Feeling square about Jack in the Box’s future

When was the last time you visited Jack in the Box? I recently had a conversation with a coworker about America’s second favorite clown fronted hamburger fast food restaurant. I had dropped by for lunch, that day and my coworker mentioned laughingly mentioned “I remember when Jack in the Box used to be in actual box buildings!” despite an age gap between this person and myself I remarked remembering these stores too. While the specific location I fondly remember, (Mid Lane and Westheimer) has been demolished for several years, the cube stores do live on with the majority still open as of 2021. I spent the better part of an afternoon driving around snapping pictures of these retail relics. Lately it seems that Jack in the Box has been on a tear of expansion with little oversight. I recently submitted an online order and drove to the store only to find it empty with no explanation. It was later in the evening but not past 10:30 PM. After realizing it was impossible to get a refund even from the corporate level, I found myself looking quite square about the future of Jack in the Box in Houston…

5 comments

  1. Despite generally liking the food (fries could use some help and the drink often tastes wonky), I absolutely have had more terrible experiences with Jack in the Box than any other chain, whether it’s my local one that is “rebooting the system” when it’s 4 am, I’m just off work from a long night shift, and there’s almost nothing else open (except Whataburger, which is often packed out for the same reason), or the one at Shepherd in the Heights which decided to turn off the grill for the evening (it later closed).

    I’d kill for another one in town, though.

    1. Hi Jen, you’re correct on both accounts there was a Jack there, and it was shutdown around the same time as the rest of the shopping center.

  2. The last ‘square’ Jack in the Box I went to was probably the one on FM 1960 W near Rolling Creek Dr. in probably around 2012 or so. Since that time, that location has closed. https://goo.gl/maps/rdsFHTQfbqQxRbr7A

    There is an operating Jack in the Box in the same general area at Louetta & Stuebner Airline that I’m almost positive was previously a Del Taco. My last visit there, also around 2012-3, was before this location got an extensive renovation. I was looking at some photos of it on Google Maps and it seems that someone tried the ‘drive-thru’ option at that location! I suppose you can call this location the ‘Lincoln in the Box,’ lol. https://goo.gl/maps/oGfARJ2eq8qzbrGt8

    I know there’s a pretty neat looking ‘square’ Jack in the Box on Jensen Dr. that has a covered drive-thru and also an extended dining room. At least as far as Jack in the Boxes go, this is pretty neat: https://goo.gl/maps/6DodfLh8Vb1bTe9W9

    That’s disappointing to hear the problems you had with your online order at Jack in the Box. Not getting my order might not have made me mad, but then getting a poor response from the company probably would have infuriated me. This goes back decades, but it seems to me that Jack in the Box is not one of the better-run hamburger chains. Jack in the Box has made major headlines over the years as far as them using horse meat in the early 1980s or them having poor cooking practices that lead to children dying in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990s. These incidents were discussed in my Texas History Portal videos post. Their restaurants always seemed understaffed which, combined with their made fresh methods, probably leads to the staff being overwhelmed and perhaps mistake prone. They’re also slow too and their food is often not very good at all even if they do have a promising menu. Wendy’s is another hamburger chain that seems mistake-prone and often their locations are left rather dirty in my experience. Burger King and McDonald’s seem to run tighter operations in my experience.

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