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Jack in the Box vs McDonald's: Which Franchise Is Best?

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Are you searching for the differences between franchising with Jack in the Box vs McDonald’s?

At Jack in the Box, we understand you have a lot of choices to make when it comes to finding the best franchise opportunity for you.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at five key differences between Jack in the Box and McDonald’s when it comes to franchising.

1) Available Markets

Finding an available market is one of the most important steps in your franchising journey.

Let’s look at current locations in the United States for both companies:

  • McDonald’s: +14,000 Locations
  • Jack in the Box: +2,200 Locations

You’ll notice McDonald’s has almost 12,000 more restaurants in the U.S. than Jack in the Box – leaving plenty of whitespace for Jack in the Box franchise growth.

This means you have an opportunity to develop Jack in the Box locations in some of the most exciting markets in the country. Plus, a better chance at finding availability in your preferred location.

When you look at our map of available markets, you’ll see most of the cities and states outside of California, Texas, and Utah are open for new restaurants.

At McDonald’s, the availability of restaurants in specific areas is uncertain until you’ve completed your franchisee training. They may be require you to relocate to your nearest franchise opportunity.

2) Investment Requirements

Before you begin the process of becoming a franchisee, you must meet certain investment requirements.

These requirements typically involve a minimum for liquid cash available along with a franchisee fee.

McDonald’s Investment Requirements:

  • Minimum Liquidity: $500,000
  • Franchise Fee: $45,000 per Location

Jack in the Box Investment Requirements:

  • Minimum Liquidity: $500,000
  • Franchise Fee: $50,000 per Location

Both companies require the same amount of cash to get started. However, the franchise fee for Jack in the Box is slightly higher than McDonald’s.

Keep in mind, you’ll also be responsible for paying ongoing royalty fees as a franchisee.

Jack in the Box charges an ongoing 5% royalty and a 5% ongoing marketing royalty.

McDonald’s charges an ongoing 4% royalty and 4% ad royalty fee.

3) Business Partners

If you’re unable to meet the financial requirements mentioned above, there are many potential sources of liquidity that may be overlooked. For example:

  • Business Partners
  • Local Banks & Credit Unions
  • Stocks & Bonds
  • 401k Rollovers
  • Home Equity

At Jack in the Box, we allow our franchisees to have business partners to help them meet investment requirements. On the other hand, McDonald’s doesn’t permit franchise partnerships or investors.

On their website, they mention exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis at the sole discretion of the Franchising Officer at McDonald’s.

4) Real Estate Ownership

Another important difference between Jack in the Box vs McDonald’s is the ability of the franchisee to own the real estate associated with their restaurant.

McDonald’s does not allow franchisees to own the real estate their location is built on. All of their real estate is purchased and constructed by McDonald’s, then leased to the franchisee awarded the franchise license.

At Jack in the Box, our franchisees can purchase or lease the property where their restaurants are located. We even have an entire real estate and leasing team to help you find available real estate and assist with lease negotiations.

5) Menu Variety

Jack in the Box and McDonald’s offer similar menu items like burgers, fries, and shakes. Plus, most of their locations are open 24/7 with breakfast offered all day.

When it comes to variety, there’s a clear winner who offers much more than the delicious burgers and fries they’re known for.

Jack in the Box offers a large and distinctive 24/7 menu with five dayparts to our customers. This means you can get anything on the menu at any time – day or night.

Plus, we have a wider menu variety than McDonald’s with items like:

  • Tacos
  • Egg Rolls
  • Fajitas

These items are quickly developing a cult following of their own.

Check Out These Additional Resources

We hope this article gave you a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages between Jack in the Box and McDonald’s.

At Jack in the Box, we work with our franchisees every step of the way to get their restaurants up and running.

Here are some additional online resources you may like to check out:

If you have any questions, please contact our franchise sales and support team.

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