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Jack in the Box Sets Return to Chicago

Burger brand coming back to market after four decades





Jack in the Box Inc. (San Diego) has unveiled plans to return to the Chicagoland market. The company’s plan includes eight company-operated units, and overall the company has identified more than 125 potential trade area opportunities for future corporate and franchise development in the area.

The first wave of Jack in the Box locations is slated to open throughout 2025, bringing the brand back to Chicago-area residents for the first time in over four decades. Development venues will include traditional freestanding restaurants, end-caps with drive-thru, conversion of existing buildings and so-called dark kitchens.

“This strategic expansion into Chicago allows us to not only satisfy long-standing customer demand for our brand, but also to become a key member in the region’s thriving restaurant scene,” said CEO Darin Harris.

In its coverage of the brand’s return to the market, the Chicago Tribune noted that thus far, most of the planned outlets for the market are in the suburbs, with the exception of one at Midway Airport. The newspaper also ran a photo of a Jack in the Box eatery on East Chicago Ave. in 1977. In an interview, Harris cited a strong economy and a significant 24-hour workforce that will feed the chain’s late-night business as part of the Chicago market’s appeal.

This eight-store initial development in the Second City echoes the brand’s multi-unit expansion blueprint in such new markets as Utah, Kentucky, Arkansas, Montana, Wyoming, Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Mexico.

Jack in the Box has about 2200 restaurants across 22 states, and also operates Del Taco, the second-largest Mexican-American QSR chain by units in the U.S. with about 600 restaurants across 16 states.



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