CARPINTERIA, Calif. – Three Carl’s Jr. restaurants have opened in and around the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica, earlier in December. Parent company CKE Restaurants Inc. said this marks Carl’s Jr.’s debut into this Latin American country.

Gold Star Burgers SA, who has the exclusive development rights to Costa Rica, operates these restaurants.

“We are very pleased to have Gold Star Burgers SA as part of our CKE team,” said Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants. “Latin America is a critical component of our international expansion goals and the premium burgers offered at Carl’s Jr. will be a perfect fit in these markets. We currently have a very strong position in Mexico, where we operate more than 130 stores. This positions us well for further expansion in Latin America.”

Combining Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands, CKE franchises 412 international restaurants with locations in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, New Zealand, American Samoa, Canada, Kazakhstan and throughout the Middle East.

CKE, through its subsidiaries, operates 3,202 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 24 countries, including 1,278 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,914 Hardee's restaurants.