CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardees and Carl’s Jr., is moving its Carpinteria headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee, the company announced March 7.
The Business Times broke the news in its print edition March 4 that CKE was looking to consolidate the Carpinteria office and Hardee’s St. Louis office into one office in Nashville. A CKE representative told the Business Times in an emailed statement that 90 percent of CKE restaurants are franchise-owned, including ones formerly owned by the company in Santa Barbara County and St. Louis.
“Being highly franchised reduced our office space needs and, thus, made consolidating offices a more viable option,” the statement says. “As such, early next year we will be consolidating our Carpinteria and St. Louis corporate offices in Nashville, which is centrally located and is one of the markets where we have retained company-owned restaurants.”
The spokeswoman declined to comment further.
The move to Nashville is hardly surprising. CKE has slowly been scaling down operations at the Carpinteria office. CKE had about 120 employees at the building in 2013 but now has less than 100. Its lease on its 88,000-square-foot office at 6307 Carpinteria Ave. expires next March.
Currently, CKE occupies around 40,000 square feet of the building, which was backfilled by the electronic components supplier Continental Automotive Systems and construction software developer Procore.
Carpinteria should be fine without CKE. The 100 CKE employees only comprise 1.3 percent of the 7,521 Carpinteria workers and 0.05 percent of the 205,845 workers in Santa Barbara County, according to the most recent data from the UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project.
CKE is the latest company to move from the region to more business friendly environments. Fashion Forms left Ventura last year, opting to grow its operations and workforce in the corporate- and income-tax-free state of Texas. While Texas typically has higher property and sales taxes that make up for it, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law $3.8 billion in tax cuts for homeowners and businesses through 2017.
Because of easy access to major interstates, Class 1 railroads, a river port, zero income tax and a pro-business regulatory environment. Forbes ranked Tennessee the 19th best state for business. California ranked 32nd.
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