CKE Restaurants, Inc., the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurants, announced on Thursday that it has joined with other restaurant operators in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve’s interchange rule.
CKE, along with other convenience and restaurant chains, maintains that the Fed failed to follow Congress’s intent in establishing interchange fees that are “reasonable” and “proportional” to the cost of processing debit transactions.
“Congress originally passed this law to cap swipe fees,” CKE CEO Andrew F. Puzder said. “Unfortunately, instead of creating a competitive environment that would benefit small-business owners—and ultimately consumers—the swipe fees charged by big banks have climbed dramatically higher for quick-service restaurants. Big banks are profiting, while consumers and small business are losing during a time of economic distress.”
Quick-serve restaurants, which accept debit transactions that are nearly all small-ticket transactions of $15 or less, are one of the fastest-growing debit segments. Many card processors have effectively treated the interchange ceiling as the price floor, resulting in higher interchange costs for those establishments that have smaller average ticket prices.
CKE was joined by Dairy Queen, Starbucks Corp., Jack in the Box, Inc., The Wendy’s Company, 7-Eleven, Burger King Corp. and Auntie Anne’s in support of the lawsuit.