Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Hardee's

Crumbly biscuits, hand-breaded chicken fingers, and Angus burgers: We can only be talking about Hardee's. If none of this makes any sense to you, then you might not have heard of Hardee's, a fast food chain that has more than 1,700 restaurants across the Eastern half of the United States. Some Hardee's restaurants have even managed to spread towards the Northwestern parts of the U.S. 

If you're from the West Coast of the U.S., then you may be more familiar with chains such as Carl's Jr. Interestingly enough, even though Carl's Jr. and Hardee's originated as separate restaurants that achieved independent success, they are both now owned by CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. and are operated under similar models serving different regions.

Hardee's is beloved for its biscuits and famed for its quality beef burgers. The restaurant is an all-day favorite among its many admirers. However, customers don't always have the same opinions of a restaurant as staff and customers, and the experience of working at Hardee's is bound to be quite different from working there. 

It's always interesting to delve into behind-the-scenes information and discover the kind of praise and criticism that workers are expressing towards their employers. There's a lot to know about working at Hardee's, from training and scheduling to promotions and the very serious business of making biscuits. 

The schedules are flexible

Flexible scheduling is a serious perk for several employees across several demographics: Students, parents, and plenty of niches in between turn to food service in seeking irregular hours. While many jobs in the food industry can turn out not to be as flexible as some employees would hope, some businesses do actually offer flexible scheduling. 

A former worker at Hardee's who was also a student at the time of employment felt that the job was quite average; while they left a three-star Glassdoor review, they did praise the company for effectively working around school schedules. Another anonymous employee who was working at Hardee's part-time in addition to a full-time gig elsewhere agreed that the company listened to scheduling needs and was empathetic to the need for a healthy work/life balance, especially in terms of school and family obligations.

Finally, a shift manager from Cherokee, North Carolina, raved that the restaurant was "absolutely amazing" at working with employees' external commitments as well as honoring requested days. 

However, this worker did go on to say that the management was perhaps a bit too lenient with staff, leading to some difficult working conditions on occasion. Perhaps too much flexibility is not a good thing, but most of Hardee's employees seem to be happy with the scheduling conditions at Hardee's.

The workflow runs smoothly if everyone does their job

Okay, we admit that this one sounds a little obvious on the surface, but if you think about it, it really depends on the specific organization. Simply put, not all companies have the kind of organizational structure and policies that allow them to work together smoothly, even in the best scenarios. We're not saying Hardee's is perfect, but its employees do seem to think that things run quite smoothly whenever everyone carries out their specific assigned role (via Comparably). 

According to one anonymous Hardee's employee, everything works like clockwork if you simply do your job, which is a promising assessment for those who like to hold their fates in their own hands. Of course, other people always have the potential to get in the way, and one manager from Cahokia, Illinois, confessed to Glassdoor that "the place is a mess if the manager isn't following protocol." 

In both cases, it's clear that there's potential for everything to run smoothly if everyone steps up to the plate. Hardee's is truly a place where teamwork makes the dream work, and a former cook from Nashville, Tennessee, happily reported that the team at Hardee's always worked together to keep the restaurant running as it should. That's certainly a location-dependent observation, but it's great to know the potential for success is always there for everyone, and plenty of people have found it.

The work is honestly not that difficult

It's not often you hear people describe their own jobs as easy, but plenty of Hardee's employees do tend to admit that working at this restaurant is honestly not that difficult (via Comparably). It's not that there are no challenges here or that there isn't much to do; however, the tasks at hand don't appear insurmountable, and neither does the workload, at least according to the workers describing their own experiences.

One anonymous employee reported that the job wasn't hard, just frustrating at times. Though they failed to mention exactly which aspect was frustrating, most of us can agree that all work has the potential for frustrating moments. One anonymous employee told Glassdoor that a position at Hardee's was an "easy flowing job," though they did also mention the working conditions could be stressful. 

An employee from Mount Sterling, Kentucky, specified that customers could be rude and management wasn't great, but the job was still "very easy" and brought in good money. Yet another former employee from Panama City, Florida, gave Hardee's a fairly average three-star review on Indeed but praised the job for being "not too difficult at all" and recommended it to others, especially those just starting out in the workforce.

The workers are generally quite young

For young people that are just starting out in the wide world of work, an environment filled with other young people could be an attractive opportunity to learn among peers without feeling too much pressure from a bunch of experienced employees. 

Workers of Hardee's say this restaurant is precisely one of those environments, and although it is certainly staffed by plenty of younger workers, it doesn't seem they escape the scrutiny of the older employees that do find their way to Hardee's: An anonymous employee in Alabaster, Alabama, described the Hardee's workforce of "mostly young people," as creating an environment rife with drama and unprofessionalism. 

In Deltona, Florida, another anonymous employee complained in a Glassdoor review that most of the new hires were "teenagers who didn't want to do their job"; they found this problem to be so pervasive that they wouldn't recommend working there. Another anonymous employee agreed, telling PayScale that the high number of lazy young people working at Hardee's affected the ability of others to do their job properly.

Finally, a former crew member from Rock Falls, Illinois, told Indeed that even members of the management were fairly young, which led to some awkwardness and uncomfortable situations that may not have existed if the store leadership has been a little bit older. 

Employee turnover is high

A good percentage of the workforce at Hardee's is on the younger side, at least according to some of the staff members themselves (via Indeed). Therefore, it's reasonable to assume that employee turnover might be quite high. This certainly isn't a criticism of young people. 

After all, younger workers are often in high school or college, both of which often consist of packed schedules that are seasonal and subject to frequent change, which can make it difficult to maintain a steady, year-round gig. 

And, according to Hardee's employees, all of this holds true here: An anonymous employee in Savannah, Georgia, told CareerBliss that the turnover at Hardee's wasn't just high, it was extremely high, but they didn't find it particularly unusual, especially when compared to the rest of the food industry.  

A Hardee's General Manager reporting to Glassdoor agreed that it was hard to keep staff at the restaurant but also lamented it was hard to get staff in the first place. One anonymous employee offered a little more insight into the high turnover rate at Hardee's, telling Niche that they wished they had more coworkers who would stay longer than a week. 

Still, every cloud has its silver lining, and one Hardee's employee told Glassdoor that the high turnover left plenty of hours and opportunities for the remaining staff, so the constant changes and fluctuations in the workforce aren't necessarily bad if your primary goal is money and not friendships.

Breakfast is the busiest time of day

Since Hardee's is beloved for its biscuits, it should come as no surprise that breakfast is big business at Hardee's (via Glassdoor). The morning meal has become a prized opportunity for most fast food restaurants seeking to cash in on the deluge of time-strapped Americans trying to grab a quick bite to eat on the way to work each day.

According to one former employee, the morning shifts at Hardee's were so busy there wasn't even time to breathe during the breakfast hours. An assistant manager reporting to SimplyHired agreed that breakfast "rakes in a ton of business," which can result in a very fast-paced shift for people who are scheduled during these hours. 

Rushing definitely isn't for everyone, and it seems that the breakfast craze can be a bit too much to handle for some Hardee's employees. One former employee admits to feeling very rushed. Another employee quit because they felt overworked and didn't enjoy the process of working there.  

And hey, it's not as if they just didn't want to work: If the systems truly weren't in place for this team to cope with the workload, then we can't really blame them for seeking a better-equipped work environment.

It's often short staffed

If the majority of a company's staff are young and turning over frequently while others are leaving because of intense rushes and uncomfortable environments, it follows that the business may often may often end up being short staffed. This certainly appears to be the case at Hardee's (via Indeed). 

One former employee from Claxton, Georgia, said the restaurant was always short staffed, sometimes forcing seven-day workweeks for those who did show up. An anonymous team leader agreed, telling PayScale that their restaurant was "shorthanded all the time." 

We might expect general employees to complain that a business is understaffed, but when management agrees, it's more likely to be true. Additionally, there are plenty more managers claiming that Hardee's is frequently understaffed. 

A Hardee's general manager on PayScale notes that not only is the company short-staffed but that this is an intentional company policy. Adding a little insight to the motives behind this detrimental practice, a shift manager from Grovetown, Georgia, told Glassdoor that Hardee's shifts were intentionally short-staffed to save money on labor costs.

Promotions are easy to attain

While not everyone has intentions of moving up the ladder at work, many do, and there's good news for Hardee's employees with such goals: Hardee's workers say there are actually plenty of opportunities for advancement at Hardee's (via Glassdoor). Since the general manager is typically in charge at a fast food restaurant, it's particularly helpful to hear directly from one regarding the ease of advancement at Hardee. 

One general manager asserts that they were able to move up to the very top position quickly, though they only gave the experience two stars. Another employee, this one an assistant manager, told SimpyHired that they received the title after just five months of working at Hardee's, and they believe that they would have been easily promoted to general manager had they not left for another company shortly after. 

They don't believe the experience was unique to their own special talents, either. So why are promotions so easy to come by at Hardee's? It's likely that since staff turnover is high, seniority is quite easy to achieve merely by staying employed. If employee turnover is high, then it isn't difficult to stand out in such a promotion-worthy environment. 

Biscuit duty is serious work

What's the most important role at Hardee's? We're not going to stoke any rivalries by touching that one with our own outsider assessment, but we don't mind sharing that the employees who are most vocal about their own relevance at Hardee's are the biscuit makers, and since biscuits may be the backbone of the business, we're also not saying we disagree (via Reddit). 

One Redditor claims to have been the store's number one employee; additionally, they expected to be promoted to management after just ten months on the job, so the biscuits must have been central to the success of that particular Hardee's, at least. 

One employee, posting on SimplyHired, describes the process of rolling the flaky pastry to make biscuits. A Hardee's cook from Alabama described the biscuit-making process in detail with a start time of 4 in the morning, with the first two hours of every day devoted to making the all-important morning biscuits. 

There doesn't appear to be any other Hardee's role as specifically defined and detailed by the restaurant's employees, so we'll let the biscuit bunch toot their own horns as loudly as they like until other positions step up.

The job comes with food perks

Most of us would like more money, but there's another reason to opt for food service positions, and that's the love of food itself. If you ever find yourself working in the restaurant industry, whether you're a serious foodie or just hungry at the end of your shift, there's a good chance that you'll be hoping for a free bite or at least a discount on your meal. 

Like many fast-food restaurants, Hardie's certainly offers food benefits to its employees; however, there does seem to be some inconsistency across locations (via Glassdoor). One former Hardee's employee who had extremely little to say about the position or the company did list "free food" as the only pro of working. 

Determining the exact discount that Hardee's offers its workers gets a little dicey from there, with various employees reporting differing perks. One team member, writing in a Glassdoor review, mentioned that employees can access a free meal at break time and a 20% discount outside of working hours. 

Another worker reported that the free meal was limited to $10 in value and that although the drinks remained free, the off-the-clock discount at Hardee's was 50%, and it also applied to family members. 

Finally, a third employee told Glassdoor that the free meal had a $7 cap at lunchtime and a mere $6 limit at breakfast while also complaining that this didn't amount to much on a breakfast menu that was relatively expensive.

The training is quite good

Employee training as being a great experience is not generally a common refrain among fast-food employees or even retail workers. We're not sure if it's because these establishments are frequently too busy to train employees properly or if employees simply aren't receptive to training, but the end result is the same: The most common assessment of fast-food training is that it is simply not good enough. 

At Hardee's, however, employees are surprisingly vocal about their appreciation of the company's investment in training its staff. Even those employees that leave average reviews of Hardee's, like a former worker from Fort Wayne, Indiana, are quick to point out that training was quite good. Others are more specific regarding their praise, like a former team member from Missoula, Montana, who said the team was "very helpful when learning new things."

An area manager from North Carolina sheds some light on the situation, explaining to Indeed that the company "spends a lot of time and money on training," which certainly helps to explain why so many of its employees appreciate the process. That doesn't mean that everything is perfect at Hardee's: According to a team member from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, the training is good but could be better.

The systems are a little bit out of date

You might think that success in fast food requires fast technology to keep up with customer orders, effective communication, and food prep, and while most Hardee's employees would certainly agree with you, an overwhelming number of them think that the technology used by the restaurant chain is too out of date to keep up with the volume of demand (via Indeed).

An employee from Harrisburg, Illinois, noted that their Hardee's location was in need of "major updating," and while they failed to provide the specifics, others did not. A Hardee's cashier told Glassdoor that the restaurant needed to get its speaker fixed, presumably referring to the drive-thru ordering equipment. 

Additionally, an employee working in Waterloo, Iowa, told CareerBliss that a technology update was seriously overdue for the backend operations of the business as these left managers bogged down with clunky reporting procedures.

 How archaic are the procedures at Hardee's? An assistant manager claims that inventory is still tabulated by paper and pencil. From software to speakers, complaints abound regarding the ancient technology at Hardee's restaurants nationwide. 

The situation is best summed up by the anonymous employee who left a generous four-star review on Niche but also expressed hope that the restaurant would be remodeled so that the staff stood a chance to meet the demands that the company desired.