This Beloved Burger Chain Looks to Open Over 1,000 New Locations
West Coast–based fast food chain Jack In the Box teased aggressive growth to investors this week on its fourth quarter earnings call. The company said it could add up to 1,100 locations in existing markets after it posted a double-digit increase in same-store sales and resolved a long-standing legal dispute with franchisees.
Jack In the Box currently boasts a footprint of more than 2,200 locations scattered across 21 states, and the chain hopes to grow its presence in those markets even further. Recently appointed CEO Darin Harris told investors that the path is now clear for the brand to add more franchises—something it hasn't done in a decade. (Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)
"We have plenty of opportunity in our existing markets around the country," Harris said on the call. "If you think about it, if we focus on just our existing markets, we can put another 950 to 1,100 locations just in our existing footprint."
The chain hopes to expand by focusing its efforts not only on recruiting new franchisees but also on supporting existing ones, including by helping them secure capital. Under new leadership, the company also finally settled a years-long lawsuit with franchisees over remodel requirements and marketing funds. Franchisees currently own all but 137 U.S. locations of the chain, according to Restaurant Business.
For more, check out 7 Fast Food Chains Opening New Locations This Year.
"It clears the path for our existing franchisees to grow, and they have expressed that desire to grow," Harris added. "In some of the recent surveys we've completed, two-thirds of them have raised their hands."
The company also clocked a 12.2% same-store growth systemwide in Q4, marking best sales in 26 years at Jack In the Box. Founded in 1951, the long-standing operation built its reputation on burgers and cheeseburgers, as well as chicken sandwiches and tenders. It currently offers one-off items like tacos and egg rolls, as well as a sizeable breakfast menu.
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