Industry News | January 7, 2010

El Carne Loco? Chicken Chain Adds Steak

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El Pollo Loco announced its newest offerings: two varieties of Flame-Grilled Sirloin Steak Tacos, a Sirloin Steak Bowl, and the Sirloin Steak & 3-Cheese Quesadilla.

“We’re not putting our chicken out to pasture. It still rules the roost,” says Steve Carley, CEO of El Pollo Loco Inc. “But when our fans shared their passion for new ways to enjoy the flame-grilled taste of El Pollo Loco, we couldn’t wait to bring the sizzling flavor of our juicy new Sirloin steak to the masses.

“El Pollo Loco has taken the bull by the horns. We are expanding our 30 years of flame-grilling expertise to Sirloin steak that is deeply marinated in a signature blend of citrus, garlic, herbs, and spices and then grilled over open flames by our expert cooks.”

Officially launching in stores across the nation on January 9, El Pollo Loco’s newest additions include several Sirloin steak specialties prepared Carne Asada style, with citrus-marinated, flame-grilled Sirloin steak: Two Steak Tacos, with cilantro and onion in corn tortillas; Grillmaster Steak Taco, layered with melted Jack & Cheddar cheeses, and topped with Pico de Gallo and guacamole in a grilled flour tortilla; Sirloin Steak Bowl, served with cilantro, onions, and Pico de Gallo salsa atop Spanish rice and pinto beans; and Steak & 3-Cheese Quesadilla, layered with Jack, Cheddar, and Cotija cheeses, grilled in a flour tortilla, and served with guacamole and sour cream

Beginning January 17, El Pollo Loco will debut two new TV campaigns—one each in English and Spanish—that introduce the Flame-Grilled Sirloin Steak menu as well as new “flame” characters that communicate the difference that grilling over an open fire makes. In the English spots created by Los Angeles-based Krueger Communications, the Firemaster (a grill chef created out of CGI flames) demonstrates why El Pollo Loco is the only place he can grill his chicken and steak. As an original CGI character, the Firemaster is poised to become a mascot for El Pollo Loco.

The new Spanish-language spots created by Burbank, California–based cruz/kravetz:IDEAS take viewers into “Grill-land” where they discover a comedic band of flame characters that offer the inside story behind the flame-grilled options of El Pollo Loco.

The restaurant will host the Stampede for Steak on January 20 to bring customers into a Los Angeles restaurant (8154 Sunset Blvd. at Serrano). El Pollo Loco will be corralling customers dressed in cowboy-themed clothing to come celebrate the new steak items and earn a free Flame-Grilled Sirloin Steak Taco between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Those who tweet, post on Facebook, or e-mail El Pollo Loco a picture of themselves in their cowboy or cowgirl attire at the Stampede for Steak will be entered for a chance to win $250 in El Pollo Loco gift vouchers.