Jack in the Box plans taco giveaway

Chain says it wants to showcase improvements to the menu item

Jack in the Box is gearing up for a taco giveaway scheduled for Tuesday throughout most of the chain’s 2,200 restaurants.

Between 2 p.m. and midnight, the chain is giving away two free tacos per guest, with no purchase or coupon necessary. Units in the San Antonio and Kansas City markets, however, are not participating in the promotion.

The San Diego-based chain’s ads indicate the giveaway is the result of brand mascot Jack’s experience with laughing gas at the dentist. However company officials say the event is designed to showcase improvements made to the long-time menu product, which have been rolled out over the past several months.

Brian Luscomb, a spokesman for the chain, declined to reveal what improvements were made to the tacos, saying the changes were proprietary. The tacos are made with spicy beef, American cheese, shredded lettuce and taco sauce in a crunchy corn tortilla, and typically are priced at two for 99 cents.

Jack in the Box claims to be the first burger chain to offer tacos in all restaurants, and the item has been a permanent part of the menu since the mid 1950s.

The company sells an estimated 400 million tacos every year — which they say equates to 775 tacos eaten every minute — and hands out an estimated 600 million packets of taco sauce.

“Our tacos have long been our best selling menu item,” Tammy Bailey, division vice president of menu marketing and promotions for Jack in the Box Inc., said in a statement. “In recent months, we’ve made some improvements to our tacos and they’re even better than before! We’re celebrating the renaissance of our tacos with the give away on Nov. 16. We want everyone to experience first hand how delicious our tacos are. And what better way to do that than to give them away!”

Jack in the Box in April hosted a French fry giveaway to promote changes to that menu staple. The fries were redesigned to have a crispier outside texture, which company officials said enhanced the potato flavor and helped them retain their temperature.

In August, Taco Bell launched a new line of street-food inspired “Cantina Tacos,” in addition to the chain’s traditional taco offerings. The Cantina Tacos are more in the style of authentic Mexican tacos, featuring the choice of grilled chicken, beef or shredded pork, all served in soft corn tortillas with chopped onion, cilantro and a lime wedge.

Jack in the Box Inc., which operates and franchises its namesake brand in 19 states, is also parent to the Qdoba Mexican Grill brand, with 500 restaurants in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]