CARPINTERIA, CALIF. — CKE Restaurants Inc. announced the opening of its first Hardee’s restaurant in Lahore, Pakistan. This opening is the first of at least 25 Hardee’s restaurants to be opened in Pakistan within the next five years.

The franchised restaurant is operated by MDS Foods Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Super Asia Group, a leading home appliances and automotive company in Pakistan.

"We have a solid base of Hardee’s restaurants in the Middle East, strong brand awareness in the region and are excited about introducing the Hardee’s brand to Pakistan," said Andy Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc.

"It is a great honor to bring Hardee’s to the Pakistan market," said Sohail Yousaf, chief executive officer of MDS Foods Private Limited. "We strongly feel that there is a growing demand for quality dining experiences and are confident that Hardee’s will raise the bar of Q.S.R. dining in Pakistan. We look forward to opening additional restaurants in Lahore over the next 12 months and have plans to open 15 Hardee’s restaurants across the north region in the next five years."

CKE’s launch into Pakistan is an extension of its international expansion strategy and the company sees a high demand for premium quick service restaurants in the region. Hardee’s has operated franchised restaurants in the Middle East since 1980 and currently operates 205 restaurants in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and now Pakistan.

The company also recently completed a development agreement for three Hardee’s restaurants to open in the Republic of Yemen in the future.