Pollo Tropical® Gets a Big Texas Welcome

Fiesta Restaurant Group®, Inc., pushes expansion west of the Mississippi

ADDISON, Texas--()--Pollo Tropical opened its first Texas location this weekend to huge crowds and impressive opening-day sales as Texans showed big support for the Miami-based Caribbean grilled chicken restaurant owned and operated by Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI).

The opening of the Dallas-area restaurant, in Addison near its parent company’s headquarters, marks the successful start of Fiesta’s execution phase of its east-west expansion strategy for its two fast-casual brands, Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana®.

“Pollo Tropical is a deeply beloved restaurant in its core markets, but there’s nothing like it in this market. The overwhelming response we’re already seeing tells me that Texans are going embrace it and make it their own,” said Fiesta President and CEO Tim Taft. “This is an important first step in the westward expansion of this brand and toward fulfilling Fiesta’s mission to revitalize and grow our brands.”

Fiesta was spun off from Carrols Restaurant Group in 2012 to focus on the future of its 26-year-old Pollo Tropical brand and its 35-year-old Taco Cabana chain. Since then, the company has looked at every aspect of each brand’s business and formulated a strategy to grow Pollo Tropical west, while bringing a redesigned, elevated version of Taco Cabana into the Southeast under the new Cabana Grill™ banner. The first Cabana Grill opens in the Atlanta suburb of Snellville in about two weeks.

Pollo Tropical Chief Operating Officer Danny Meisenheimer was named to his post in 2013 with a top priority of growing the 107-unit chain into Texas, where he has a long history of multi-unit operations. Part of that task included making sure Texans would understand the concept’s uniqueness and differentiate it from Tex-Mex restaurant concepts. To that end, the Texas Pollo Tropical features a bright Caribbean-inspired color scheme and rows of palms, unlike restaurants in the chain’s native Florida, where fiercely loyal fans make multiple visits per week.

“We’ve completely redesigned and re-engineered the Pollo Tropical experience, offering a fresh approach, while taking advantage of decades of operational excellence to serve our guests,” said Meisenheimer. “This restaurant shows how far we’ve come in matching the beauty of the building to our distinctive, unparalleled food and bringing our concept to a new region in a meaningful way.”

Meisenheimer will oversee the opening of as many as 10 new Pollo Tropical locations throughout Texas in 2014.

About Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., owns, operates and franchises Pollo Tropical, Taco Cabana and Cabana Grill restaurant brands. The brands specialize in the operation of fast-casual, ethnic restaurants that offer distinct and unique flavors with broad appeal at a compelling value. The brands feature made-from-scratch cooking, fresh salsa bars, drive-thru service and catering. For more information about Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., visit the corporate website at www.frgi.com.

Contacts

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.
Mary Kate Jeffries, 214-379-7000
marykate@spmcommunications.com

Pollo Tropical Addison (Photo: Business Wire)

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Contacts

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.
Mary Kate Jeffries, 214-379-7000
marykate@spmcommunications.com