El Pollo Loco announced that restaurant industry veteran Larry Roberts has joined the fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain as chief financial officer. Roberts assumes his new role with nearly 30 years of leadership experience across a variety of top-tier companies, including more than 20 years of experience at YUM! Brands.
Most recently, Roberts served as chief operating officer for the KFC business with nearly $5 billion of system sales. Previously, he spent three years as KFC’s divisional chief financial officer and three years as chief financial officer of Pizza Hut in the United Kingdom.
“We could not be more thrilled to have Larry join the El Pollo Loco team,” says Steve Sather, president and CEO, El Pollo Loco. “Over the course of his career, Larry has provided oversight and strategic financial direction for some of the world’s largest brands. He’s a highly qualified financial expert who embodies an entrepreneurial mindset coupled with a hands-on, get-the-job-done attitude. He is undoubtedly the right addition to our organization during this time of exceptional business performance.”
As CFO, Roberts will play a central role in financial strategy formulation and will partner with the rest of the senior leadership team to drive growth and increase profits for El Pollo Loco, which now boasts nearly 400 company and franchise-owned restaurants in five states.
He will also be responsible for investor relations, information technology, and risk management, among other duties.
“I’m very excited to take on the role of chief financial officer at El Pollo Loco,” Roberts says. “I’m eager to work alongside Steve and the El Pollo Loco executive team to continue driving the company forward with a strong financial strategy and an eye toward future growth.”
Roberts' nearly 30-year career of progressively responsible leadership roles for top-tier companies includes General Electric, Merck Pharmaceuticals, PepsiCo, and YUM! Brands.
In addition to his stint as chief operating officer of the KFC business at YUM! Brands, Roberts previously spent three years as KFC’s divisional CFO and three years as CFO of Pizza Hut in the United Kingdom.
Roberts will report directly to Sather and will serve as a member of the El Pollo Loco management team. He will operate out of the company’s Costa Mesa, California, office.