The Fast Food Chain Everyone Visits At Midnight

Jack in the Box serves a huge contingent of nocturnal customers.

I order late-night Taco Bell and White Castle than I'd like to admit, and sometimes I question whether my delivery driver is secretly judging my midnight eating habits. But new data from analytics firm Placer.ai indicates that the institution of Fourth Meal is alive and well—and one fast food chain benefits from these overnight orders more than any other.

The data indicates that Jack in the Box, of all places, sees a whopping one-fifth of its visits between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., handily besting the competition. That's significantly more late-night business than Burger King, Wendy's, and McDonald's, and yes, it's even more than Taco Bell.

Jack in the Box does a lot of late-night business

Unfortunately for me, there are no Jack in the Box locations in Chicago, so I can't make it my go-to spot when I'm craving fries after midnight. But apparently lots of others can, and do, because in Q2 2023, 19.2% of the chain's total visits came during those hours, a 3.6% rise above the previous quarter. Coming in second place was Taco Bell, at 15.2%, one of those customers absolutely being me.

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Considering how many fast food chains are clamoring for business during this segment of the day, the success of Jack In The Box shouldn't be overlooked. The company even features a cheeky combo called the Build-Your-Own Munchie Meal, featuring your choice of a cheeseburger or chicken sandwich, two sides, and a drink, all for under $10.

What to order at Jack In The Box

Jack In the Box's hard-shell tacos have a fervent following, and they're certainly optimally satisfying for anyone who's just had a night out. The tacos are deep fried and stuffed with meat, lettuce, taco sauce, and a slice of American cheese, a greasy delight to satiate stoners everywhere. You can also get them in Tiny Taco form, and the new Angry Monster Taco is currently available for a limited time.

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Hell, even Texas Monthly declares that Jack in the Box has the best hard-shell tacos in fast food, and if we're going to trust anyone on the subject, it'd be José R. Ralat, the magazine's venerated taco editor. People in the know have been on a Jack in the Box taco kick for years; the Wall Street Journal reported on their popularity back in 2017, noting that a staggering 554 million were being consumed per year during that time period.

If you haven't tasted Jack in the Box tacos yet, it sounds like the best time to do so is between the magical hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., when they apparently taste the best. The chain's faithful after-dark crowd can't be wrong.

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