IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--El Pollo Loco, the nation’s leader in citrus-marinated, flame-grilled chicken, recently inked a series of multi-unit development agreements enabling El Pollo Loco developers to open 61 new locations in Georgia, Missouri, Arizona, Virginia and Utah – fueling the flame for the 350-unit chain’s continued growth into new markets around the country.
In its largest franchise development agreement since announcing plans in 2004 to expand outside of its West Coast base, El Pollo Loco recently announced an arrangement with Fiesta Brands, Inc. to open 25 locations over the next seven years in the Atlanta DMA. Chris Elliott, CEO of Fiesta Brands, is the former COO of Church’s Chicken and former President of Cinnabon. His partner, Joe Uhl, is the former President of JRM, the largest Cinnabon franchise partner.
Other recent development agreements announced by El Pollo Loco include a 10-unit agreement in Norfolk, Virginia, a three-unit agreement in Williamsburg and Newport News, Virginia, an agreement for six units in St. Louis, Missouri, one for 15 units in Utah and another agreement for two locations in Yuma, Arizona. In addition, the company has a pipeline of franchise restaurant commitments in California, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, Oregon and Washington.
“These agreements are great news for the El Pollo Loco brand and our national expansion goals, but even better news for consumers in these new markets,” said El Pollo Loco CEO Stephen E. Carley. “Fans who ‘lived on’ El Pollo Loco on the West Coast, or who tried it during a visit there, frequently ask us when we will open in their town. Our answer used to be ‘some day,’ but it’s now a reality as we continue to partner with some of the nation’s most experienced multi-unit restaurant developers to introduce El Pollo Loco in new markets.”
Consumers in previously untapped markets are embracing the El Pollo Loco brand, including Midwestern cities like Chicago. After debuting one year ago in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood, the second El Pollo Loco location for the Chicago market is set to open this year in Melrose Park.
Furthering the chain’s expansion momentum, in mid-November, NEEPL, LLC is scheduled to open El Pollo Loco’s first East Coast restaurant in Connecticut with several more planned for the New England area.
El Pollo Loco introduced a ‘Next Generation’ prototype last year, with broad demographic appeal and design flexibility to drive continued national growth of the 25-year-old proven concept. Future locations plan to incorporate the new prototype elements, including flexible, comfortable seating, upbeat colors and open grill area.
Founded in Guasave, Mexico in 1975, El Pollo Loco, pronounced “L Po-yo Lo-co,” is famous for the unique preparation of its award-winning “pollo” -- fresh chicken marinated in a special recipe of herbs, spices and citrus juices passed down from the founding family. The marinated chicken is then flame-grilled, hand cut and served hot off the grill with warm tortillas, freshly prepared salsas, and a wide assortment of side dishes. Rounding out the menu are fresh flavorful entrées inspired by the kitchens of Mexico, including signature grilled burritos, The Original Pollo Bowl®, Pollo Salads, Tacos al Carbon, quesadillas, and more.
About El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco currently operates 350 restaurants (201 franchised locations and 149 company-owned restaurants), located principally in California, with additional restaurants in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Illinois. Headquartered in Irvine, California, El Pollo Loco, Inc. is a privately held company owned by Trimaran Capital Partners and company management. For more information about El Pollo Loco, visit the company’s website at www.elpolloloco.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements about, among other items, the sales, revenues, products, consumer acceptance, growth rates and growth and franchising potential of El Pollo Loco, Inc. The statements reflect management's current expectations regarding future events. Risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, food-borne-illness incidents; increases in the cost of chicken; our dependence upon frequent deliveries of food and other supplies; our vulnerability to changes in consumer preferences and economic conditions; our ability to compete successfully with other quick service and fast casual restaurants; our ability to expand into new markets; our reliance in part on our franchises; our ability to support our expanding franchise system; and the possibility of unforeseen events affecting the industry in general. Statements about El Pollo Loco, Inc.’s past performance are not necessarily indicative of its future results. El Pollo Loco, Inc. undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as the result of new information, future events or otherwise.
This information is not offered or disclosed in connection with an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy any franchise. Any such offer or solicitation is made only through our offering circular and only in jurisdictions where such offers are lawful.