$15—and took a loan out against their car to buy a pushcart hot dog stand. Their stand was a hit, so the Karchers soon opened three more hot dog stands in southern California.

2. THE "JUNIOR" IN CARL'S JR. DOESN'T MEAN WHAT YOU MIGHT THINK IT MEANS.

With four successful hot dog stands under his belt, Karcher opened a sit-down, full-service restaurant in Anaheim in 1945. Named Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue, the restaurant expanded upon their usual hot dogs by also selling hamburgers. In 1956, Karcher opened the first two "mini" Carl’s restaurants, and used the "Jr." designation to indicate they were smaller, express versions of his larger namesake location, which would offer hamburgers and quick service. (Fun fact: There is no Carl Karcher Jr., though Carl and Margaret did have a son named Carl.)

3. ATTEMPTED CARL'S JR. MEXICAN FOOD AND COFFEE SPIN-OFFS ENDED IN FAILURE.

Karcher wasn’t content with just Carl’s Jr.—he wanted to expand his fast-food empire. He created his own corporation in 1964, which he called Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc. (CKE). In 1972, CKE opened a Mexican fast-food chain spin-off, amusingly called Taco de Carlos. To differentiate itself from Taco Bell, Taco de Carlos served place-specific food like a California Burrito, as well as Carl’s Jr. hamburgers. Unfortunately, Taco de Carlos was not a success, and CKE sold the 17 locations in the early 1980s. Karcher also tried and failed in the coffee business with a Scottish-themed chain called Scot’s Coffee Shops, where waitresses wore plaid skirts as they served coffee and food [PDF].

4. CARL'S JR. BOUGHT HARDEE'S IN 1997, WHICH IS WHY THE CHAINS HAVE SIMILAR LOOKS.

Chloe Effron

CKE Restaurants, which is still based in California, is the parent company of restaurant chains Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. In 1997, CKE Restaurants acquired Hardee’s, the fast-food chain predominantly in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast, for $327 million. Hardee’s has kept its name and some of its menu items, but it now has the same branding, logo, advertising, and design as Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. has locations in the West and Southwest, and its menu reflects its geography. Although Carl’s Jr. does sell Hardee's Southern style biscuits for breakfast, typical western and southwestern lunch and dinner items include the Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger, Tex Mex Thickburger, and burritos. After trying and failing to establish Carl’s Jr. in Texas in the 1980s and 1990s, CKE Restaurants has been focusing on Texas, specifically Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, as its top growth market since 2009.

5. AFTER TAKING CARL'S JR. PUBLIC, KARCHER GOT IN TROUBLE FOR INSIDER TRADING.

In 1981, Karcher took CKE public, and by the end of the decade, the Securities and Exchange Commission was accusing him of insider trading. The SEC charged Karcher in 1988 with telling six members of his family to sell their CKE shares right before the stock took a nosedive. The next year, Carl and the Karcher family paid $664,000 plus additional fines to the SEC as part of a settlement. In 1993, Karcher was ousted as CEO after he disagreed with the CKE Board of Directors about marketing and strategy.

6. KARCHER HAD AN ENORMOUS FAMILY.

When he died from Parkinson's disease in 2008, Carl was almost 91 years old and left behind a huge family. He and Margaret had 12 children, 51 grandchildren, and 45 great-grandchildren! His large family was a byproduct of his strong Catholic faith—he was known to attend mass every morning at St. Boniface Catholic Church, the same church where he and Margaret married in 1939. At CKE headquarters, he displayed a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, and he recited a prayer before company meetings.

7. THOSE FAMOUS CARL'S JR. ADS ARE HEAVILY CRITICIZED FOR BEING MISOGYNISTIC.

In 2005, Carl’s Jr. featured Paris Hilton in a commercial for the Spicy BBQ Burger, in which she seductively washed an expensive sports car, wore a revealing swimsuit, and provocatively ate a hamburger. Parent advocacy groups accused the ad of being soft-core porn, but Carl’s Jr.’s specially created website for the ad got so many hits that the site crashed. Since then, Carl’s Jr. has paid other female models and celebrities to appear in ads, such as Padma Lakshmi, Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, and Sports Illustrated models Kate Upton and Hannah Ferguson. Critics continue to condemn Carl’s Jr. for using sex and exploiting women to sell hamburgers, but it doesn't seem like they're going to change their strategy anytime soon.

8. CARL'S JR. HAMBURGERS PAIR SURPRISINGLY WELL WITH EXPENSIVE WINES.

In 2006, Carl's Jr. partnered with the Palms Casino in Las Vegas to show that Carl’s Jr. hamburgers were more high-end and lavish than typical fast food. The partnership resulted in a Combo Meal, available only at the Palms hotel, consisting of a Carl’s Jr. Six Dollar Burger, fries, and a $6000 bottle of French Bordeaux. Carl’s Jr. also partnered with Wally’s Wine & Spirits to curate a list of recommended wine pairings: For example, the Jalapeño Six Dollar Burger goes well with Champagne, the Bacon Swiss Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Pinot Noir, and the Charbroiled Chicken Club Sandwich with Chardonnay.

9. CARL'S JR. HAD A FOOD TRUCK BEFORE FOOD TRUCKS WERE SUPER TRENDY.

Before food trucks became as popular as they are today, Carl’s Jr. had its own restaurant on wheels called Star Diner. In 2004, Star Diner went on a trip from California to Utah to serve hamburgers, fries, and drinks at the University of Utah vs. Texas football tailgate party. Today, the mobile Carl’s Jr. serves food at large events, fundraisers, street fairs, and sports events.

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Live Smarter
The Only Way to Answer ‘What Is Your Greatest Weakness?’ In a Job Interview
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Thanks in part to the influence of Silicon Valley and its focus on the psychological probing of job applicants, interview questions have been steadily getting more and more abstract. As part of the interview process, today's job seekers might be asked to describe a vending machine to someone who’s never seen one before, or plan a fantasy date with a famous historical figure.

Even if the company you’re approaching isn’t fully on board with prodding your brain, at some point you may still come up against one of the most common queries applicants face: "What is your greatest weakness?"

"Some 'experts' will tell you to try and turn a strength into a 'weakness,' to make yourself look good," writes Inc. contributor Justin Bariso. "That advice is garbage."

"Think about it," Bariso continues. "Interviewers are asking the same question to countless candidates. Just try and guess how many times they hear the answers 'being a perfectionist' or 'working too much.' (Hint: way too often.)"

While responding that you work too hard might seem like a reliable method of moving the conversation along, there’s a better way. And it involves being sincere.

"The fact is, it's not easy to identify one's own weaknesses," Bariso writes. "Doing so takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback—qualities that have gone severely missing in a world that promotes instant gratification and demands quick (often thoughtless) replies to serious issues."

Bariso believes the question is an effective way to reveal an applicant’s self-awareness, which is why companies often use it in their vetting process. By being self-aware, people (and employees) can correct behavior that might be affecting job performance. So the key is to give this question some actual thought before it’s ever posed to you.

What is your actual greatest weakness? It could be that, in a desire to please everyone, you wind up making decisions based on the urge to avoid disappointing others. That’s a weakness that sounds authentic.

Pondering the question also has another benefit: It prompts you to think of areas in your life that could use some course-correcting. Even if you don’t land that job—or even if the question is never posed to you—you’ve still made time for self-reflection. The result could mean a more confident and capable presence for that next interview.

[h/t Inc.]

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Words
This Is the Most Commonly Misspelled Word on Job Resumes
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by Reader's Digest Editors

Your resume is your first chance to make a good impression with hiring managers. One misspelled word might not seem like a huge deal, but it can mean the difference between looking competent and appearing lazy. A 2014 Accountemps survey of 300 senior managers found that 63 percent of employers would reject a job candidate who had just one or two typos on their resume.

Most misspellings on resumes slip through the cracks because spellcheck doesn’t catch them. The most common misspelling on resumes is a shockingly simple word—or so you’d think.

Career coach and resume writer Jared Redick of Resume Studio in San Francisco tells Business Insider that the most common misspelling he sees by far is confusing “lead” with “led.” If you’re talking about how you run meetings at your current job, the correct spelling is “lead,” which is in the present tense. If the bullet point is from a former position, use lead’s past tense: led. Yes, “lead” as in the metal can also be pronounced “led,” but most people have no need to discuss chemical elements on their job resumes.

 
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Other spelling mistakes Redick has seen pop up over and over again on resumes is spelling “definitely” as “definately” (which spellcheck thankfully should catch) and adding an e in “judgment” (“judgement” is the British spelling, but “judgment” is preferred in American English).

To avoid the cringe factor of noticing little typos after sending out your application—especially if your misspelling actually is a real word that spellcheck recognizes—always proofread your resume before submitting. Slowly reading it out loud will take just a few minutes, but it could mean the difference between an interview and a rejection.

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