Jack in the Box Logo – Jack in the Box is a franchise of restaurants specializing in fast food, founded in 1951 by Robert O. Peterson. The business area of the company is focused on the West Coast and South America, where it has more than 2,000 restaurants. The origins of the chain back to 1941, when Robert O. Peterson opened a restaurant of fast food in San Diego called Topsy’s Drive-In. The décor was inspired by a circus, and served as a model for your business. In 1951, Peterson opened a restaurant with the head of a clown giant at the top of the building, imitating a box of surprises. The owner called the local Jack in the Box, and soon introduced the name in its other locations.
The restaurant was succeeded by his order service drive. To expedite the preparation of menus, the consumer had an intercom and you order your food and a stop order to collect, rather than a single window. The efficiency of this service had commercial success was emulated by other fast food restaurants, and allowed Peterson could open up to 180 locations in different cities of the West Coast. Instead of implementing a franchise system, all local Jack in the Box were controlled by a conglomerate run by the founder, called Foodmaker Co.
In 1968, Peterson sold his company to the multinational Ralston Purina, which accelerated the growth of the company to introduce a franchise system and increased advertising investment. However, plans for expansion to the East Coast of the country failed, and the group began to problems through strong competition from franchises like McDonald’s. To avoid this, the owners announced in 1980 a greater variety in the menu and a complete remodeling of the corporate image, eliminating the clown (until then the company symbol) of all its restaurants. Foodmaker even tried to change the company name in the middle of the decade, but ultimately not carried out.
When the company was over 900 restaurants, Ralston Purina was not considered an essential investment, so in 1987 Foodmaker turned into a public limited company and went on sale. Jack in the Box continued to function well until 1990, when the economic downturn affected its growth and went into the red. However, the company entered into a serious crisis, in 1993, after four children died and nearly 600 people sickened by an outbreak of Escherichia coli, caused by bad meat. Jack in the Box had to close dozens of restaurants, and economic situation worsened when the rating agency Moody’s lowered its rating to junk status.