Andrew Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants.
WASHINGTON – Groups representing retailers and foodservice operators expressed support for President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Labor Secretary, Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s and Green Burrito.


Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, said Puzder is someone who has worked in the restaurant industry “and understands its vast benefits to the American economy as well as the challenges it currently faces…”

“We are excited about President-elect Trump’s announcement that Andy Puzder will serve as our nation’s next Secretary of Labor,” Sweeney said in a statement. “As an active member of the National Restaurant Association, Andy brings much-needed business experience to the Department of Labor. He has a proven track record of turning around businesses, and his background in the restaurant industry will help foster an environment for job creation.”

Puzder has been CEO of Carpinteria, California-based CKE Restaurants since 2000. His biography on the CKE website states: “While practicing law in St. Louis, Puzder met Carl Karcher, the founder of the Carl’s Jr. quick-service restaurant chain. Karcher was embroiled in serious financial difficulties and asked Puzder to move to California as his personal attorney. In 1991, Puzder relocated to Orange County, Calif. He is credited with resolving Karcher’s financial dilemma, allowing Karcher to avoid bankruptcy and retain a significant ownership interest in the company he founded, CKE Restaurants Inc.”

Puzder recently co-wrote the book Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It. He is a vocal critic of the $15 minimum wage, new overtime rules and the Affordable Health Care Act.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) said Puzder’s real-world experience enables him to understand workforce issues and how jobs are created.

“Mr. Puzder has been an ally in our efforts to emphasize the dynamic careers available in the retail and restaurant industries, and he would bring to the job his experience in balancing the needs of all stakeholders in the American workforce,” said David French, NRF senior vice president for Government Relations. “NRF is committed to long-term investments in workforce development and we look forward to working with him to advance a strong pro-jobs agenda in Washington.”

CKE Restaurants is a member of NRF’s National Council of Chain Restaurants division.