Hardee’s opens new restaurant off interstate
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Mar 31, 2013 | 1832 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Business of the Week
LOCATED ON LAUDERDALE Memorial Highway in Charleston, this is the newest Hardee’s in the J&S Resturants chain. Banner photos, GREG KAYLOR
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J&S Restaurants has expanded operation by one restaurant in a prime location — just off Interstate 75 in Charleston.

Located on Lauderdale Memorial Highway, the new Hardee’s eatery is appealing and one of the latest designs of the Hardee’s Food System.

J&S will celebrate 50 years in business with the Hardee’s name in just three years.

George Johnson opened his first Hardee’s in Athens in 1966.

The Charleston location is the 43rd owned and operated by J&S Restaurants Inc.

Brenda Eckard said the Hardee’s Food System design of the building was “tweaked” to fit the needs of the new building now in place.

Tom Crye was responsible for helping formulate the design into blueprint.

“We took an existing plan and modified it,” Eckard said.

The 3,500-square-foot building, including kitchens and food preparations area, is neatly laid out.

Landscaping around the perimeter of the large lot has been placed and is appealing, complementing the new structure.

Stacked stone and stone finishing make up the facade.

Entryways were custom designed with the signature Hardee’s star etched into the door. The theme of the star was also carried out in areas of the exterior finish as well as the interior.

Simple and spacious dining is available for up to 95 diners. The interior walls were finished in the “knock-down” texture and warm, soothing paint colors added to provide a comfortable dining experience.

The tables are set into place but chairs are movable. Booths are also provided in the new restaurant.

A state-of-the art drive-through ordering station, covered with an awning, is at the rear of the building.

Inside, tile flooring was utilized for durability and ease of cleaning.

Stainless counter space and preparation tables are spaced throughout the kitchen area. Four ovens are available for baking Hardee’s famous homestyle biscuits.

According to company officials, the entire stock of appliances, including grill and other electronic elements, are built to energy-efficient standards.

Lighting used in the dining area has also been “greened,” according to Eckard

Long-life CFLs are low-energy and high-output for a maximum light source, helping save energy.

Even the money system is efficient. Larry Webb of J&S said a Lucas Point-of-Sale system was put in place.

Eckard said the new building was built slightly above Hardee’s Food System specifications.

Webb also noted three extra feet of the entire storage area designed at the rear of the building did away with the need for an exterior storage building.

Artwork for the new Hardee’s includes designs from the ’60s.

Hardee’s menus and pricing were used in several areas as art. Aluminum dividers also showcase the Hardee’s star.

J&S Restaurants is now operated by George Johnson’s family, including Julia Scoggins, president and Mark Johnson, chief executive officer.

History of Hardee’s

The first Hardee’s restaurant was built in 1960 by Wilber Hardee in Greenville N.C. — it was called Hardee’s Drive-Ins, Inc. The restaurant featured 15-cent hamburgers and a unique, charcoal grill method of cooking. Two other gentlemen (Leonard Rawls and Jim Gardner) invested in the business and in 1961 formed Hardee’s Food Systems Inc. and the three made their office in Rocky Mount, N.C. The first franchise was granted to Spartan Food Systems Inc. spearheaded by Jerry Richardson and his partners in Spartanburg, S.C. in late 1961.

- George Johnson, originally from Calhoun, was a regional sales director for Magic Chef and was living in Rocky Mount.

He met Leonard Rawls, became friends and bought into the fast-food industry. George opened his first Hardee’s in Athens in 1966, and the addition of the new Charleston locations is the 43rd restaurant owned and operated by J&S Restaurants, Inc. (George Johnson’s family: Julia Scoggins, president; Mark Johnson, CEO).

- Leonard Rawls remained active in Hardee’s Food Systems until his death in the 1980s, Wilber Hardee sold his interest in the company, but the company retained his name, and Jim Garner went into politics representing the state of North Carolina in Congress.

The early years of Hardee’s was up and down and it was decided reluctantly in 1978 to add “Made From Scratch” Biscuits and to open for breakfast.

- Hardee’s was one of the first fast-food operations to offer stock to the public. In 1976 a Canadian Company called Imasco purchased 44 percent of the stock in Hardee’s and later bought the remaining stock. In the late 1990s Imasco felt the need to focus on their tobacco industry and sold Hardee’s to Carl Kracher Enterprise in California. CKE also owned a company on the West Coast called Carl’s Jr. With two companies, one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast, CKE decided to move the home office to St. Louis to be more centrally located between the two companies.

- Hardee’s trivia: Q. Who sang Hardee’s popular jingle “Hurry on Down to Hardee’s Where the Burgers are Charco-Broiled”? A. Mama Cass Elliott of the Mama’s and the Papas. The second recording was done by quarterback Joe Namath and the New York Jets after winning the Super Bowl.