One of the oldest fast food names in the country has become one of the newest players in the vibrant InterQuest neighborhood in the far north of Colorado Springs.
McDonald’s opened this month southeast of InterQuest Parkway and New Allegiance Drive, joining the line-up of sit-down, quick-service and fast food restaurants at InterQuest that includes its In-N-Out Burger rivals, Burger King. and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. Whataburger is expected to arrive later this year.
The InterQuest location is the last McDonald’s for husband and wife franchisees Nayan and Purvi Naik.
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They bought their first McDonald’s in Springs in 2015 and now own and operate restaurants at 207 N. Wahsatch Ave., 324 E. Fillmore St. and 5765 Constitution Ave. to go with the InterQuest location. Purvi is one of the few female owner / operators of Indian descent in the McDonald’s system, the couple said.
Chicago-based McDonald’s targeted the InterQuest site for a new restaurant in 2019, and the Naiks secured franchise rights to the location, Nayan said.
InterQuest – east of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway – has become one of Colorado Springs’ hottest residential and commercial centers; it is home to dozens of restaurants, shops, hotels, entertainment venues and hundreds of apartments.
Also nearby, Ent Credit Union is about to open a new head office at InterQuest; Centura Health opened a 72-bed hospital in May; and In-N-Out opened distribution and production facilities late last year to accompany its neighboring restaurant. Pikes Peak Community College’s New Life Church and Rampart Range Campus also draw thousands of people to the InterQuest area.
“Since 2015, we’ve seen development happen in the InterQuest Parkway area and we felt McDonald’s needed to be there,” said Nayan.
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McDonald’s will have a lot of competition on the InterQuest site, but the Naiks say the restaurant’s familiar brand and menu items, customer loyalty, and advancements in service and technology – designed to improve speed and convenience – will be of great benefit.
In addition to traditional counter orders, McDonald’s customers can order at kiosks as they walk through the door, where they can pay with credit cards and, at the end of the month, cash, Purvi said.
Mobile ordering and payment options are available on the McDonald’s app, which allow customers to order on their smartphones before entering the restaurant or after they are at the door; food is then brought to their tables or customers can pick it up from the restaurant’s drive-thru or designated parking spots.
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The 4,500-square-foot restaurant also has a slightly larger kitchen that will accommodate newer equipment, Nayan said. One of those additions: an optimized prep line or conveyor belt system that allows sandwiches and other food items to be prepared and then transferred more quickly to employees for bagging before they are released to customers.
The speed, consistency and familiarity of McDonald’s items will be key in the InterQuest area, where many customers will drive to the restaurant from nearby jobs or from the I-25 freeway, the Naiks said.
“When you have a 30-minute lunch, which many of these business people do, they just want to be able to get their food, enjoy their quality meal at a reasonable price and be able to get back to work,” says Purvi.
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Technology upgrades at InterQuest McDonald’s don’t stop with food preparation and ordering, the Naiks said. The restaurant, in partnership with the state’s fast-charging program, will be one of the first McDonald’s in Colorado to have a fast-charging station, where two electric vehicles will be able to recharge 30-50% of their batteries in 15 minutes, when installed.
In addition to encouraging a reduction in carbon emissions, “you go out to McDonald’s, you get your food fast, you load your car quickly and then you move on,” Nayan said.