Sources tell me San Diego, California-based Jack in the Box is eyeing an initial entrance
into the Atlanta market. If their plans come to fruition, they will enter a crowded market where Wendy's, McDonald's and Burger King, among others, all have significant representation.
California-based chains have found mixed success in Atlanta. Costa Mesa, California-based El Pollo Loco vacated the Atlanta market late last year after only about 2 and a half years in the market. Lake Forest, California-based Del Taco has thus far proved the third time is the charm as they entered the Atlanta market for the third time earlier this year. After opening their first store in Snellville in February, another store was added near Kennesaw State in the spring, and more recently, another location opened in a former El Pollo Loco off Cobb Parkway. The current Atlanta area Del Taco locations are all open 24 hours have apparently each set company sales records.
Although Carpinteria, California-based CKE Restaurants currently owns Hardee's, the chain started in North Carolina in the 1960s. Today the chain (known on the west coast as Carl's Jr.) has had a rocky time of it in the metro area, with many locations now closed. The new IHOP on Peachtree (Industrial) Boulevard in Chamblee, the Willy's Mexicana Grill on Howell Mill near I75, and Reggie's Salon on North Druid Hills near Toco Hills, are all former Hardee's locations.
Many would love for In-N-Out or Whataburger to open locally, but sadly I have heard nothing of the sort. I inquired last year on a trip to California if an In-N-Out may open locally and the answer was not a definite "no" but it was far from a yes. A more recent trip to Austin allowed me to sample Whataburger, which left me unimpressed and in no hurry to have them here.
Personally I'd be interested to see Miami Subs reenter the Atlanta market, as I think their large, varied menu could do well.
Q100's Jeff Dauler at one point attempted to franchise Jack in the Box, but instead became a partner in two Flying Biscuit Cafe locations.
Jack in the Box also owns Qdoba, a fast casual Mexican eatery similar to Atlanta-based Willy's Mexicana Grill, and Cypress, California-based Baja Fresh Mexican Grill. Oddly enough, Baja Fresh was once owned by burger joint Wendy's, and Chipotle was once owned by burger joint McDonald's, but both have since divested their burrito concepts.
Qdoba's original Atlanta location was in Midtown Place on Ponce de Leon, but it closed over a year ago and recently reopened as a Willy's. The chain, like Baja Fresh, had exited the Atlanta market but is once again opening new stores. Thus far, Qdoba can be found in Suwanee on Peachtree Parkway, in Alpharetta on Windward Parkway, on Concourse E of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and their newest location is on Glenridge Drive near the Haverty's Building in Sandy Springs.