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Jack in the Box looks to attract dine-in customers

Burger chain working on design to make dining area more inviting

Jack in the Box wants more customers to dine in.

The San Diego-based quick-service chain is working to improve the design of its restaurants in part to build dine-in business.

Seventy percent of the burger chain’s business goes to the drive thru, Jack in the Box CEO Lenny Comma said at the Barclays Gaming, Lodging, Leisure and Restaurant Conference on Tuesday.

“Our dine-in business needs to grow,” Comma said. “Consumers, primarily Millennials, told us that, ‘We’re not going to hang out in your dining room until you make it more inviting.’”

Comma’s presentation included photos of a prototype that a franchisee in Texas built, including a flat-screen television at the end of a dining area with multiple types of seating, including bar seating and counter-height seats. A mural on one wall notes that the restaurants are open late at night.

Qdoba Mexican Eats restaurant
Qdoba is currently testing a new restaurant design. Photo: Jack in the Box Inc.

Comma said the company would be looking to add more modern elements to Jack in the Box’s design, both in its remodels and new locations, going forward. He also suggested that the company would “reinvent service in the dining room” to provide customers with a better experience.

“We have a lot of capacity in our restaurants,” Comma said.

Qdoba Mexican Eats restaurant
The redesigned Qdoba Mexican Eats encourages customers to linger. Photo: Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box isn’t limiting the remodel plans to its flagship chain, either. The company is also working to improve the design at its Qdoba Mexican Eats concept.

Qdoba is in the testing phase of a new design right now. The company has built several locations and is remodeling other locations with the same design elements. Those elements include murals and other artwork, lots of wood, and natural colors interspersed with bright colors like pink and purple. Bar seating comes with power outlets.

The prototype has the company’s new logo and the phrase “Taste Everything” on one wall.

The company plans to build several additional locations with the new prototype in the first half of the company’s current fiscal year. Qdoba will learn from the results of the prototype, including costs, “and then we look to start building and remodeling going into the next fiscal year,” Comma said.

“One of the things that we need to do to complement all these bold new flavors is to have bold new designs,” Comma said.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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