Bonus Jack returns at Jack in the Box

Sticking to its pledge to offer value through bundled meals, Jack in the Box on Thursday said it is bringing back its Bonus Jack double cheeseburger meal deal for a recommended $3.99.

Jack in the Box last brought back the Bonus Jack in a combo meal for $3.99 in 2009 as a limited-time offer — around the time McDonald’s was offering a McDouble sandwich on its Dollar Menu and Burger King had rolled out a $1 double cheeseburger.

The Bonus Jack burger debuted in the 1970s, but was later dropped from the menu in the early 1980s. It features two beef patties topped with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, pickle and “secret sauce,” served on a triple-decker bun. The new deal includes a small order of fries and a small drink.

“This is a big burger and a hearty meal at a very retro price,” said Tammy Bailey, Jack in the Box division vice president of menu marketing and promotions. “Our guests today can now experience a popular blast from Jack’s past and a value-priced combo meal that is particularly appealing to those on a tight budget.”

San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. is scheduled to release fourth quarter results Nov. 22. The company operates or franchises 2,200 units within the namesake chain in 19 states, as well as more than 500 Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants.

For the company’s third quarter ended July 4, the Jack in the Box chain reported a same-store sales slide of 9.4 percent. Officials said the chain continued to be negatively impacted by high unemployment and the weak economic environment in California and Texas, which are core markets for Jack in the Box.

Linda Lang, Jack in the Box Inc. president and chief executive, told investors in August that dinner sales suffered because of aggressive discounting by competing pizza players.

Lang, however, said at the time that deep discounting of a single product at 99 cents or $1 erodes margins too much and doesn’t work for the Jack in the Box brand. Instead, she said the company would focus on offering value through bundled meal deals that have less impact on margins.

“We do believe that there is a large percentage of consumers out there that are hurting and that do respond to value,” Lang said.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] [3].