El Pollo Loco celebrated the grand opening of its newest location in Edinburg, Texas, on December 18. The new restaurant, located at 2808 W University Drive., is owned and operated by local franchisees Mark Wright, Wayne Pearson, and partners, and it is their third El Pollo Loco restaurant in the Rio Grande Valley. The new Edinburg restaurant hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening celebrations.

"We are pleased to open this new Edinburg restaurant and have the opportunity to offer customers fresh and healthy menu items and provide jobs to area residents," says Mark Wright at the ribbon cutting ceremony this afternoon. "Our group is excited to be involved with this strong and growing brand and we look forward to opening additional El Pollo Loco restaurants in the region."

The new Edinburg location is the 12th in the state of Texas, and franchisees Wright, Pearson, and partners have plans for three additional sites in the next two years. El Pollo Loco has more than 400 company and franchise restaurant locations in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and Texas.

"We are thrilled to open a new restaurant in Edinburg, Texas, and continue to expand our brand with franchisees Mark Wright, Wayne Pearson, and partners, who currently have three El Pollo Loco restaurants with three more in development in South Texas, scheduled to open in 2015," says Mark A. Belanger, CFE, vice president of franchise at El Pollo Loco. "As part of our strategic growth plan, we seek strong franchisees like Mr. Wright and Mr. Pearson who are a vital part in furthering the company's growth in key markets such as Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah, as well as other key markets."

The approximately 2,900-square-foot Edinburg El Pollo Loco has seating for 72 guests inside the dining room and incorporates the brand's hacienda design, which features an open kitchen layout designed for customers to watch the signature chicken as it is grilled. The restaurant is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, El Pollo Loco