El Pollo Loco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
El Pollo Loco
Industry Casual dining restaurant, Restaurants
Founded Los Angeles, California (1980)
Headquarters Costa Mesa, California
Number of locations
Key people

Steve Sather (President, CEO)
Kay Bogeajis (Chief Operating Officer)
Larry Roberts (Chief Financial Officer)

Ed Valle (Chief Marketing Officer)
Products Fire-grilled chicken and related Mexican food
Slogan Crazy you can taste
Website elpolloloco.com

El Pollo Loco is a restaurant chain based in the United States, specializing in Mexican-style grilled chicken. Restaurant service consists of: dine-in, take-out, with some locations offering drive through options. The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California and operates over 400 (as of March 2014) company-owned and franchised restaurants in the Southwestern United States. "El Pollo Loco" is Spanish for "The Crazy Chicken".


Entrance to El Pollo Loco headquarters in Costa Mesa, California
A typical El Pollo Loco restaurant

El Pollo Loco primarily prepares Mexican chicken entrees. The company describes its chicken as "citrus-marinated and fire-grilled."


Juan Francisco Ochoa started the restaurant in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1975.[2]

By 1979, the chain had expanded throughout northern Mexico. In 1980, its first U.S. restaurant opened in Los Angeles, California, at 503 Alvarado Street, near Sixth Street.[3]

In 1983, the American restaurants in the chain were acquired by Denny's, with an agreement that the Ochoa family would continue to operate the restaurants in Mexico.

In 1991 El Pollo Loco opened its 200th restaurant. In 1994 El Pollo Loco added self-serve salsa bars in all restaurants and in 1995 El Pollo Loco earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for building the world's largest burrito in Anaheim, California. The burrito was 3,112 feet (949 m) long and weighed two tons.[4]

American Securities Capital Partners acquired El Pollo Loco in 1999 and sold it to Trimaran Capital Partners in 2005.

In January 2007, El Pollo Loco was featured on NBC TV's hit show The Apprentice: Los Angeles where contestants competed by creating and selling versions of El Pollo Loco's Pollo Bowl.[5] El Pollo Loco was recognized by the World Franchising Network as a Top Franchise for Hispanics in 2010.[4]

New locations were first open by franchisees in the states of Utah[6] and Oregon[7] in 2008.

In July 2014, El Loco Pollo (NASDAQLOCO) became a publicly traded company on NASDAQ.[8][9]


In the U.S., the El Pollo Loco chain operates over 400 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and California. In 2012, El Pollo Loco restaurants went through a major makeover.[10]

In Mexico, Pollo Loco operates over 40 restaurants in Mexico City and the states of Nuevo León, Coahuila, Sonora, and Michoacán, 32 of those being located in Nuevo León.[11]


El Pollo Loco or its franchisees briefly operated several restaurants in metro Atlanta,[12] Greenville, SC, Boston,[13][14] New Jersey[15] and in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia;[16] these closed by 2011. The chain's franchised restaurants in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area[7][17] also closed in 2011. An El Pollo Loco in the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut[18] closed in spring 2012. The last of four Chicago area[19] stores closed at the end of 2012.

Charity partners[edit]

The brand created Fire-Grilled Fundraisers, an initiave for nonprofit organizations to raise funds for their cause while dining at the restaurant. They also created El Pollo Loco Charities, a nonprofit 501(c) charity to provide meals to underprivileged families.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "all locations - elpolloloco.com". elpolloloco.com. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Diaz, Francisco (8 July 2011), "Entrepreneur of the Year is Named", Laredo Sun, retrieved 16 July 2013 [dead link]
  3. ^ The Legacy of El Pollo Loco, El Pollo Loco website
  4. ^ a b c http://www.elpolloloco.com/contentAsset/raw-data/61990b90-b875-42b9-9308-8e176e684093/fileAsset/
  5. ^ "El Pollo Loco is Newest 'Recruit' on NBC's The Apprentice: Los Angeles". Business Wire (Press release). 28 January 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "El Pollo Loco plans to open 1st Utah restaurant in May". Deseret News. January 24, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Wells, Shannon (15 July 2008). "Restaurant spices up Wood Village Town Center". Portland Tribune. 
  8. ^ Li, Shan (July 25, 2014). "El Pollo Loco stock sizzles to close at 60% above IPO price". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Luna, Nancy (July 25, 2014). "Wall Street clamors for a taste of chicken: El Pollo Loco stock surges 60 percent on first day of trading.". Orange County Register. 
  10. ^ Luna, Nancy (November 8, 2012). "El Pollo Loco joins fray of fast food makeovers". Orange County Register. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "El Pollo Loco - Sucursales". elpolloloco.com.mx. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "El Pollo Loco Leaves Atlanta as Other Chains Make a Comeback". Tomorrow's News Today - Atlanta, GA. October 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ "El Pollo Loco Opens 400th Restaurant in Chelsea, its First Boston Area Location Experienced Multi-Unit Restaurateurs Open Third of at Least 25 New Eng". Franchise.Com. May 27, 2008. 
  14. ^ "El Pollo Loco in Chelsea Has Closed". Boston Restaurant Talk. January 14, 2010. 
  15. ^ Verdon, Joan (May 3, 2012). "Latin-flavor chicken chains haven't migrated to North Jersey in expected numbers". NorthJersey.com. 
  16. ^ Shapiro, Carolyn (February 17, 2011). "3 El Pollo Loco restaurants closing". Virginia Pilot. 
  17. ^ Gunderson, Laura (April 4, 2009). "Fast-food chains look toward growth in Portland market". The Oregonian. 
  18. ^ Giuca, Linda (November 23, 2006). "Take On A Chicken In A Game Of Tic-tac-toe". Hartford Courant. 
  19. ^ Meyer, Gregory (August 4, 2005). "El Pollo Loco's Hombre in Chicago". Crain's Chicago Business. 

External links[edit]