Jack's Awards $1,000 in Annual Biscuit Bake-off

Published Feb. 21, 2013



Each year, Jack’s sells approximately 29,000,000 homemade biscuits to hungry customers looking for a fast way to satisfy cravings for their mothers’ home cooking. To make that happen, someone at Jack’s makes each biscuit from scratch every morning. Jack’s employee Samantha Bentley is that person in Henderson, Tenn., and on Thurs., Feb. 21, she earned the title of Jack’s Grand Champion Biscuit Maker after winning the 15th Annual Jack’s Biscuit Bake-off.

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Jack’s Director of Marketing Pam Measel. “The three finalists traveled from across the region to compete today. They have already beaten out more than 100 people, and according to the judges, this year’s biscuits were among the best in the south.”

Bentley competed against Phillip Roberson of Piedmont, Ala., and Jennifer Wilson from Hoover, Ala. Before today, the three finalists had to win a series of bake-offs, starting with their own stores. The winners from each store then competed in the Area Bakeoff, where 22 finalists were chosen to compete in the regional Bake-off. There, Bentley, Roberson and Wilson received $100 each and qualified for the company bake-off. 

Over her three years of working at Jack’s, Bentley has made over 1 million. Bentley and her store manager, Tammy Burton, worked for weeks to perfect Bentley’s biscuit. Burton said Bentley winning meant everything.

“We have been working very hard on procedure over the past six weeks,” said Burton. “We knew the event was coming up. We knew she was going to go; and we knew she was going to win.”

Still, Bentley had tough competition. When the event began at 5:30 a.m., Phillip Roberson was ready. His grandmother taught him how to cook when he was just seven years old, and whether it’s for a customer or his family, he puts his all into his cooking.

“I make food every day at Jack’s,” said Roberson. “I’m a single dad with three kids, and whether I’m on the grill flipping burgers or making biscuits in the morning, I make sure it’s something I would feed my kids.”

In addition, Jennifer Wilson came as a threat after only having worked at Jack’s for six months. Still, Bentley’s strategy was not focus too much during the competition.

I just get in there and don’t think about it,” said Bentley. “If I do think about it, I’ll mess it up.”

In the end, it was the judges who made the call. WBRC Fox6 Good Day Alabama anchor Jeh Jeh Pruitt joined Huntsville WAFF’s Leslie Moody, Southeastern Food Merchandisers’ Mike Sanders, Southeastern Mills Chef Laureen Herzig and St. John and Associates’ Dale Bright in evaluating each of the three finalists’ biscuits.

“I was incredibly impressed by the process that they went through while making the biscuits,” said Moody. “I haven’t seen that much attention to detail in making biscuits from scratch since my grandmother died. The biscuits are delicious and are different from what you’d expect to get from any restaurant.”

Pruitt agreed that each biscuit was consistent with Jack’s ideal biscuit, internally named the “hero” and characterized by the height and diameter of the biscuit, the consistency of color on the pan and of course great taste.

“They were all very flaky and all three tasted so good,” exclaimed Pruitt. “To be honest with you, I judged on appearance, taste, and consistency. I’m used to eating a biscuit with some jelly, but these were all so good, I didn’t need it.”

After careful deliberation among the judges, Pruitt proclaimed Bentley the 2013 winner while Jack’s executives presented her with a $1,000 check on live television.

For more information about the Biscuit Bake-off or Jack’s biscuits, visit eatatjacks.com or contact Lizzy Thomas at (601) 540.3302 or elizcthomas@gmail.com.


About Jack’s Family Restaurants, Inc.

Jack’s Family Restaurants, Inc. was started in 1960 in Homewood, Ala. The restaurant specializes in fresh burgers, crinkle-cut fries and hand-dipped shakes. Jack’s has more than 100 stores across the Southeast- with locations in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. Since 1960, many things have changed in our world, but one thing has remained the same: Jack’s is still serving up great food, with a smile.