By Jason Herring, December 1 2015 —
Carls Jr. opened up their first Calgary location on Dec. 1, and they invited some writers from the Gauntlet to a media event for a first-hand experience.
We happily accepted their invitation. After all, who could turn down free, American fast food right in the middle of a school day?
But to my surprise, the Carls Jr. media event was one of the strangest experiences of my life.
I didn’t know much about Carls Jr. In my head, I had them in the same class as joints like Sonic and Jack in the Box.
But I learned a lot from the complementary tote bag I picked up at the door. It included a press booklet featuring scantily-clad women feeding each other disgustingly huge burgers with names like the “Jim Beam Bourbon Thickburger.”
It’s obvious that Carls Jr. is trying to equate the apparent sexual lust they assume we feel for these women to the pure, animalistic lust they hope we have for their burgers.
We sat down just in time to witness the ceremonial ribbon cutting undertaken by the joint’s co-franchisees. This too was weird, since the ribbon was held up by two guys in suits on either side.
The Carls Jr. administration was also suspicious of our presence, probably because we’re a rowdy bunch of fresh-faced youths who kept accidentally getting in the way of press photos.
A worker donning a giant Carls Jr. star outfit with limited arm mobility strolled around the store. I pitied the person in that suit so much I could hardly stomach my burger.
Oh yeah, the food. It was okay, I guess.