old-time jack in the box

Our story

 

How Long Has Jack in the Box Been in Business?

 

Jack in the Box is celebrating our 70th birthday this year with more than 2,200 locations in 21 states. Over our history, we’ve built some serious differentiators in the fast-food franchise space that other companies would be hungry for our dedicated amazing franchisees and their teams, an iconic brand that stands out in a competitive and growing category, a unique craveable menu where any item can be ordered any time of day, and most importantly, our passionate customers!

Where Was the First Jack in the Box?

In 1951, a businessman named Robert O. Peterson opened the first Jack in the Box restaurant on what was then (TK) the main east-west thoroughfare leading into San Diego. With a big jack-in-the-box clown keeping watch from its roof, the tiny restaurant featured a revolutionary two-way intercom and a drive-thru window, where passing motorists could stop to get a burger for just 18 cents.

Peterson also operated a food-manufacturing company called the San Diego Commissary Co. In 1960, San Diego Commissary changed its name to Foodmaker Co. That same year Jack established its first out-of-state locations in Phoenix, Arizona. New restaurants in Houston and Dallas-Ft. Worth areas of Texas soon followed.

How Did Jack in the Box Expand Across the U.S.?

Ralston Purina Co. acquired Foodmaker in 1968, commencing a period of major growth for Jack that was driven by the goal to establish new footholds in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. By 1979, some 1,000 locations had been founded throughout the country. Believing its greatest growth potential lay in its West and Southwest markets, Foodmaker chose to close more than 200 stores in its newer markets that year.

Members of Foodmaker’s management team partnered with outside investors in 1985 to leverage a buyout from Ralston Purina. Foodmaker went public for two years before converting back to private ownership in 1988. The parent company went public again in 1992, offering 17.2 million shares at $15 apiece.

Who is Jack Box?

In 1995, Foodmaker launched “Jack’s Back,” a series of TV commercials featuring our fictional founder, Jack Box. The campaign was wildly received and continues to this day, making it the longest-running campaign in the QSR industry.

And in a nod to the brand's enduring iconography, in 1999, we changed the name of our parent company from Foodmaker to Jack in the Box, Inc. Today, we're traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol JACK.

What’s Our Mission?

Ever since Jack in the Box served its first hamburger in 1951, our company has built a reputation for quality, value, and integrity. The continued success of our company and the Jack in the Box brand depends upon our earning and maintaining the trust of our guests as well as that of all our other stakeholders, including:

  • franchisees
  • fellow employees
  • suppliers and other business partners
  • shareholders
  • the communities in which we do business
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What Are Our Cultural Values?

At Jack in the Box, our culture is people first. We understand the importance of treating people well — all people, and not simply our guests. We expect everyone throughout our system to be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. We honor the wonderful variety of experiences and characteristics that each person at Jack in the Box brings to work every day and believe these differences enable us to see and understand our guests, franchisees, suppliers, and business colleagues through a rich and varied set of perspectives that make each of us better at what we do.

We Even Have Our Own Mantra!

Our cultural values and core mission are at the heart of what we do, and we’ve encapsulated it with a mantra:

We're Jack in the Box, but we've never stayed in the box. From our menu items to our employees, to our franchisees, we've always popped out in innovative, fun, unexpected ways. Unapologetically danced to the beat of our own music box. Being the curly fries in the world of regular fries, doing things others don't, serving things others won't, and challenging the status quo.

Why Do We Love Multi-Unit Investors?

Most of our 110+ franchisees are multi-unit operators, with the average franchisee owning a total of 15 restaurants.

Our franchisees have a deep passion for our brand and strong operational expertise in our system. That’s because an astounding 75% of them originally started with Jack working in the kitchen, serving customers, and managing operations. Many of them have owned their stores for generations, and we’re now seeing second-and third-generation franchisees become operators themselves. Since many of them grew up together in and around Jack, they care deeply about our brand and about each other. And that loyalty and trust is perhaps our greatest competitive advantage. In fact, with 2,200 locations operating across the country, 2/3 of our franchisees say they want to grow further!

A unique fact about Jack in the Box is that 46 of our franchisees started with Jack before 1990! Our longest-tenured franchisee has been with Jack in the Box since 1966! We think this speaks to the family-style culture we’ve cultivated at Jack in the Box.

How Does Jack in the Box Serve Communities?

We’re dedicated to making a positive difference in the communities in which our employees, franchisees, and guests work and live, and we encourage our staff to do the same. One way that we give back is through the Jack in the Box Foundation. Established in 1998, the Jack in the Box Foundation is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that primarily supports causes that help at-risk children and youth. Some of our primary community partners are:

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What Makes Jack in the Box Different?

Why Do Customers Appreciate the Wide Variety Our Menu?

Our menu variety is unique in the industry, as is the passionate loyalty generations of fans have developed for such a varied array of different items. Our menu has a cult following that goes beyond the average QSR, and our devoted group of passionate guests loves to shout out about their Jack in the Box cravings. And, you might even spot a Jack in the Box antenna ball on their cars! This wide range of products, from tacos to burgers to chicken sandwiches and churros to breakfast croissants and snacks, is just one of our competitive advantages. Our offerings go beyond just basic burgers and fries and amazing shakes; we excel at a diverse array of items that can be ordered any time of day. So no matter when your customers’ cravings strike, Jack has them covered!

Does Jack Really Invent New Menu Items Throughout the Year?

We sure do. Jack’s innovative spirit has been our driving force for 70 years, and this is reflected in our menu. Our iconic innovations – like the Sourdough Jack and our famed tacos – are what keep generations of customers coming back visit after visit. In 1969, we were the first fast-food chain to offer a breakfast sandwich, which would later be called the Breakfast Jack. In 1971, we introduced our famous Jumbo Jack, and in 1982, Jack in the Box introduced the first portable salad in the fast-food industry. Our 1995 marketing campaign – Jack’s Back – became the longest ongoing advertising campaign in the QSR industry. By 2007, Jack in the Box introduced the first 100% sirloin burger, and we’re still focusing on continued innovation today. Innovation is built into our DNA.

What Are Some of Your Recent Menu Innovations?

From the Cluck Sandwich to our Sauced & Loaded snacking lineup, our recent cult innovations have been eagerly embraced by Jack’s most loyal fans and are helping us gain a new legion of fans. One of our most recent debuts is our Tiny Tacos, which was quickly followed up by our Spicy Tiny Tacos and our Loaded Spicy Tiny Tacos. In 2021, we partnered with Jason Derulo on the launch of our "One in a Mill" virtual restaurant concepts. This promotion was offered exclusively on Uber Eats and had multiple unique menu items only offered through these virtual kitchens. Rest assured, our R&D team is always working on the next fan favorite!

What Time Does Jack in the Box Close?

Never! The last part of Jack's winning product strategy is our accessibility. We’re available 24/7 with an all-day, everyday menu, which sets Jack apart from the competition. So, if you want tacos for breakfast, we have you covered. Breakfast for dinner? Be our guest. In fact, it’s our accessibility that has been helping drive our strong performance, especially during our breakfast and late-night dayparts. By offering all five dayparts, you’re able to capture customers throughout the day and capitalize on traffic when your competitors might be closed.

How Does Jack in the Box Support Its Franchisees?

Last year, we ushered in a new, growth-focused leadership team with deep industry experience and a drive to strengthen Jack’s relationships with its franchisees. We’ve enhanced every aspect of our franchisee support programs with the goal of creating a franchise opportunity like no other QSR. We provide support to franchisees across multiple areas. Here are some examples of how we’ll support you in the opening of your restaurants.

Will Jack Help Me with Real Estate and Site Selection?

Our goal is to educate our franchisees on their potential markets so they can maximize their potential. Our real estate team is stacked with industry experts who help our franchisees take the lead in their markets using the best in real estate planning software and direct hands-on experience. We provide a comprehensive analysis that gives our franchisees a full picture of their market(s), including multi-unit location planning in a target territory, population, and consumer analytics for a given trade area, traffic counts along the roads around your location, and much more.

Will l Get In-Person Support from Jack’s Corporate Team?

Absolutely. Though we utilize technology to give us a great understanding of our markets, our team will tour markets with a "boots on the ground" approach to visit identified sites in person. This helps us gain an understanding of real estate that technology can't deliver and allows us to see things software can't. Our team has an extensive history in identifying real estate opportunities, and this benefit is part of what you receive as a franchisee. Technology is a wonderful tool, but it can't replace years of industry experience. Our team is here to support you using all available tools.

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What Kind of Leasing Support Can I get?

The Jack in the Box leasing team is a welcomed asset to franchisees who choose to lease their locations. When needed, we help you in identifying key things to look for in leases that you might overlook. With our years of experience, we help you understand the key components of your lease. Our team specializes in lease negotiations and will be by your side to help you negotiate the best possible commercial lease for you and your restaurant. Franchisees can count on our in-house experts to help you every step of the way. We're here to help you succeed. The best part? This comprehensive support is all included in our initial franchise fee.

Will You Help Me During the Construction Process?

Yes. Once a franchisee has closed on their location, Jack’s construction team works with you to begin the construction process. We’ll assist you with architectural selection, permitting, finding the right general contractor, ordering your store décor and signage, and scheduling utility services and hookups. From store design and blueprints to understanding what materials are needed to design your dream restaurant, our team is here to support you.

How Do You Support Franchisees in Setting Up Operations and in Preopening?

Before opening, our operations team assists franchisees with ordering their inventory, recruiting employees, preopening, and training staff. Also, prior to opening, each franchisee or their designated market operator must complete Jack’s 10- to 12-week training program. This program is typically held in San Diego, but in some instances, can take place closer to your location if a training store is approved and available. Prior to opening, we also provide a web-based training program that all Jack in the Box associates must complete, along with several required courses in food safety.

What Kind of Support Will I Get After I’m Open?

Once a restaurant opens, Jack offers franchisees and their employees' access to our training materials, new product preparation guides, and information on new procedures and requisite training. You can expect periodic consultation and advice on your store’s operations and marketing, including studies to improve labor efficiency and technology and equipment enhancement. You will also be assigned a franchise business consultant(s) or FBCthat will become your point of contact for any needs or questions you may have on a day-to-day basis. Our FBC’s will work with you to implement new marketing campaigns, equipment ordering, help with your POS system, etc. When something is outside their area of expertise, they will help connect you with someone internally who can help you further. Our FBC’s are vital to our business and a tremendous asset for you as a franchisee.

How Will Jack Help Me Promote My Store?

As in everything we do, Jack creates advertising and promotional campaigns that are unapologetically outside the box. We cut through the marketing clutter in a highly competitive industry to connect with customers through a mix of media. We use an omnichannel approach when it comes to reaching our customers to drive traffic to your stores and create brand awareness. We leverage platforms like TV, radio, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more to be top of mind for consumers across all of our markets.

We also offer franchisees regional marketing programs to help find new customers using customized marketing plans and options, including sports sponsorships, digital and social media, billboards, radio remotes, and cinema advertising. We offer support and assistance with things like the following:

  • Grand opening marketing
  • Marketing collateral and POP signage design
  • National branding campaigns
  • Digital marketing campaigns
  • LTO marketing materials
  • And many more

With our fantastic marketing and communications team, you can rest assured that Jack in the Box is here to help you with all your marketing needs!

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Why Is Jack in the Box a Multi-Unit Investor Franchise?

Most of our 110+ franchise owners are multi-unit operators, with the average franchisee owning a total of 15 restaurants. In fact, with 2,200 locations operating across the country, 2/3 of our franchisees say they want to grow further!

Our franchisees have a deep passion for our brand, and many have operational expertise within our system. That's because an astounding 75% of them originally started with Jack working in areas like the kitchen, serving customers, and managing operations. Many of them have owned their stores for generations, and we're now seeing second-and third-generation franchisees become operators themselves.

Since many of them grew up together in and around Jack, they care deeply about our brand and about each other. And that loyalty and trust is perhaps our greatest strategy in distinguishing us from other QSRs.

How Many Dayparts Does Jack in the Box Serve?

Breakfast?

Lunch?

Dinner?

Late Night?

Snacks?

Whenever!

Whereas many QSRs offer two to three-dayparts, Jack is known for our five-daypart menu. And we offer every menu item all day, every day. Jack fans count on us to be open whenever they’re hungry, serving whatever they crave no matter the time. The variety and accessibility of our food are what drive our strong performance and unmatched brand loyalty.

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How Does Jack in the Box Stay Ahead of the Game?

We’re Jack in the Box, but we’ve never stayed in the box. From our menu items to our employees to our franchisees, we’ve always popped out in innovative, fun, and unexpected ways.

What Do You Serve Besides Burgers?

Jack in the Box is anything but just another burger player. We offer one of the most varied menus in the quick-serve industry. With the ability to serve our guests whatever they crave, whenever they crave it, we’ve managed to build serious brand love across a wide range of products.

And we’re always creating new and exciting offerings. This variety gives Jack a strong competitive advantage, with opportunities to create unique meal bundles, innovate new pop-up items, and satisfy a wide range of cravings that makes us a family staple in delivery and digital.

What Time Do You Serve Breakfast?

All-day, all night, 24/7! In 1969, we transformed breakfast-on-the-go with the industry's first breakfast sandwich – a fresh-cracked egg with a slice of ham and American cheese on a hamburger bun. And while the iconic Breakfast Jack remains a fan favorite today, it shares the marquee with a serious lineup of breakfast cult favorites – all available whenever our customers crave it.

Does Jack Serve Different Items Depending on the Time of Day?

Nope! At Jack in the Box, we quickly learned that customers don’t just crave breakfast in the morning or churros for a snack. They want our Cluck Chicken Sandwich and our signature eggrolls for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, every menu item we sell can be ordered any time of day. If your customers crave their favorite food throughout the day, why would we stop them from satisfying their cravings?

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Did Jack Really Invent the Drive-Thru?

Why, yes, we did. Before Jack, drivers had to pull up to a restaurant’s window to order their meal. That all changed in 1951 when founder Oscar Peterson obtained the rights to a cutting-edge, two-way intercom system from a restaurateur in Alaska. Peterson installed the system in a jack-in-the-box clown head at his original store in San Diego. It was such a hit that he soon fashioned talking clown heads at all his Jack in the Box locations -- thus giving birth to the great American fast food drive-thru we know and love today. So while many others race to add drive-thru’s to their concepts, we’ve been embracing them for decades!

What Other Menu Items Did Jack Invent?

A lot! For example, we introduced the first portable salad in the fast-food industry in 1982. Talk about being ahead of the game! We also raised the bar for the quick-serve industry once again in 2007, launching the first 100% Sirloin Burger in the industry.

Is Jack in the Box a Publicly Traded Company?

In 2009, Jack Box stepped up to the Nasdaq podium and rang in a new era for the iconic brand. After 50 years operating under the parent company Foodmaker, Inc., Jack officially changed the name to Jack in the Box Inc. and moved the company over from the New York Stock Exchange. The move celebrated the enduring impact of the iconic brand and solidified an ambitious commitment to grow our regional footprint.

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How Much does it Cost to Open a Jack in the Box Franchise?

If you’re considering investing in a multi-unit franchise, there’s never been a better time to invest in a Jack in the Box. We’re partnering with new and existing franchisees to broaden Jack’s reach within our existing footprint -- and beyond. And we’re looking for well-capitalized investors with solid experience in their markets to join us in this expansion. Whether you’re looking for a burger franchise, a chicken franchise, or a taco franchise, Jack in the Box has something for nearly everyone.

How Much Does a Jack in The Box Franchise Make?

Jack in the Box is known throughout the QSR industry for its exceptional store-level profitability and strong AUVs. Our system-wide AUV remains highly competitive, ranking among the Top 20 in the fast-food franchise industry.

Our 2021 Item 19 reports our Average Gross Sales for Franchised and Company Operated Restaurants is $1,679,609. This data was pulled from Table 3 of our Item 19 in our 2021 FDD and represents Historical Gross Sales at Franchised and CompanyOperated Restaurants in the Continental U.S. for the 12-Month Periods Ended September 30, 2019, & September 30, 2020.

What is Jack in the Box’s Royalty Fee?

Jack in the Box has a royalty fee of 5% of gross sales.

What is Jack in the Box’s Marketing Fee?

Jack in the Box has a Marketing Fee of 1% of gross sales.

What is the Jack in the Box Franchise Fee?

When you sign our Franchise Agreement, you must pay Jack in the Box an InitialFranchise Fee. The Initial Franchise Fee is typical $50,000 for each franchised restaurant, plus any tax or other fee imposed upon Jack in the Box due to the collection of the Initial Franchise Fee. If your franchise term is for less than the standard 20 years, the Initial Franchise Fee is $2,500 for each year or partial year exceeding six months. If you will be operating at a nontraditional location, the Initial Franchise Fee is $25,000 for each unit, plus any taxes and fees imposed on us due to collection of the Initial Franchise Fee.

What Is the Development Fee for Multi-Unit Ownership?

If you sign a Multi-Unit Development Agreement, we grant you the right to construct an agreed-upon number of Jack in the Box restaurants in a specified geographic area. The minimum number of restaurants that can be developed under a Multi-Unit Development Agreement is two. If you are a new developer or franchisee to our System, when you sign the Multi-Unit Development Agreement, you must pay us a non-refundable Development Fee, calculated as follows: 1) $50,000 for the first new restaurant, and 2) $10,000 for each additional new restaurant. If you are an existing developer or franchisee with our System, when you sign the Multi-Unit Development Agreement, you must pay us a non-refundable Development Fee equal to $10,000 for each new restaurant. If you are in full compliance with the Multi-Unit Development Agreement and any other agreements with us, we will credit the portion of the Development Fee for the particular restaurant towards the Initial Franchise Fee for that restaurant. The Franchise Fee for each particular restaurant is due when you sign the required Franchise Agreement.

Does Jack in the Box Offer Multi-Unit Franchise Incentives?

Yes! To help incentivize growth in key markets, Jack in the Box is offering qualifying multi-unit investors reduced franchise royalties during the first five years of operation. Under our current Development Incentive Program, if you sign a Development Agreement for a minimum of three restaurants to be developed and opened under the development schedule during the time frames specified in the Development Agreement, and certain other requirements are met, you may be eligible for one the following incentive options, at our sole discretion:

OPTION A: The Royalty (which is currently 5% of Gross Sales) will be reduced to: (i) 1% of Gross Sales for the first year; (ii) 2% of Gross Sales for the second year; (iii) 3% of Gross Sales for the third year; (iv) 4% of Gross Sales for the fourth year; and (v) 5% of Gross Sales for all subsequent years.

OPTION B: If you open the Restaurant on or before the required date in the development schedule, we will loan you $150,000 at 0% interest to be used solely for development costs associated with that restaurant. The loan will be repaid by crediting 100% of the royalty payments for that restaurant otherwise due until the loan is paid in full (i.e., payments will be made by crediting the appropriate portion of royalty payments toward the principal balance outstanding). If the particular restaurant is sold or permanently closed and the loan has not been fully repaid, the remaining principal balance is due in full.

Does Jack in the Box Offer Incentives for Veterans?

Yes, we do. We participate in the International Franchise Association’s Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative (“VetFran”) to provide franchise opportunities to qualifying veterans. Our VetFran incentive is called the Jack in the Box Veterans Program. Under the Veterans Program, we reduce the Initial Franchise Fee for the first new Restaurant by 25%, or $12,500. Accordingly, the Initial Franchise Fee paid to us is $37,500. This incentive may not be combined with any other incentive program. To qualify for the Veterans Program, a prospective franchisee must: request the Veterans Program at the time of application; meet our then-current qualifications for new franchisees; be at least 51% legally and beneficially owned by persons meeting our qualifying veteran status; not have previously received a similar incentive from us. Jack in the Box may discontinue or modify this Veterans Program at any time.

What is the Jack in the Box Initial Investment?

Based on our Item 7 in our 2021 FDD, we estimate the initial investment in a Jack in the Box will cost between $1,651,500 and $2,638,600 per store. These figures include virtually everything it takes to start the restaurant, including:

  • A one-time initial franchise fee of up to $50,000
  • Building improvements up to $785,000
  • An initial inventory of up to $20,000
  • Three months of operating funds
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How Many Franchises does Jack in the Box Have?

Jack in the Box currently has more than 2,100 stores across the country. We are ranked #22 in QSR’s list of America’s 50 Biggest Fast-Food Chains in 2021. 

What States Does Jack in the Box Currently Have Stores In?

Our stores can be found in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

How Large is Jack’s Opportunity for Market Growth?

The growth opportunity for Jack is enormous. We’re currently in 22 states, and most of them have opportunities for multi-unit investment growth. We estimate we have a potential for another 1,500 restaurants within our existing footprint alone, and we’re looking beyond to new and emerging markets in a number of untapped territories. To that end, we’re aligning with our existing multi-unit franchisees to grow their markets as we seek new multi-unit investors to join our family.

Which Existing Markets Is Jack in the Box Expanding?

Among our mature markets, Jack in the Box is targeting an expanse of new opportunities for multi-unit investors in Oregon and Pennsylvania, as well as limited opportunities in Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington.

Where is Jack in the Box Forging New Markets?

There has never been a better time for Multi-Unit Investors to get in on the ground level of a historic expansion. Right now, Jack in the Box is looking to go from being a top regional player to a top national one. We’re currently pushing new frontiers in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and -- very soon -- Missouri.

Meet Our Franchising Team

Tim Linderman

Tim Linderman

Chief Franchise & Corporate Development Officer
Stacy Soderstrom

Stacy Soderstrom

Franchise Recruitment Director
Ronnian Silver

Ronni Silver

Director of Franchise Development
Dustin Thompson-1

Dustin Thompson

Franchise Recruitment Marketing Director
Jack in the Box has Been Featured In:
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