- Jack in the Box, the 19th-biggest U.S. fast-food chain with 2,200 restaurants, published a mobile-first browser game that lets players drive a virtual van to make meal deliveries, according to company press release. Called "Crave Crasher," the game, which can be found at www.cravecrasher.com, highlights the three new Munchie Mash+Ups offerings on restaurant menus.
- Crave Crasher is a racing game comprised of three levels, with the computer controlling the speed while the player steers the Crave Van. Times can be improved by taking tighter turns to avoid obstacles, and players are encouraged to share the game with friends to top their high scores. Players who beat the game have a chance to sign up for deals and coupons.
- Munchie Mash+Ups, which are snack-sized hash browns seasoned three different ways, are available for a limited time at participating restaurants.
Jack in the Box is among the quick-service and fast-food chains that are seeking new ways to appeal to teens and young adults who are a key target audience but are more frequently choosing healthier food options. Gamifying the Munchie Mash+Ups promotion is a fun way to drive engagement, as mobile games often command a lot of interactivity and time spent playing. Appealing to mobile sensibilities and eating habits has been reflected in Jack in the Box's broader strategy this year.
In March, the brand started a delivery service through DoorDash after tests in San Francisco. Delivery is now available at more than 830 restaurants in 229 U.S. cities, pointing to early success. Jack in the Box also partnered with DoorDash and Marble, the maker of autonomous ground-delivery robots, to test delivery service in the North Beach area of San Francisco Bay. Starting on Aug. 16, Marble’s neighborhood robots started delivering orders to select DoorDash customers. A growing focus on delivery options to drive business and also win over more young eaters is being eyed by McDonald's as well, which has expanded its partnership with UberEats to include thousands of more restaurant locations.
Meanwhile, millennials with kids are more likely to order from restaurants than their childless counterparts. Ninety percent of millennial parents order food from a restaurant at least once per week, as opposed to 77% of millennials without children and 73% of the overall population, according to a report this month from researcher Technomic.
Millennial parents boosted their patronage of fast-food restaurants by 34% in the past two years, while also increasing their visits to fast-casual outlets by 19% and coffee shops by 25%. The overall population only increased their visits to fast-food outlets by 25% and coffee shops by 18%, Technomic found. Nearly half of millennial parents' away-from-home dining occasions include children under age 18, while 43% of millennial parents allow their children to decide where to eat.