A Jack in the Box restaurant planned three years ago along National Road in Columbus will wait a while longer.
Focus has shifted to opening Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box, said spokesman Brian Luscomb.
“It’s because of the return on investment,” he said. “It requires less capital to build a Qdoba than a Jack in the Box.”
Jack in the Box restaurants are free-standing buildings, while Qdobas offer a more flexible model. They can be free-standing but are also built in malls, airports and military installations, Luscomb said. The company is opening about 20 Qdoba restaurants each year, he added.
Qdoba opened in Columbus, at 1665 N. National Road, in September 2013, Luscomb said.
Jack in the Box announced in the summer of 2012 that it planned to build a restaurant at National Road and 20th Street and targeted the spring of 2013 to begin construction.
Jack in the Box sells hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, french fries and milkshakes, among other food items.
The Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department approved the site plan for the restaurant — including the building, parking and business signs — on Oct. 19, 2012, said planning director Jeff Bergman.
The San Diego-based national fast-food chain purchased properties at 2020 National Road, 2040 National Road and 3116 20th St. — the former locations of Diamond Auto, Quick Signs and Prestige Gold and Silver.
Jack in the Box said in early 2013 that it planned to open the restaurant that summer. Jack in the Box still owns the properties and wants to open a restaurant at the location.
“We still really like that site,” Luscomb said.
Another reason for the delay in building a Jack in the Box in Columbus is that the company is determining the appropriate style of building to construct for the market. Luscomb said it is studying a new model opened by a franchise owner in Texas and hasn’t made a final decision on what to do.
“There is no firm time frame for the next step,” he said.
WHO: Jack in the Box Inc.
OPERATES: Jack in the Box, a fast-food hamburger chain, and Qdoba Mexican Grill, a fast-casual dining chain.
LOCATIONS: Jack in the Box has more than 2,200 restaurants in 21 states and Guam, including three in the Indianapolis area — in Greenwood, Avon and Lawrence. Qdoba has more than 600 restaurants in 47 states, plus the District of Columbia and Canada. In the Indianapolis area, it has 22 — plus locations in Columbus and Greenfield.
EMPLOYEES: Jack in the Box Inc. has more than 22,000 employees nationwide.