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This Major Burger Chain Is About to Undergo a Massive Expansion

A hidden giant keeps growing.

After winding up for a couple of years now, Jack in the Box is finally ready to pop.

The chain is already the fourth-largest burger giant in the U.S. and is on track to continue its growth trajectory in a big way. At the end of last year, the brand signed on to build 111 more locations over the next several years, while this year, it has made deals to construct another 98 restaurants. These new locations, on top of the 2,208 existing Jack in the Box brick-and-mortars, mark the highest level of growth commitment Jack has ever seen.

For more fast-food news, check out 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.

The upcoming restaurants will spring up in both existing markets, like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston, and new ones, like Salt Lake City and Louisville. Darin Harris, who joined Jack in the Box as CEO just a couple of years ago, says he doesn't expect this expansion period to become a "unit growth story" until 2023.

As Jack continues to break ground on new locations, the chain is also shutting down stores fairly frequently. Harris describes this process as "optimizing the portfolio." Basically, Jack in the Box is making a name for itself in a way that is not only bigger, but more functional and sustainably profitable.

Although the chain, which was founded in San Diego, Calif. in 1951, is continuing to move north of 2,000 American locations, it is still well behind its top three competitors in terms of footprint: McDonald's has 18,000 locations, Burger King is north of 7,000, and Wendy's is at nearly 6,000.

Additionally, Jack in the Box is soon expected to close on its acquisition of Del Taco, a fast-food Tex-Mex chain bringing another 600 locations to the table.

Kaley Roberts
Kaley Roberts is a food writer. Read more about Kaley