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


Red Lobster gives private equity another black eye

The Bottom Line: The role a giant sale-leaseback had in the bankruptcy filing of the seafood chain has drawn more criticism of the investment firms' financial engineering. The criticism is well-earned.


Beverage chains are taking off as consumers shift their drink preferences

The Bottom Line: Some of the fastest-growing chains in the U.S. push drinks, even as sales at traditional concepts lag in growing delivery and takeout business. How can traditional restaurants get in on the action?


Brands need to think creatively as the industry heads into a value war

The Bottom Line: Giving customers meal options they can afford will be key to generating traffic this year. But make sure those offers can generate a profit.


More from our partners