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Jack in the Box: The Food Is Better at the Box

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Jan. 14 2016, Updated 7:15 p.m. ET

Introduction to Jack in the Box

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Jack in the Box (JACK) was founded by Robert O. Peterson in 1951. As of September 2015, the American restaurant company owns and franchises 2,249 hamburger restaurants by the brand name Jack in the Box. Also, through a wholly owned subsidiary, Qdoba Mexican Eats, the company operates and franchises 661 fast-casual Mexican food restaurants.

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Jack in the Box brand

With an emphasis on the concept of on-the-go convenience, Jack in the Box restaurants reportedly serve 0.5 billion annual guests annually, with 85% of them served through drive-through or take-out counters. The majority of Jack in the Box restaurants operate 18 to 24 hours a day, offering a breakfast menu throughout the day.

In August 2013, the brand introduced its late-night Jack’s Munchie Meal. As Jack in the Box is a fast-food restaurant, its core menu revolves around hamburgers such as the Jumbo Jack, Ultimate Cheeseburger, Sourdough Jack, and Sirloin Cheeseburger. Apart from these, the restaurant also offers salads, fries, tacos, and ice cream.

Qdoba Mexican Eats’ products

Qdoba Mexican Eats’ menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and salads. Customers can customize their products with different sauces and salsas and vary the quantities of cheese and guacamole.

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Restaurant industry

The restaurant industry can be broken down into full-service restaurants and limited-service restaurants. Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Eats both fall under the limited-service concept, with Jack in the Box classified as a fast-food restaurant and Qdoba classified as fast-casual.

Competitors

In the hamburger business, Jack in the Box’s top competitors include the following:

  • McDonald’s (MCD)
  • Burger King, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International (QSR)
  • Wendy’s, a subsidiary of The Wendy’s Company (WEN)
  • Sonic (SONC)

In the fast-casual restaurant business, Qdoba Mexican Eats competes with

  • Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG)
  • Panera Bread (PNRA)
  • Baja Fresh

You can gain exposure to the restaurant industry through the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY), which invests about 10% of its portfolio in restaurant stocks, including some of those mentioned above.

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