As the nation’s first major drive-thru hamburger chain, Jack in the Box has always been a leader in fast-food innovation. The company introduced the industry’s first breakfast sandwich in 1969 and the first portable salad in 1982.
In the 1950s, a Jack in the Box hamburger sold for just 18 cents.
From 1963 to 1982, Jack in the Box produced several menu items in manufacturing facilities located at the chain’s corporate headquarters in San Diego, including tacos and onion rings.
Gone, but not forgotten, the chain has a few renowned menu items that have gone the way of mood rings and shag carpeting, including a fish sandwich called the Moby Jack, introduced in 1970, and Frings, a combination of onion rings and french fries, introduced in 1979.
Unlike other quick-serve chains that stop serving breakfast before noon, Jack in the Box serves its breakfast sandwiches - and all other menu items - all day, every day!
The Jumbo Jack® got its name because it was considered one of the largest burgers in the fast-food industry when it was introduced in 1971.
In 1972, Jack in the Box introduced its signature Breakfast Jack® sandwich. It remains the chain’s most popular breakfast item to this day.
In May 1999, Jack in the Box added ketchup to the Jumbo Jack, the first significant change to the chain’s classic sandwich in 20 years. Ketchup bumped Jack’s signature “special sauce” from the burger.
Jack in the Box is famous for its super-thick Real Ice Cream shakes. In 2006, Jack’s shakes got a makeover that included serving them in a clear plastic cup with a dome-shaped lid designed to contain a heaping serving of whipped topping and a maraschino cherry.
Jack in the Box tacos, a permanent menu item since the mid-1950s, have developed a loyal, almost cult following among guests. Consider these facts:
Two panels from a vintage Jack in the Box speakerbox are on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., as part of an exhibit: FOOD — Transforming the American Table 1950–2000. The panels show products and pricing circa the mid-1960s and are featured in the exhibit’s “New and Improved” section, which explores how science and new technologies increased food production and how an eager American public embraced the abundance, variety and convenience.
Jack in the Box jumped on the boy-band bandwagon with the fictional singing sensations, The Meaty Cheesy Boys®. Following the airing of their first commercial and launch of their own website, the fake fab five snagged an invite to the 1999 Billboard Music Awards where they performed their smash hit “Ultimate Cheeseburger.”
Long before he was an “Easy Rider,” actor Dennis Hopper worked at a Jack in the Box restaurant in La Mesa, Calif.
In addition to the original antenna ball featuring a pointy, yellow hat, the company has produced antenna toppers of Jack wearing party hats, fuzzy ear muffs, football helmets and batting helmets.
Since Jack was reintroduced in 1995, dozens of toys, ornaments and antenna balls have been produced in his likeness.
More than 32 million Jack in the Box antenna balls have been handed out to guests since Jack introduced them as his Sourdough Jack® sales force in 1995.
Jack in the Box introduced Jack Ca$h®, a reloadable, stored-value gift card in the fall of 2004.
In 2009 and 2010, Jack in the Box entered a float in the annual Tournament of Roses® parade in Pasadena, Calif. Both floats promoted the chain’s partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and featured Bigs and Littles riding atop the float with Jack, company executives and franchisees.