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Mini Burgers Among Menu Items Jack Cuts

Filed under Food Costs, LTO, Marketing, Menu, QSR Burgers

Say goodbye to Jack’s little friends: Mini Sirloin Burgers are history. 

In a May 19 conference call with analysts to discuss fiscal Q2 earnings, Jack in the Box Chairman-President-CEO Linda Lang said the chain would install new menu boards in June. The goal is to make room on the menu for “showcasing our variety, highlighting average check builders and encouraging trial sales of higher-margin products,” such as the new Bourbon BBQ Steak Grilled Sandwich, she said.

To do that, what she only would define as “less popular menu items” had to be culled from Jack’s menu. immediately asked readers to select the items most likely to be voted off the island and you did quite well. You should be in marketing. And most of you are. Readers picked the Steak Teriyaki Bowl, Mini Funnel Cake, Fish ‘n Chips and Mini Sirloin Burgers as the most likely to go. The Steak Teriyaki Bowl (first introduced in 1993 and brought back in 2008) was the choice of 46% of voters (multiple picks were allowed) and, yep, it’s gone. So are Mini Sirloin Burgers, the diminutive, ground-breaking small burgers that fueled the 2009 mini craze. This site crowned them Burger of the Year in ’09. The TV commercial was an edge-of-taste classic. Let’s hope its departure makes room for something equally innovative.

The Mini Funnel Cake and Fish ‘n Chips survive. But Pita Snacks and the Chorizo Sausage Burrito are taking retirement. The individual elements of the Sampler Trio snack/appetizer (fried jalapeños, fried mozzarella, fried egg rolls) continue on the menu but no longer will be bundled as a snack trio, a company spokesperson says. One in five voters (21%) guessed the Trio would be gone.

How did Jack decide which items to cut? “We look at product performance in terms of the mix and the margin,” Lang told analysts. “We look at our fit—the fit with the business strategy. Is it a niche product; is it something that could easily be substituted? And then, of course, we look at operational considerations: labor [and] the number of unique ingredients.”