Jason's Deli marks its 40th Anniversary with a Customer Appreciation Day on Wednesday featuring original menu items at 1976 prices.
On this day only, guests at participating Jason's Deli restaurants who purchase any adult entrée can also get one 1976 menu item at its original price. The 1976 menu items include eight different "European-style" sandwiches served with chips or baked chips. Prices range from $1.35 for a cheese sandwich to $1.95 for a Reuben sandwich.
Coinciding with Customer Appreciation Day, Jason's Deli will hold a 40th Anniversary Party featuring Founder Joe Tortorice Jr. at the original restaurant location in the Gateway Shopping Center in Beaumont, Texas. The event is slated for 9:30 a.m. and is open to the public.
"We are so grateful to all of our guests who have supported us over the last 40 years," says Tortorice. "It has been such a privilege to serve each and every one of them. We are connected by a shared love of food and life, and we look forward to many more years of providing bigger choices of better food for generations to come."
Jason's Deli has come a long way since its humble roots, born out of a single deli that now has grown to more than 260 locations across 28 states. Other notable milestones include:
The signature sandwich, the New Orleans Muffaletta, made its debut on the menu in 1978.
In 1980, the famous salad bar was created and a partnership with the Heart institute of St. Elizabeth Hospital was established to develop heart-healthy menu items.
In 2005, all partially hydrogenated oils—source of artificial trans fats—were eliminated and vegetarian items were highlighted on the menu for the first time.
In 2006, Jason's Deli was the first major restaurant chain to indicate all USDA-certified organic ingredients on their menu.
Artificial MSG and high-fructose corn syrup were eliminated from all food items in 2008.
In 2010, all dyes were banned, starting with the Kid's Menu. Gluten-sensitive and vegan menus were also introduced.
A Meatless Eats section was added to the menu in 2013.
In 2014, Jason's Deli was the first major restaurant chain to offer a gluten-free chicken nugget, J.D. Nuggetz, which has a cornmeal coating instead of flour. The chicken is also free of antibiotics.
The first menu item developed with MD Anderson Cancer Center nutritionists was in 2014. Since then Jason's Deli has helped raise $668,000 for cancer research.