eater.com – 2017 continues to be a blockbuster year for big restaurant deals: Jack in the Box is selling fast-casual Mexican chain Qdoba to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $305 million, Reuters reports.
Qdoba was founded in Denver in 1995, two years after Steve Ells launched pioneering fast-casual chain Chipotle in the same city, and the remarkable similarities between the two chains — from the store interiors to the menu — have led to many side-by-side taste tests and arguments over which restaurant is superior.
Jack in the Box purchased Qdoba back in 2003 for $45 million, at which point it had 85 locations. Qdoba now has more than 700 locations across North America (versus Chipotle’s 2,200-plus stores) and approximately half of those are operated by franchisees.
Chipotle’s recent sales woes apparently haven’t driven customers to Qdoba, as USA Today notesthe newly acquired chain has reported falling sales of its own in recent quarters, thanks to multiple factors including rising labor costs, increased competition in the fast-casual sector, and skyrocketing avocado prices.
Damn and I keep hearing good things about Qdoba, I didn’t know they were struggling out here in these burrito streets.