Jack In The Box Made Up A Fake Holiday — And It Stuck

Have you ever felt like some holidays feel more or less like they were invented just to sell people stuff? After all, why else are funny greeting cards for Tax Day a thing? One fast food company wasn't afraid to test the correlation between holidays and profit, although surprisingly enough, the holiday actually stuck around — and it's not National Fast Food Day.

Ever since opening its first location back in 1951, Jack in the Box has become successful while also being creative. The chain offers an unusual combination of food items — including burgers, mini tacos, and egg rolls — to rack up 500 million customers annually across 2,200 locations (via Jack in the Box). Outside of its food, the company is known for bold, if not sometimes brazen, marketing stunts. One commercial features the clown-headed mascot Jack Box blowing up a corporate boardroom (the result of him being booted as the company's mascot a few years back), while in another he visits his totally normal, all-human parents. 

Suffice to say, Jack in the Box is no stranger to seemingly trying any marketing tactic to try to set itself apart from the competition. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the company is responsible for the invention of a national holiday that celebrates a key aspect of its own history as well as the fast food industry as a whole.

Jack in the Box is behind National Drive-Thru Day

According to National Day Calendar, National Drive-Thru Day, celebrated every July 24, is a holiday that "recognizes an innovation conveniently going strong today" — the system that allows motorists to not have to leave their cars for goods, services, and food. And who else would be more willing to invent a holiday celebrating convenience than a fast food company? After all, as the site says, "America's first drive-thru burger chain, Jack in the Box, created National Drive-Thru Day to celebrate America's love of convenience by car."

Back in 2002, Jack in the Box released a statement asking for the drive-thru to be recognized via a "special day of observance" in the United States. California's then-governor Gray Davis supported this request, and soon enough July 28 of every year became National Drive-Thru Day. The date would change to July 24 in 2006, according to checkiday.com.

While drive-thrus exist in many different industries, Jack in the Box is also tooting its own horn in this holiday, since the company is credited as being the first drive-thru-focused chain (via Money). While the now-closed Red's Giant Hamburg off of Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri, was reportedly the first drive-thru restaurant, and the original In-N-Out Burger is considered the longest-running hamburger drive-thru, Jack in the Box was "drive-thru only" when it opened in 1951. So it makes sense that it would create a fake holiday just for drive-thrus.