Local Hardee’s franchise receives top awards

Published 3:13 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

Hardee’s Food Systems Inc. recently honored the owner of the local Hardee’s restaurants with two top awards for stellar performance over the past year. The awards were presented at the company’s annual franchisee meeting held in Las Vegas.

The Founders Award was bestowed upon Ponder Enterprises for best exemplifying the entrepreneurial spirit, vision, dedication, leadership, teamwork, community involvement and ideals set by Hardee’s founder, Wilber Hardee. The award is the first of what will become an annual presentation.

Co-owners and key operators, Dan and Ernest Ponder, also won the inaugural CKE Restaurants Star of Excellence Award, for showing an extreme dedication to the brand, a continued commitment to excellence, and an impressive list of accomplishments.

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Dan Ponder also contributes a weekly column to The Post-Searchlight.

All brands of CKE Restaurants, including Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., both domestic and international were eligible for this award, encompassing more than 3,000 restaurants worldwide.

“Hardee’s continued success is due in large part to the hard work and dedication of our franchisees,” Michael Murphy, president of CKE Restaurants Inc., said in a news release. “The Ponders share Hardee’s commitment to providing guests with the best food, service and dining experience in the industry. It is a pleasure to have them on the Hardee’s team. It is our hope that all of our owners and operators are inspired and motivated by these great achievements, and will continue to help lead us toward a successful 2009.”

Ponder Enterprises will celebrate their 25th anniversary with Hardee’s this summer.

Founded in Donalsonville, Ga., June 26, 1984, Ponder Enterprises will hold its anniversary celebrations at the Hardee’s of Donalsonville.

Ponder Enterprises now has 22 locations in Alabama, Florida and Georgia and will open its 23rd this summer in Adel, Ga. Ponder Enterprises employs more than 600 people and contributes their continued success to the dedication and hard work of each of these employees.

Celebrating more than 48 years in the quick-service industry, Hardee’s Food Systems Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: CKR) of Carpinteria, Calif.

As of the fourth fiscal quarter ended Jan. 26, CKE Restaurants Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,116 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 14 countries, including 1,195 Carl’s Jr. restaurants and 1,908 Hardee’s restaurants.