Trump eyes Carl’s Jr.’s Puzder as labor secretary

donald trump

Andrew Puzder, CEO of the company that runs Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has emerged as one of two contenders for appointment as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration.

His selection would give the restaurant industry a zealous advocate at the highest level of policy-making. Puzder has come out strongly against minimum wage increases, the new overtime rules, the reclassification of restaurant franchisors as joint employers, and the employer mandates of Obamacare.

Puzder’s name appeared on the short list of possible cabinet nominees published in recent days by Politico, Reuters, Fortune and The Atlantic. Several reported that Puzder had advised Trump during his campaign, and some noted that the restaurant executive’s government-outsider status could provide an edge. Trump has vowed to wrest Washington away from the old guard and have it run by people with broader backgrounds.

Puzder is a lawyer by training. He came into the restaurant industry through his work as the personal attorney of Carl Karcher, the founder of Carl’s Jr. Puzder subsequently played a key role in Carl’s Jr.’s acquisition of Hardee’s, and was named CEO of the regional brands’ parent, CKE Restuarants, in 2000.

The other person reportedly under consideration for the labor secretary post is Victoria Lipnic, the commissioner of the EEOC and an assistant labor secretary under President George W. Bush.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants bring the industry's concerns to Congress

Neary 600 operators made their case to lawmakers as part of the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference.


Proposed TGI Fridays sale is no home run, but has promise for both sides

The $220 million all-stock deal would get Fridays’ owner TriArtisan out of its decade-long investment and give the struggling chain a like-minded partner in franchisee Hostmore, experts say.


Podcast transcript: Virtual Dining Brands co-founder Robbie Earl

A Deeper Dive: What is the future of digital-only concepts? Earl discusses their work to ensure quality and why focusing on restaurant delivery works.


More from our partners