Stevens: There is no Jack in the Box in Miss., only a knockoff

Two popular American food chains, Jacks and Jack in the box, are shockingly similar but have no connection.

Graphic courtesy of Levi Stevens

Two popular American food chains, Jack’s and Jack in the box, are shockingly similar but have no connection.

Levi Stevens, Staff Writer

Each year, an unknown plague spreads through the lands of the Deep South. Everyone knows its name, but they might not know the correct initials. After asking around the MSMS campus, it seems no one truly understands the problem. That’s right, the Jack’s restaurants are different from Jack in the Box. I know you were thinking about this dilemma constantly, as I have.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, these two Jack-related restaurants are fast-food chains with shockingly similar branding, nearly identical menus and polar opposite locations around the U.S. Yet, these restaurants aren’t in a cooperative relationship like Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

How could this be? The restaurants seem so similar. They have to be connected in some way, right? Wrong. Jack’s is a local Alabama chain, while Jack in the Box is an international food franchise.

Let’s examine the logos to understand why they seem like the same restaurant to most casual observers.

First, notice the similar red branding throughout both of these restaurant logos. These color schemes create immediately similar logos from a customer’s peripheral vision. Just seeing the same words with similar colors and fonts can immediately make a customer believe these restaurants are one and the same. Simple shapes and modernized shading only enhance the similarities.

Referring to the menus of each of these restaurants, it seems like Jack’s is really just a simplified Jack in the Box in just about every way. Its food items match from its breakfast biscuits to its salads, although Jack in the Box offers additional nachos, tacos, etc. This makes sense to the consumer because Jack’s could be considered a shortened name for the Jack in the Box restaurants.

Upon further investigation, I believe these similarities are a deliberate attempt to make Jack’s chain nearly identical to the much larger Jack in the Box franchise. Jack’s menu has slowly grown to add breakfast biscuits, salads, chicken and so forth to match the significantly larger franchise. Additionally, minor details down to the shading changes and text size have been made to match the Jack in the Box logo.

When asking around campus, it seems like Jack’s assimilation efforts have been successful. As I was speaking with Dawn Barham, performing arts teacher, about this article, she said she was unaware of the difference between these restaurants. Similarly, Noah Lee, a junior, also said he believed these restaurants were the same.

So, how did I become aware of this situation? Jack’s made a fatal mistake. Although most Jack in the Box locations is on the West Coast, there are many restaurants in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. Since I used to live in the Nashville suburbs, I’ve had experiences with Jack’s and Jack in the Box. The differences were immediately apparent, and someone needs to blow the whistle on this restaurant.