Jack in the Box Inc. has sold 18 of its namesake restaurants in the Houston area for $7.3 million as part of an ongoing refranchising initiative.
The San Diego-based chain revealed details of the deal after releasing third-quarter results last week. The Houston restaurants were acquired by franchisee MZK Enterprise LLC, and the transaction was completed in May.
This year, the company expects to sell about 100 units as part of a plan to become a mostly franchised brand. Deals already completed this year include the sale of 37 restaurants in the Seattle area in April, which generated about $20 million.
At the end of fiscal 2011, Jack in the Box was 72-percent franchised. The company said it is currently seeking experienced, multi-unit operators to refranchise company-owned units in the Southeast and Midwest, including Tulsa, Okla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Indianapolis; and Cincinnati.
Other markets approved for franchise development for the brand include Louisville, Ky.; Cleveland; Wichita, Kansas; Little Rock, Ark.; Omaha, Neb.; Fayetteville, N.C.; and Champaign, Ill.
At the end of the third quarter, the company operated or franchised 2,247 Jack in the Box restaurants and 614 locations of Qdoba Mexican Grill.