Pollo Tropical

Taco Cabana, Pollo Tropical Share Pad Site in San Antonio

Pollo Tropical, Florida’s fast-casual concept, continues its Texas expansion with the opening of its first San Antonio location. It will share its grand opening celebration and adjacent pad site at 6819 N. Loop 1604 W. with the newest location of its sister restaurant, San Antonio’s Taco Cabana, which will debut its new prototype restaurant design.

Fit for a Fiesta

Like a tropical storm, many different elements came together in 2013 to create a standout year for Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent company to fast-casual brands Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana. After years of climbing sales and store counts, tinkering with the store design and menu, and strategic growth and marketing initiatives, both brands landed on the Contenders list for the first time, Pollo Tropical at No. 62, Taco Cabana at No. 64.

But while the two brands share a parent company, they don’t share many other resources or even markets. Not yet, anyway.

NBA Finals Ignite Restaurant Rivalry

The NBA Finals repeat between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs have given two Fiesta Restaurant Group COOs a reason to renew a sibling-restaurant rivalry of their own.

San Antonio-based Taco Cabana COO Todd Coerver and Miami-based Pollo Tropical COO Danny Meisenheimer are wagering that their respective hometown will win the finals. The losing city's COO will have to go to the winner's city and work a busy three-hour lunch shift in a  "superfan" uniform designed by the winning city's home office.

Good Stock

Limited-service companies enjoyed a big year on the stock market in 2013.

Pollo Tropical parent Fiesta Restaurant Group topped quick serve stock prices.
Pollo Tropical parent company Fiesta Restaurant Group was the best performing quick-serve stock last year.

During any given year, a restaurant company that records a 50 percent increase in its stock price could expect to crow pretty loudly about the accomplishment. But even that type of gain wasn’t good enough to crack the top 10 among publicly held limited-service restaurant operators in 2013, as equities market soared.

“It’s been a very good year for the market and for many restaurant companies,” says R.J. Hottovy, a dining industry analyst at Chicago’s investment firm Morningstar. “There were some pockets of weakness, but most restaurant [stock] values have had good gains.”

Pollo Tropical To Break Ground on First Texas Location

Pollo Tropical, the Caribbean-inspired fast-casual concept, will break ground on its first Texas location on Monday, November 18.

The 3,400-square-foot restaurant will be built at 5290 Belt Line Road, with a planned opening in April 2014. It is located near the corporate offices of parent company, Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc., which also owns the Taco Cabana brand.

Miami-based Pollo Tropical has more than 100 locations in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, plus more than 30 international franchised locations. The company plans to open 20 to 22 new restaurants in 2014.

Breaking Up Is Not Hard to Do

Sometimes, parting ways can be advantageous.

In May 2012, Fiesta Restaurant Group, owner of fast-casual brands Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana, split from Carrols Restaurant Group, the nation’s largest Burger King franchisee. Fortunately, there were no hard feelings.

“Originally, the idea was that the three companies would be worth more separate than they were together,” says Fiesta Restaurant Group CEO Tim Taft. “Since then, that thesis has been proven correct in light of the stock performance of both companies.”

Pollo Tropical Plays with Pineapple for Latest LTO

Pineapple is the newest star in the Pollo Tropical kitchens, as the brand introduces its Tangy Pineapple Chicken Wrap and Tangy Pineapple Chicken Salad.

The Tangy Pineapple Chicken Wrap features pineapple grilled with olive oil, cumin, and a hint of black pepper; marinated then flame-grilled chicken breast; Monterey Jack Cheese and Chipotle Mayo wrapped in a thin flatbread, then finished on the Pollo Tropical grill press.

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