This Might Be Why New York Doesn't Have Any Jack In The Box Locations

There's no shortage of craveable food in the state of New York. New York City alone is home to just about every type of cuisine imaginable, not to mention some of the best bagels, hot dogs, and pizza that you may ever sink your teeth into.

Outside the Big Apple, the state's grub options are just as promising. Craving a bit of spice? Check out Anchor Bar in Buffalo, where a little thing called the buffalo chicken wing was invented. And if you've ever had the desire to nosh on something called a "garbage plate," simply have your GPS take you to the city of Rochester, and your wish will be fulfilled, per Food Network.

"Seek and ye shall find" certainly seems to be the mantra of the New York food scene — unless, that is, you're seeking out some of Jack in the Box's famous tacos, burgers, or fries. The California-based fast-food chain currently has no locations in the state of New York — or any other East Coast state above North Carolina, for that matter. To add insult to injury, Business of Business reports that two more popular West Coast eateries — Del Taco and In-N-Out Burger — have also refrained from establishing a presence within New York's borders (though there was that one time a sandwich from In-N-Out Burger mysteriously showed up on the street in Queens). So, what gives?

Quality control may be a factor

It's not uncommon to hear New Yorkers say that they live in the greatest city in the world. But there are at least three things that west coasters have on them: Del Taco, In-N-Out Burger, and Jack in the Box, the latter of which hasn't operated in the Empire State since the late 1970s (per Long Island '70s Kid). Considering the fact that all three chains made it into QSR's list of the Top 50 Fast-Food Restaurants in the U.S. in 2021, this begs the question: Why are there no Jack in the Box, Del Taco, or In-N-Out Burger restaurants in the fourth-most populous state in America? 

Several factors may be at play, but according to a 2019 Business of Business report, quality control is more or less the cause. "Whether it be distance to a distribution center, the lack of infrastructure in a potential new market, or even brand awareness, these three chains would have to change their entire infrastructure in order to survive in the east against established competition," the outlet writes. Still, not all hope is lost.

Per QSR, Jack in the Box is working to increase its annual growth and hopes to open 2,250-plus locations in the 29 U.S. states where it currently has no presence. With any luck, New Yorkers may get the chance to chow down on a Sourdough Jack in their home state soon.