El Pollo Loco

The Drive-Thru Performance Study

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Quick service restaurant brands enhance drive thru systems to improve operation.
El Pollo Loco employees tell customers what is in every bag they hand them to improve order accuracy in the drive thru. El Pollo Loco

A lot has been said about the dramatic transformation the limited-service restaurant industry has experienced in the last five to 10 years. Observers have noted a range of factors that have shoved along the change, from the pressures to offer healthier food to younger generations’ desire for more creative menu opportunities.

Next Market On Deck for El Pollo Loco? Houston

El Pollo Loco will expand its presence in Texas with the arrival of its newest location at 4528 Hwy 6 & Austin Pkwy in Sugar Land this October. This marks the brand’s first expansion into the Greater Houston market. The Sugar Land location will be the ninth El Pollo Loco restaurant in the Lone Star State, with eight others already located in the San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley areas.

Courting Calorie Counters

The nutritional value of limited-service restaurant food has been the topic of debate among consumers, critics, and operators for some time. Growing concerns over Americans’ high obesity levels have only heightened the debate, leading some observers to encourage increased governmental regulation of food, others to urge more focus on informed, unforced choice.

Much of the talk has been about calories, because consuming too many of those without accompanying exercise results in additional pounds.

El Pollo Loco Looks to Social Media Fans for Branding

Chicken chain El Pollo Loco is turning to its customers for its newest branding initiative. Capitalizing on its strong social media following, the chain is taking submissions via Twitter and Facebook for its #CrazyYouCanWear slogan competition—the winning slogan will be featured on El Pollo Loco’s new crew uniforms come fall.

“We have the best, most loyal social media community out there, and we’re really excited to call on them to crowd source some new ideas for our new uniforms,” says Mark Hardison, the brand’s vice president of marketing.

El Pollo Loco Honors Outstanding Franchisees

El Pollo Loco presented Lee Alvarez Sr., Rafael Armenta, Bill Engel, Chris Pingel, and Roland Spongberg with the company’s Heritage Award. Given to select franchisees who contribute to the success of the fire-grilled chicken chain in meaningful ways, the Heritage Award was presented by El Pollo Loco president and CEO Steve Sather during the company’s recent Leadership Conference in Indian Wells, California.

Quick Serves Ring in New Year with Renewed Focus on Health

Asparagus, Mushroom & Swiss Breakfast Sandwich Einstein Bros. Bagels

The limited-service restaurant industry is cashing in on diners’ New Year’s resolutions for healthy eating in a big way. At bagel concept Einstein Bros. Bagels, for example, January 1 marked renewed focus on the brand’s Smart Choices menu, which boasts a selection of better-for-you alternatives with less than 350 calories and 15 grams of fat.

El Pollo Loco Thanks Priority Pak for Services

Priority Pak, a fulfillment, direct mail, and printing company based in Arleta, California, has stored, assembled, and shipped promotional marketing, operational, human resources, and training materials for El Pollo Loco for eight years, and the quick serve has thanked Priority Pak for its contribution.

During a recent Leadership Conference held in Palm Springs, Priority Pak was presented with an Award of Excellence from El Pollo Loco for creating plans that support and implement distribution accuracy and cost recovery for the company and it nearly 400 restaurants.

El Pollo Loco Beefs Up Entrées

El Pollo Loco unveiled a new line-up of limited-time-only entrées featuring shredded beef available in three varieties: Torta, Grande Tacos, and Stuffed Quesadilla. Each entrée features beef that has been slow-simmered in spices, including a stew of tomatoes, onions, garlic, cumin, chipotle peppers, chiles, and Mexican oregano, then shredded to order.

Poultry Goes Premium

For some brands, losing the long-held title of No. 1 limited-service chicken chain would feel defeating. But when KFC gave up its leading role this year to fellow quick serve Chick-fil-A, it wasted no time in getting back on its feet by introducing Original Recipe Boneless Chicken—a platform it hopes to make the brand’s biggest focus over the next few years—and, perhaps most noteworthy, by unleashing KFC eleven.

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