How Jack’s continues to thrive after almost 60 years in the south.

Birmingham, Ala. | Mar 01, 2019

By: Patience Itson, Bham Now

Quick-service restaurants are a dime a dozen. But there is one that is going the extra distance to stand out from the crowd—Jack’s. Birmingham based and Alabama proud, here’s what makes Jack’s stand above the rest.

Over 50 Years of Service

Jack’s first opened its doors in Homewood in 1960— almost 60 years ago! Known for fresh, made-from-scratch menu with Southern flavor, the restaurant has continued to grow and produce quality food for its guests. Currently, Jack’s has 162 locations and opening about 15 new stores a year in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee. This makes Jack’s the largest quick-service restaurant headquartered in the state. Wow!

Haven’t been to Jack’s in awhile? They’ll welcome you back with a big southern smile at all of their locations.

Local, Customer-Driven Market Testing

Have you ever wondered how the geniuses at Jack’s know exactly what sauce or sandwich combo is missing in your life? Two words: food innovation. Or, put in simpler terms, they get to cooking with a bunch of fresh ingredients in their local corporate kitchen. Then they bring in the taste testers, much like how your mama used to hand you a spoon and say, taste this.

“We take the steps toward new innovation to bring exciting food options to our customers,” said Jake Taylor, vice president of marketing for Jack’s. “We want to make sure that we are taking care of our communities and bringing them new tastes and flavors and better quality.”

How do they do this? Through customer-driven market testing. While many quick-service restaurants perform market testing, Jack’s takes the time to dig a little deeper and find out just what its customers like and don’t like. From value and uniqueness to overall appeal, those at Jack’s want the thoughts and opinions of guests, just like you.

“The reason we perform market testing is so our stores can provide fresh, top quality ingredients,” Taylor said. “We also go even further and conduct surveys for actual guests of Jack’s so they can tell us exactly what they think of the product. We want to make sure we listen to our guests.

What’s especially good about this is that while competitors test their food on a national level, Jack’s tests theirs on a local level. So when you voice your opinion, they actually hear it!

Fresh, Never Frozen, Made-From-Scratch Items

As consumers, we want to know where our food comes from and how it’s prepared. When we see box after box of packaged frozen food being delivered to local dining spots, our radars go off. That’s why Jack’s strives to provide something better—fresh, never frozen menu items that are made from scratch each and every day.

“We take the steps toward new innovation to bring new and exciting foods to locations where there may not be many other options,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure that we are taking care of our communities and bringing them new tastes and flavors with great quality and at a great price.”

Take Jack’s buttermilk biscuits for example. They don’t come precooked in a plastic bag that is tossed in the freezer to be heated up later. Instead, a dedicated Jack’s biscuit maker lovingly prepares and bakes them from scratch every morning.

You don’t have to worry about any unknown additives in your Jack’s biscuit either. These babies are made from just three Southern ingredients: flour, butter and buttermilk. Is your mouth watering as badly as mine is right now?

Hand-Made Treats

If you’re looking for soft-serve ice cream, you won’t find it at Jack’s. Sorry, not sorry! That’s because they offer up something much better—hand-scooped ice cream and milkshakes.

Take their all-new Lemonade Shake for example. This newly innovated product combines Jack’s fresh lemonade and hand-scooped vanilla ice cream to create the perfect refreshing treat. Coming soon to a Jack’s near you!

Now that’s what I call the cherry on top!

Coming soon to a Jack’s near you

Looking for something new to eat? Check out what new products your local Jack’s will be offering this year.

Bacon Jam Patty Melt: Two of Jack’s fresh all-beef patties topped with cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions, covered in Jack’s homemade Bacon Jam—a tomato jam with fresh bacon—all served on Texas Toast. Coming soon.

Southern Style Fried Catfish: Southern raised Catfish strips, battered in a southern style crispy breading, fried up fresh in our kitchen. Served with tartar sauce for dipping. This new item is currently being served in all Jack’s locations—now through Easter.

Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich: Two fresh, never frozen, hand-battered and breaded Jack’s Southern style chicken fingers, stacked with shredded iceberg lettuce, pickles and freshly sliced tomatoes. Topped with Jack’s new Sweet Honey Mustard sauce on a toasted artisan bun. The sandwich will be available this summer, but if you can’t wait to try it, the sandwich is currently being tested in the following Jack’s restaurants: Sheffield, Muscle Shoals, Florence, Iuka, MS, Petersville and Tuscumbia.

Kick’d Up Patty Melt: Two hot, delicious, all-beef patties stacked with caramelized diced onions, two slices of American cheese and smothered in Jack’s new Kick’d Up Sauce, served between two slices of Texas Toast. Available for a limited time starting May 22.

Boneless Wings: Boneless chicken wings sauced and tossed in your choice of three flavors, Classic Buffalo, Sweet & Spicy, and Honey BBQ. Available for a limited time starting March 27th.

Hand-Breaded Buffalo Chicken Finger Sandwich: Two fresh, never frozen, hand-battered and breaded Jack’s Southern style chicken fingers, sauced and tossed in a Classic Buffalo Sauce, stacked with Pepper Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato, topped with Jack’s made from scratch Ranch Dressing on a toasted artisan bun. Available for a limited time later this year.

Lemonade Shake: A combination of Jack’s new freshly made lemonade, hand-spun with Jack’s hand-scooped vanilla ice cream for the perfect refreshing treat. Available starting March 27.

Survey Says

On Tuesday, February 26, Jack’s hosted a special Foodie Night where Birmingham food lovers tasted some of their new menu items. Here’s what they had to say:

“The bacon jam is my jam.” - Russell Hooks, Happenin’s in the ‘Ham

“Very good quality of catfish. I was pleasantly surprised. The cornbread crust definitely sets it apart from other catfish from fast food.” - Mandy Williams, Foodies of Birmingham

“My favorite is our Kick’d Up Patty Melt. It’s my favorite because we make our Kick’d Up Sauce in house.” - Clifton Rutledge, COO, Jack’s

“The hand-scooped Lemonade Shake is like Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade but better because it’s made with Mayfield Ice Cream and it’ll be available on Sundays.” - Matt Mitchell, It’s a Southern Thing