El Pollo Loco is a fresh Mexican chain that specializes in marinated, flame-grilled, bone-in chicken. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., the chain has 415 units in 13 U.S. states. The brand offers quality menu items typical of fast c
The star of the menu is the bone-in chicken, marinated in a signature recipe of herbs, spices, garlic and citrus, then flame grilled for about an hour. El Pollo Loco uses sophisticated forecasting and production modules in order to meet demand.
Family meals make up about one-third of the sales mix. Meals come in various sizes, from 8- to 14-piece options. Meals include a choice of two to three large sides, depending on the family meal size selected, plus warm tortillas and fresh salsa
El Pollo Loco also features a value menu, which includes eight items, such as a flame-grilled chicken leg, taquito with avocado salsa or a cheese quesadilla.
The chain started off 2010 with the introduction of sirloin steak to the menu. El Pollo Loco CEO Steve Carley said adding a new protein was in response to customer research and an attempt to boost sales in the macro economic environment.
El Pollo Loco is developing a new prototype along with its rebranding efforts to reflect the new protein on the menu. This Apple Valley, Calif., store interior is representative of some of the chain's newer stores.