QSR January 2023


POISED FOR FUTURE GROWTH About 70 percent of Jack’s franchise oper ators started their brand journey working at the restaurant or corporate level, which Harris believes is a testament to their commitment to grow fromwithin, he says. As additional proof, the rollout of a new training platform in the third quarter of 2022 increased general manager certifica tion from 25 to 80 percent, Harris notes. The new platform also increased perfor mance, which in turn boosted retention. And “despite the current scale of Jack in the Box, there is still so much opportu nity for growth for us in untapped markets across the country,” he says. Since the relaunch of the brand’s franchise sales program in mid-2021, Jack in the Box, as of press time, had signed 68 agreements for 267 new res taurants. Of that, by Q4, 155 were signed within the past 12 months, a new single year record. With discounted royalty incentive programs for multi-unit fran chisees and AUVs topping $1.8 million, Jack in the Box is setting itself up for explosive growth. By analyzing demo graphics and complet ing a strategic market plan that identif ies key areas for new Jack in the Box restaurants, Lin derman, CDO, est imates the brand has more than 1,500 opportunities in its current footprint, and 2,250-plus opportunit ies in new markets. “We

nature meals with special dipping sauces and merchandise last year, for example. In July, Jack in the Box partnered with Star Wars actor Mark Hamill to highlight the launch of French Toast Sticks, return ing to the brand’s menu after a 10-year hiatus. The sweet, vanilla-battered prod uct starts at $2 and comes in three or six pieces, or as part of the Jumbo Break fast Platter. And unlike other competitors in the space, there isn’t an 11 a.m. deadline for customers to order the breakfast item. With the majority of stores open 24 hours a day, “we do not follow the rules of breakfast only being conf ined to the morning,” Ostrom says. “At Jack, you can get tacos for breakfast. You can get breakfast for dinner. You can get food late at night. People crave different f lavors at different times, and our brand likes to offer a variety of choices and let people taste outside the box and live outside the box on their terms.” Jack in the Box also teamed up with reality TV star Kyle Richards in Octo ber to launch limited-time-only Monster Tacos during Halloween season—a larger version of Jack in the Box’s tiny tacos, topped off with melty American cheese, shredded lettuce, and taco sauce. “We knew she was a known, massive fan of the brand, and given her love of Jack tacos and connection to Halloween


horror movie culture, it made sense to bring her on board as we popped up with Monster Tacos,” Ostrom says about Richards. “These are the scrappy and authentic partnerships we are look ing to continue to execute in the months to come.” “People are so used to the burger brands or the chicken brands. We are different. At Jack, we are a burger brand that is famous for our tacos. That makes us unique,” Ostrom adds. The brand also capitalized off of an unintentional, non-offi cial partnership with J-Hope when the BTS star released his new album called “Jack in the Box” in July. “With the record dropping in mere days, we needed to act quickly to catch the news cycle,” Ostrom recalls. Ostrom and his team did a deep dive into the BTS universe and unearthed a recurring inside joke between J-Hope and his fanbase about the singer’s love for drinking Sprite, and subse quently released a promo code for fans to receive a free Sprite with a purchase timed with the release of the record. “In less than 48 hours, we came up with, and executed, an authentic way to connect the brand to ‘Jack in the Box,’ the album,” Ostrom says. “All told, the campaign received more than 1 million TikTok views through user-generated content and over 700 million earned media impressions.”

believe there is an opportunity for about 6,000 total restau rants in the U.S.,” Linderman says. Growth endeavors are focused on multi-unit investors in markets east of the Mis sissippi River, he says. Additional ly, remodeling current franchisee locations is in the works. Owners have submitted more than 360 reimage forms so far to update their restau rants with the new CRAVED image and design elements, and 256 were cleared to proceed as of press time. Many franchisees are also interested in building the 1,350-square-foot prototype, and while Jack in the Box is allowing a few lucky owners to test the new image, “we’re openly trying to hold them back a little since we’ve got to test it and get consumer feedback,” Harris says. Seeing current owners excited about building more res taurants is a 180-degree turn from the dynamic franchisees had with the franchisor when Harris first joined the brand. “It goes back, whether it’s with the leadership team or franchisees, to rebuilding that relationship,” Harris says. “It’s enabled us to do things like utilizing our franchisees’ knowledge, adapt ing to headwinds, coming up with the new prototype—they’re involved every step of the way.” q

Callie Evergreen is a Senior Editor at QSR . She can be reached at cevergreen@wtwhmedia.com .



JANUARY 2023 | QSR | www.qsrmagazine.com

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