Jack in the Box open house: What a potential buyer would get

3 months ago by James Mattone in Facts

On December 17, San-Diego based fast food chain Jack in the Box ($NASDAQ:JACK) reported that it is exploring "strategic and financial alternatives," which translates to a potential sale of its company. This marks yet another chapter in a busy 2018 for fast food companies, especially for Jack in the Box, who sold Qdoba to Apollo Global Management for $305 million.

With Jack in the Box's future uncertain, here's what a potential buyer would get should they pick up the retailer known for late night munchie meals and free tacos at Los Angeles Lakers games:

A foothold in the West

Currently, Jack in the Box operates over 2,200 restaurants in the United States (2,246 in our database) through a franchising model.

Over half of all Jack in the Box restaurants are in its native state of California and in Texas, with no locations in the Northeast at the time of writing.

The chain is second only to McDonald's in California, as it has a strong numbers advantage in that market against more national chains such as Burger King ($NYSE:QSR) and Wendy's ($NASDAQ:WEN). In fact, there are more Jack in the Box's in the state than Burger Kings and Wendy's combined.

Entity Name Entity Name (Count)
Jack in the Box 938
Burger King 583
Wendy's 265

A mixed social presence

While Jack in the Box has most of its business out West, it still has a national presence on social media. On Twitter, it is nearing 100,000 followers, coming close to that mark before the July bot account purge.

Although Jack in the Box is doing well on Twitter, the same could not be said for its Facebook page. Since the beginning of this year, when Jack in the Box had over 1.32 million Likes on its page, people have slowly, yet steadily, unliked it. Less and less people are "talking about" the brand as well on Facebook, posting less statuses and photos that involve Jack in the Box.

A franchisee workforce ready for change

Not only is Jack in the Box showing some troubling signs in Facebook, it also is not going over well with its franchisees. 

Recently, franchisees that are part of the National Jack in the Box Franchisee Association gave a vote of no confidence to CEO Leonard A. Comma. At the same time, employees who reviewed their company anonymously on Glassdoor continued to turn sour on their CEO, dropping his rating by 14 percentage points from July 2017 until today.

The business outlook for the company is also in dire straits among employee-reviewers, who are growing more concerned about the company's future as it mulls a sale.

Although its presence in the West shows some upside for Jack in the Box, its social media presence and sentiments among employees are a bit concerning to look at. And, should Jack in the Box be bought out by another company, it may need to find the solutions to restarting its growth on Facebook and building franchisee trust back up.

James Mattone

James is the Associate Editor at Thinknum Media, and he has an interest in video games, music, and tech news. You can find him on Twitter @TheJamesMattone.

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