Jack in the Box is catering to a new group of nine-to-five consumers: those looking for good eats between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Munchie Meals, part of a larger company face lift introduced last month, are Jack’s first unique late-night menu items. The San Diego–based quick serve has a long history of late-night traffic, and the majority of its locations operate on a 24-hour schedule, says Iwona Alter, vice president of menu and innovation. But an uptick in consumer demand within the late-night daypart, particularly from the Millennial demographic, drove efforts to update the menu and atmosphere, she says.
“We were looking at how dayparts excel—late night is drawing for all of the quick-service restaurants,” Alter says. “As [consumers] are finishing their night after being at a party or at a sporting event or even working late, they are looking to satisfy their late-night cravings. We looked into what types of food they’re looking for, as well as what is most popular on our menu.”
The answer? Cheese, it seems. Jack’s Munchie Meals feature four entrée options, including the Cheesy Chicken, a crispy chicken sandwich topped with Mozzarella sticks and white cheese sauce; the Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger, made with a sourdough grilled cheese sandwich as the top bun; the Loaded Nuggets, drizzled with two types of melted cheese, ranch dressing, and bits of bacon; and the Brunch Burger, a cheeseburger with a fried egg and hash browns served on a croissant.
Each entrée comes with two tacos, a mixture of french fries and seasoned curly fries, and a 20-ounce drink for $6 plus tax. It’s all served in a box that boasts an electric purple design reflective of Jack’s new late-night logo.
But the brand’s revamp didn’t stop there. “We are creating an experience. We wanted to really up the ante and craft something that was special to late-night consumers,” Alter says. “One of the essential parts of that late-night atmosphere is actually music.”
When the menuboards flip at 9 p.m., employees don new purple and black uniforms and turn up the volume on a late-night playlist of electronic dance music. To promote Jack’s new atmosphere and exclusive late-night menu, the brand teamed up with AEG Global Partnerships to put on the No Curfew concert at L.A. Live on October 23. Two artists featured heavily on the playlist, Diplo and Chromeo, are set to perform songs off their new albums at the same time Jack’s late-night menu starts. This venture is one of a recent string of brands turning to music to connect with the Millennial demographic.
“[Quick serves] target influential and socially engaged Millennials, who are often the most passionate music enthusiasts,” said Todd Kline, AEG’s vice president of sales and partnership innovation, in an e-mail. “Considering that music fans capture the zeitgeist of pop culture and tend to take the lead in their circle of friends and cohorts, connecting with them opens the door to a larger network of customers. If you can tap into the music community and inherently the trendsetters, you’re moving in the right direction.”
The No Curfew concert will likely add to the positive buzz surrounding Jack’s Munchie Meals.
“We are looking at the social media chatter, which is quite favorable,” Alter says. “We also listen to the guest on our guest service lines and we are getting good responses, a lot of excitement”
By Tamara Omazic
The five times weekly e-newsletter that keeps you up-to-date on the latest industry news and additions to this website.