When you walk into Jack in the Box’s corporate headquarters, two anonymous mid-rise buildings in a San Diego office park, the very first thing you see is definitely the branding. Jack, the fast food chain’s mascot and imaginary Chief executive officer, is everywhere. Jack features a parking spot outside the building. Jack would seem on the wall decorations. Jack appears on signs for each room and office. Jack randomly shows up inside the hallways. Jack owns the area.
And Jack’s chain is at a crossroads. As fast food restaurants go, www.allfoodmenuprices.org/jack-in-the-box-menu features a solid market niche. They’ve got a lock on junk-food-loving millennials due to items like their Buttery Jacks (cheeseburgers with a hefty topping of herb butter) and evening “Munchie Meals” (that include stuff like a hamburger having a grilled cheese sandwich for buns along with a chicken-and-nacho chips sandwich), and the chain’s restaurants are a regular sight within the cities, suburbs, and small towns of the west coast. But Jack within the Box-whose corporate parent also owns Mexican chain Qdoba-lacks a signature item. As hard as they’ve tried, they’ve never developed a Big Mac, a Whopper, or perhaps a newfangled breakout hit like Doritos Nachos Supreme Tacos.
At the conclusion of January, Jack inside the Box is rolling out a new burger referred to as “Double Jack.” The sandwich consists of two quarter-pound patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onions on a butter-toasted bun. The burger, whose name has already been trademarked from the brand, made its formal debut in a Super Bowl ad and was created to highlight an extended laundry listing of changes Jack is making for their core product. The Super Bowl advertisement also revealed a significantly larger publicity stunt made to promote the menu changes: A giveaway of one million free hamburgers through the fast food chain. Upon visiting Jack in the Box’s website, customers can sign up to have a coupon for a free Double Jack or Jumbo Jack burger delivered to them by email or text message.
The Double Jack reaches the core of a larger campaign known as the “Declaration of Delicious” anchored round the Super Bowl ad. The Declaration of Delicious, which features (obviously, and God bless them) a colonial-attired Jack named “Jack Washington,” is designed to introduce the public to much bigger changes Jack within the Box is making to its menu.
That new buttered bun (inspired by the breakout popularity of the Buttery Jack?) is making its method to Jack’s other burgers and chicken sandwiches. The burgers are switching from heavily seasoned patties which are a miracle of contemporary food science to unseasoned 100% beef patties (with the exception of the Buttery Jack, which will have what the brand calls a “signature patty” whose non-100% beef nature is noted in advertising asterisks as seen below). The tomatoes and lettuce the chain uses are now being tweaked. Jack inside the Box’s marketing team tells me they’re even making the move to real mayonnaise.
In 2015, the largest fast food industry development was McDonald’s launch of the all-day breakfast. If the global fast food giant decided to offer breakfast in any way hours in the United States, it spiked demand for eggs from suppliers and coincided with a sharp rise in egg prices as a result of government regulation in major states like California that required larger cages for egg-laying chickens. McDonalds’ decision to provide all-day breakfast have also been difficult for Jack within the Box, which includes offered an all-day breakfast considering that the 1970s.
Inside an earnings call earlier this December, Jack in the Box’s real life CEO, Leonard Comma, told investors that his chain was focusing on hamburgers in reaction to McDonald’s breakfast expansion. The chain, however, doesn’t possess a flagship burger. The Double Jack joins (at press time) two different Buttery Jacks, a Spicy Sriracha Burger, the Sourdough Jack, two kewmnj Ultimate Cheeseburgers, the Jumbo Jack, the major Cheeseburger, as well as 2 smaller Junior burgers. There’s no clear flagship burger, nevertheless the chain is doubling down on the idea that a burger should exist for every conceivable taste and cost point.
However, the sort of menu items they can offer are limited because of their loyal customer base. Keith Guilbault, the chain’s tireless CMO, told me that nearly 70% in the chain’s clients are drive-thru customers, as well as the subscriber base skews heavily toward millennials. The drive-thru issue, especially, determines the kinds of menu things that Jack in the Box sells: McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s all have higher dine-in rates than Jack within the Box. Whatever new menu items the chain rolls out have to be friendly to in-car eating.