The year was 1960. It was fall and the leaves had just begun to turn red, yellow, and orange in eastern North Carolina. Wilbur Hardee wondered if his new restaurant would be a success.
After all, his restaurant was not the usual restaurant with waitresses and tables. It was something new called a "drive-in" that sold only hamburgers, french fries, and soft drinks.
The name of the new restaurant was Hardee's Drive-In and Wilbur had his fingers crossed.
Wilbur's new restaurant was a big hit. People were lined up at the walk-up window for most of the day.
Two other business men from Rocky Mount, NC, named Leonard Rawls Jr. and Jim Gardner heard about Wilbur Hardee's new restaurant and traveled 50 miles to visit. Soon, they convinced Wilbur to join them to build more Hardee's Drive-In restaurants.
By May 5, 1961, the three new partners were ready to open their first restaurant together. It was located in Rocky Mount, NC.
The original menu featured charco-broiled hamburgers for 15 cents, cheeseburgers for 20 cents, soft drinks were only 10 cents.
As it turns out, Wilbur Hardee's idea for a restaurant was a good one. Today, Hardee's restaurants can be found in 34 states and in ll other countries!
In Seoul, South Korea, students like to gather at Hardee's for afternoon snacks.
In Rihyad, Saudi Arabia, everybody enjoys Hardee's for great, American food.
In fact, there are now more than 2,900 Hardee's restaurants in all!