Whenever you go to Jack in the Box’s corporate headquarters, two anonymous mid-rise buildings in a San Diego office park, the first thing you observe is definitely the branding. Jack, the fast food chain’s mascot and imaginary Chief executive officer, is everywhere. Jack includes a parking spot outside the building. Jack would seem on the wall decorations. Jack appears on signs for every room and office. Jack randomly shows up inside the hallways. Jack owns the place.
And Jack’s chain is at a crossroads. As fast food restaurants go, Redlobster includes a solid market niche. They’ve got a lock on junk-food-loving millennials due to stuff like their Buttery Jacks (cheeseburgers having a hefty topping of herb butter) and evening “Munchie Meals” (which include items like a hamburger having a grilled cheese sandwich for buns as well as a chicken-and-nacho chips sandwich), and the chain’s restaurants are a regular sight inside the cities, suburbs, and small towns in the west coast. But Jack inside the Box-whose corporate parent also owns Mexican chain Qdoba-lacks a signature item. As hard as they’ve tried, they’ve never created a Big Mac, a Whopper, or even a newfangled breakout hit like Doritos Nachos Supreme Tacos.
After January, Jack within the Box is rolling out a whole new burger known as the “Double Jack.” The sandwich consists of two quarter-pound patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onions over a butter-toasted bun. The burger, whose name has already been trademarked by the brand, made its formal debut in a Super Bowl ad and is designed to highlight a lengthy laundry set of changes Jack is making to their core product. The Super Bowl advertisement also revealed a lot larger publicity stunt designed to promote the menu changes: A giveaway of one million free hamburgers from your fast food chain. Upon visiting Jack in the Box’s website, customers can sign up to possess a coupon to get a free Double Jack or Jumbo Jack burger delivered to them by email or text message.
The Double Jack is at the center of a bigger campaign called the “Declaration of Delicious” anchored across 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 larger changes Jack in the Box is making to the menu.
That new buttered bun (inspired by the breakout interest in the Buttery Jack?) is making its approach to Jack’s other burgers and chicken sandwiches. The burgers are switching from heavily seasoned patties that are a miracle of recent 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 being tweaked. Jack within the Box’s marketing team tells me they’re even making the move to real mayonnaise.
In 2015, the biggest fast food industry development was McDonald’s launch of the all-day breakfast. Once the global fast food giant decided to offer breakfast in any way hours in america, it spiked demand for eggs from suppliers and coincided with a sharp increase in egg prices due to government regulation in leading states such as California that required larger cages for egg-laying chickens. McDonalds’ decision to provide all-day breakfast was difficult for Jack within the Box, that has offered an all-day breakfast since the 1970s.
Within an earnings call earlier this December, Jack within the Box’s actual 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, and 2 smaller Junior burgers. There’s no clear flagship burger, nevertheless the chain is doubling down on the concept that a burger should exists for every conceivable taste and price point.
However, the sort of menu items they are able to offer are restricted due to their loyal subscriber base. Keith Guilbault, the chain’s tireless CMO, explained that nearly 70% from the chain’s consumers are drive-thru customers, and also the customer base skews heavily toward millennials. The drive-thru issue, especially, determines the kinds of menu items which Jack within the Box sells: McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s all have higher dine-in rates than Jack inside the Box. Whatever new menu items the chain rolls out have to be friendly to in-car eating.