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This Favorite Regional Restaurant Is Fighting Back After Sales Dropped

The pandemic hurt this popular fast-food burger place, but profits are already back up 5%.

Jack in the Box first opened in San Diego, California in 1951. In almost 70 years, the chain has opened 2,245 locations in 21 different states. But then coronavirus pandemic hit. The burger restaurant saw same-store profits from March 8 through April 12 fall significantly, even though 70% of sales come from drive-thru orders. CEO Leonard Comma announced recently that they are bouncing back — sales after April 12 rose 5%, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. This date marked the start of the third quarter for the company.

"Sales have rebounded to positive for the first four weeks (of the current quarter,) improving each week to most recently a positive eight-plus percent in the week ending May 10," Comma, who is retiring, said in a conference call with reporters. He will be replaced by Darin Harris, who used to be the CEO at Cici's Pizza.

Almost all of the fast-food restaurant's locations stayed open for takeout during the pandemic, like other similar chains, but did not offer dine-in services. Some dining rooms are open, but there's no word yet on when they all will open back up. Hopefully, this will help the burger restaurant continue to raise profits.

Eating in at these places will look significantly different after they're all open again. Places like Culver's are limiting restroom use to one person at a time. Jack in the Box's fellow California-headquartered fast-food chain El Pollo Loco now has plexiglass between servers at the cash registers and the customers ordering. There aren't any syrup bottles on the tables at IHOP.

You might even have to dine without air conditioning since one investigation completed in China found that someone infected with COVID-19 passed the virus to others at different tables while dining in a restaurant that had an air conditioning unit and no windows open. The study discovered that the current from the AC unit blew droplets around the room.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more