During Jack in the Box’s fourth quarter earnings call last week, CEO Darin Harris reiterated that development is critical to the company’s story. It has been since mid-2021, when Jack relaunched a franchise development program after a decade-long break.
Since then, the company returned to net unit growth for the first time in four years and has signed a total of 90 agreements for 389 restaurants, including market entry next year into Mexico, Florida, Arkansas, Montana, and Wyoming. Harris is optimistic about these entries thanks to the early performance of the Salt Lake City and Louisville, Ky., markets – the first new market openings for the brand in over 10 years.
The four open restaurants in those two new markets – all in the brand’s new, tech-forward Crave image prototype – are currently averaging over $100,000 in weekly sales, which is exceeding executives’ expectations thus far. For context, according to the company’s latest FDD, the average unit volume of a Jack in the Box restaurant is a little over $1.8 million. The plan is to have 15 locations open in Salt Lake City and five in Louisville by fiscal year 2025. Jack also just signed an existing franchisee to help further develop Louisville.