Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Go High-Tech

CARPENTERIA, Calif. -- Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants announced the launch of its Happy Star Rewards app, available for iPhone and Android smartphone users. The GPS-enabled loyalty program rewards users that "check in" at both chain's restaurant locations across the nation.

"In a nutshell, what we’re doing is dragging the antiquated punch-card type of loyalty programs into the 21st century," Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s said in a released statement. "We are not only offering a GPS-driven check-in app to keep track of customer visits digitally, but we are offering guaranteed rewards, a restaurant locator, a social media interface, streaming videos, menus, nutritional information and more. So, unwrap those new shiny phones you just got for the holidays, download the free Happy Star Rewards app from iTunes or the Android Market, and start earning free stuff today."

The check-in technology is available through an app that users can download from the iTunes App Store or Android Market. Guests with the app can visit Carl's Jr. or Hardee's and checks in; the first check-in and every subsequent fourth check-in earns the user a spin on The Wheel of Awesome, a rewards application that allows for a chance to win discounted and free menu items, branded gift cards, prized and merchandise from participating partners, the company stated. Once the app is downloaded to the users' smartphone they can start earning rewards immediately.

The more a user checks in the higher the value offers will be on The Wheel of Awesome. Current partner prizes include Sony electronics and movie tickets to the upcoming film "The Green Hornet." Prizes will be updated throughout the year, according to the company. Users who have yet to earn a wheel spin receive coupons such as $1 off Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders; users have the option to save the coupon for seven days or use it immediately. Once the user selects the "redeem" button they have 30 minutes to use the coupon either in-store or at the drive-thru. The coupon is used by showing the cashier the coupon screen on the users iPhone or Android; after the coupon is presented the users presses "done" to complete the process. For non-coupon prizes the user is prompted to enter additional information in order to set up delivery of the prize. According the company, check-ins are limited to a maximum of three per day and are also limited to on per daypart (breakfast 5:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m., lunch 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and dinner/late night 5 p.m.-5:30 a.m.).

The new Happy Star Rewards app also integrates with all existing Carl's Jr. and Hardee's digital communities such as its Facebook pages, streaming YouTube videos and providing real-time content feed from Facebook and Twitter streams. User can also post their check-in location on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, according to the company.

"The app builds on CKE Restaurant’s community approach to social media," said Glenn Cole, chief creative officer at 72andSunny, CKE’s digital agency of record and the creator of the app. "We’ve seen great growth in the community, and now boast a combined 1 million fans on Facebook. Whether a user is on their smart phone, or sitting at their home computer, their interaction with the Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s brand remains accessible wherever and whenever they want."

Parent–company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, CKE Restaurants, built the new app completely in-house with the help of Los Angeles-based 72andSunny, allowing for the foodservice company to customize and tailor the app as needed moving forward.

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