Monday, November 26, 2012

Surprise! Jack in the Box Looks to Pop Up in the ATL?

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.  

Are you eager for Jack in the Box to open in Atlanta?  Do you think Jack in the Box will do well in Atlanta?  What fast food chain is not represented locally that you would like to see open?

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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

We need Pot Belly's stat

Kenbud said...

There's a Baja Fresh Jr-esque kinda place across from the Georgia Aquarium. Limited menu, but far from the full restaurant. Kinda bummed when I first went as I'm a big Baja Fresh fan.

Kenbud said...

There's a Baja Fresh Jr-esque kinda place across from the Georgia Aquarium. Limited menu, but far from the full restaurant. Kinda bummed when I first went as I'm a big Baja Fresh fan.

TheJohnP said...

Jack in the Box would prove to do well in Atlanta. Folks are always looking for something new/different/better. Also keep in mind how many transplants live in Atlanta and are fans of JitB from their prior residences. And it is the only top 15 QSR not already represented in town.

Whataburger isn't for everyone, but those who love it (myself included) swear by it and they're also open 24hrs.

Cook Out would be nice. Have also heard some good things about Culver's but have never been to verify.

Anonymous said...

Whataburger was off 400 at McFarland and Hwy 9 (if memory serves me correctly) bout 15-20 years ago and went bust. Franchisee who didnt know what he was doing took it down. May have had a 2nd location somewhere also, but not sure.

Anonymous said...

Cook Out is the best quick serve burger in the business, hands down. (IMO)

I went to So Cal last month and had the opportunity to try In n Out, and was moderately pleased, but I feel it is behind 5 Guys.

There is a Whataburger in Thomasville, and I think there's one in Valdosta as well. I thought it was solid.

Carl said...

I enjoy having the Whataburger option when I'm visiting family and friends in MS. Most specifically, I like the hours and the menu variety (like being able to get breakfast at midnight).

It's always seemed odd that Jack in the Box was in Nashville but not here.

I also got a chuckle, because my original interpretation of the title was that they'd be opening a temporary restaurant here, which would've completely proven that the whole "pop-up" concept really needs to go. Guess we'll wait another 5-15 minutes for that trend to cease.

James Greek said...

Whataburger I heard will be coming back to this area. To the Atlanta area. I read about it the other day.

Anonymous said...

Yes that will be the best option you wont regret it!!!!!! Please do it