Fast Food CEO: It Is Easier to Open a Restaurant in Russia than in Los Angeles

Government regulations regularly treat honest businessmen as guilty until proven innocent by requiring that they get government permission to open a business, even one as familiar as a fast food restaurant.

In a recent opinion piece, Andrew Puzder, CEO of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains, highlights an astonishing fact about how much time it takes to open a restaurant in Los Angeles due to red tape:

On average, in Texas it takes us 60 days to get permits. In Shanghai, China, it takes about 60 to 70 days. In St. Petersburg, Russia, it’s about 125 to 175 days. In Novosibirsk, Russia, on Karl Marx Prospect, our franchisee opened a Carl’s Jr. in 125 days. The average wait for permits in L.A. is 240 days. It’s easier to open a new restaurant on Karl Marx Avenue in Siberia than to open one in L.A. That’s just wrong.

Russia, of course, is well known for bureaucracy, corruption, and economic controls. You know there is a serious problem when business leaders are able to open new enterprises in Russia faster than they can in your area.