El Pollo Loco, Inc., the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by encouraging its familia of fans to explore the expansiveness of Hispanic cuisine beyond the taco that most associate with Hispanic culture. Mexican cuisine alone is broadly representative of the regional ingredients, resources, cooking methods and people that live within the country’s various states. El Pollo Loco, a brand founded in Sinaloa, is uniquely positioned to foster this conversation around narrow views of Mexican and Hispanic cuisine by highlighting its own roots.
The month-long celebration is kicking off with an event at LA Plaza Cocina– a museum dedicated to showcasing the History of Mexican food and founded on the principle that Mexican culture is so much #MoreThanTacos. On the evening of Tuesday, September 13, El Pollo Loco is hosting fans and influential guests to explore the diversity of Mexican food, with a menu prepared by renowned Chef Gilberto Cetina and spirits provided by Tequila Bribón and Gracias a Dios Mezcal. As part of the experience, Chef Cetina will demo a variety of delicious dishes beyond tacos representing various regions of Mexico.
“I have developed the menu for our celebration in partnership with El Pollo Loco specifically to represent the many states of Mexico, the unique ingredients that are naturally available, staples like corn and chiles, and the cooking methods that are traditionally used," says Chef Cetina. “This is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to my own roots and partner with a brand my family enjoys regularly. I am proud to be embraced by the El Pollo Loco familia for this important event.”
"Honoring the past and inspiring the future of Mexican cuisine and culture is central to our mission and allows us to elevate how our communities and their enduring cultural influence on the city of Los Angeles go well beyond popular culinary staples like tacos and burritos,” says Ximena Martin, director of programming and culinary arts at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. “We join El Pollo Loco in this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration to collectively help address and dismantle stereotypes that often reduce Latinos to just food.”
El Pollo Loco’s Hispanic Heritage Month festivities will continue with a series of TikTok influencer partnerships representing various cultures and flavors within the diaspora. Creators will be strategically selected to amplify a broader representation of people with Hispanic roots and drive home that Hispanics are #MoreThanTacos. Viewers will be able to tune in on TikTok throughout the month as the creators share video content showcasing their favorite dishes which represent their country of origin and family traditions.
“While we love tacos at El Pollo Loco, the reality is that Hispanic food is often pigeonholed as just that,” says Vice President of Digital Gabe Alonso. “Making a very intentional effort to address the fixed view that many people have of Mexican and Hispanic food is an important step in opening up conversation about the richness and diversity of the Hispanic community while spotlighting the many other dishes and flavors that are worth exploring and inform the menu at El Pollo Loco.”
An approaching moment during Hispanic Heritage Month is National Taco Day on October 4. In committing to furthering the conversation around the vast range of dishes and flavors which have inspired the El Pollo Loco menu and American food scene at large, El Pollo Loco is forgoing its traditional National Taco Day promotion this year. El Pollo Loco will encourage its familia of fans and customers to try different dishes on the holiday, challenging the tokenization of the taco and underlining that Hispanic culture is #MoreThanTacos. Further details on El Pollo Loco’s plans for National Taco Day will be announced in the coming weeks.