Update: We have been told Burger King will open at 6am on Thursday, August 22, 2019.
The wait is almost over for Burger King fans. After months of anticipation, the restaurant at the corner of Main Street and Valley Vista expects to be open for business in the next week or two.
Brad Mailloux, co-owner and vice president of Crown Ventures Inc., was hoping to start serving customers on Monday, but a delay in utility hook-ups has pushed the opening back until later in the month. During a visit to the store last week, Mailloux noted that everything is ready to go as soon as a certificate of occupancy is issued. The restaurant will employ 43 workers.
Time is Right for New Lowell Location
With 20 years of experience working with Burger King, Mailloux was previously the vice president of a company that owned 140 restaurants. In 2009, he decided to incorporate his own company, Crown Ventures, and acquired the Burger Kings in Plainwell, Allegan, Hastings, Wayland and Portland. His company would later go on to expand into the Quad Cities region of Illinois and Iowa.
“My philosophy as a restauranteur is that you grow your business by taking care of your customers and taking care of your employees,” Mailloux says.
When asked what brought him to Lowell, Mailloux responds that Burger King often scouts out areas it believes could benefit from a restaurant. He was approached with several locations and decided it made sense to bring the business to Lowell.
“There’s been a lot of new rooftops,” Mailloux says. Housing construction and business expansion in the city and surrounding townships has made the area a perfect fit for Burger King. He adds, “I think Burger King does really well in small towns.”
New Menu Items for Every Budget
Lowell previously had a Burger King, but it was shuttered about seven years ago. Those who haven’t been to one of the quick serve restaurants since then will find the menu at the new location contains both perennial favorites and new additions.
“It’s very well-known around the country that the Whopper is the best tasting burger,” Mailloux says of the chain’s iconic sandwich. However, a new version of the Whopper – featuring the Impossible Burger – is expected to draw its own legion of fans.
The Impossible Whopper is a plant-based burger that doesn’t contain any meat. The restauranteur challenges people to tell the difference between a regular burger and the Impossible Burger. “I’m a meat guy,” Mailloux explains. “I was shocked. You really, really can’t tell the difference.”
While the Impossible Whopper is good, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich remains the business owner’s favorite. Other notable items include $1 tacos on the value menu and a pulled pork sandwich known as the Pulled Pork King. According to Mailloux, the menu is designed so there are value items for budget-minded customers as well as larger, more indulgent sandwiches for those who don’t mind paying a higher price.
Service in Less than 3 Minutes
Those who remember Lowell’s old Burger King are quick to point out its notoriously slow service. While Mailloux doesn’t have any comment on that restaurant, which was operated by a different company, he is quick to point out that things have changed significantly within Burger King as well as the fast food industry as a whole in recent years.
“A lot of focus has been on the speed of service in the last six to seven years,” Mailloux says. Innovations in technology have changed how quick service restaurants cook food and hold it, making it easier to get items from the kitchen and into customer’s hands.
The target speed of service for the new Burger King will be two minutes and 45 seconds. That is the maximum amount of time Mailloux hopes will pass from when someone pulls up to place an order in the drive through lane to when they are driving away with their completed meal.
However, he acknowledges that no restaurant can be perfect. “If for some reason you don’t have a good visit, we’ll take care of it,” Mailloux says. “Reputation is the most important thing we have in life.”
There isn’t a definite opening date for Burger King, but it is expected to be within the next week or two. Follow Lowell’s First Look on Facebook where we will post an update once we are notified of a specific date.