San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. is famed for 24-hour service at many outlets. But with the pandemic, the fast-food chain's store at Lake Murray Boulevard and Dallas Drive in La Mesa isn't taking chances, reminding drivers that the drive-through window is open.
A sign at a Jack in the Box restaurant in La Mesa. Photo by Ken Stone

San Diego-based Jack in the Box announced Tuesday that it plans to open more restaurants and enter new markets for the first time since 2019.

“We are thrilled that, in just a short couple of years, Jack in the Box is expected to take its first major step in recognizing our growth potential by turning net-unit growth positive for the first time in four years,” said Darin Harris, chief executive officer.

Harris said the fast food chain has signed agreements for a total of 267 new restaurants. Among the new markets for the fast-food chain are Salt Lake City, UT, and Louisville, KY.

“Through rebuilding franchisee relationships, and pairing franchise and company resources to enter new markets in a position of strength, we are starting to see results,” he said. “This is only the beginning.”

The announcement camp as the company reported earnings of $45.9 million, or $2.17 per share, in its fourth fiscal quarter ended Oct. 2, compared to $38.9 million, or $1.81 per share, in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue rose to $403 million from $278 million a year ago.

Jack in the Box currently operates 2,200 of its signature hamburger restaurants across 21 states as well as 600 Del Taco restaurants in 15 states.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.