After more than 40 years, Carl's Jr. closing corporate offices in Anaheim

Rob McMillan Image
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
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Carl's Jr. is closing its corporate office in Anaheim and consolidating its operations to Tennessee.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) -- One of the last vestiges of the Carl's Jr. legacy in Southern California is on its way out.

The company announced it is consolidating the operations of its Anaheim office - once corporate headquarters - with its operations in Tennessee.

"To lose the corporate headquarters here is to lose a little bit of Anaheim history," said City Councilman Stephen Faessel, who added that the move is not entirely unexpected.

"It's corporate America, and they need to move their headquarters to a place they feel is appropriate."

According to the company's website, Carl Karcher opened his first restaurant, Carl's Drive-In Barbeque, in 1945 on what would later become Harbor Boulevard.

"It was a regular drive in," said Faessel. "It had a canopy in the back; cars would pull in, and often Carl himself would be there preparing hamburgers."

The first Carl's Jr., a smaller version of the drive-in, would open in downtown Anaheim. The company's corporate headquarters opened in the 1970s, on aptly named Carl Karcher Way.

By 1977, Karcher employed more than 5,000 people, but was still a fixture in Anaheim.

"I actually trick-or-treated at his house, and Carl himself would open the door," Faessel said. "Carl had deep roots here in town."

Eventually, the Karcher family would sell its interests in the company, which was later called CKE (Carl Karcher Enterprises) Restaurants. Still, the company expanded its footprint in Anaheim, moving to a new building on Anaheim Boulevard. near the 91 Freeway in the early 2000s.

But that office building is the one that's now closing. A CKE spokesperson sent this statement to ABC7:

"As a company responsible for two regional brands, we've undertaken the difficult task of closing our support office in Anaheim and consolidating its roles and functions into our corporate headquarters in Franklin, TN, just outside of Nashville. We sincerely thank our Anaheim employees for their dedicated service and the Anaheim community for its hospitality."

It's unclear how many jobs will be lost, and when the actual closing of the facility will occur. An employee who was leaving the facility Tuesday afternoon said the company was allowing employees to apply for positions at the new location in Tennessee.