El Pollo Loco, the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, is eliminating its use of Styrofoam and continuing its improvements to customers’ off-premises dining experience with a system-wide rollout of clear, eco-conscious Thermo-To-Go packaging that keeps food hotter for a fresh-from-the-grill taste in every bite.
“El Pollo Loco is committed to enhancing the convenience and overall experience of off-premises dining, which continues to grow exponentially and currently comprises the bulk of our business,” El Pollo Loco President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Acoca says. “Not only is our new Thermo-To-Go packaging better for the environment, but it’s also sturdier and has an appealing aesthetic that showcases our delicious food while preserving heat and quality.”
The transition to the Thermo-To-Go containers, which are made from partially recycled materials, will remove 1.9 million cubic feet of Styrofoam — the equivalent of 21 Olympic-size swimming pools — from the national waste stream annually.
El Pollo Loco’s off-premises business has burgeoned since 2019, with delivery sales jumping by 250 percent and its already robust drive-thru business growing by 43 percent. In the last year, El Pollo Loco has introduced GPS-enabled curbside pickup, drive-thru enhancements and other improvements to its off-premises offerings as part of its ongoing digital transformation strategy; however, the pandemic-induced growth in off-premises business served as further incentive to accelerate the rollout of additional upgrades, including the move to better packaging.
The new Thermo-To-Go packaging is a continuation of El Pollo Loco’s commitment to being an industry leader in safe and reliable off-premises dining, which it kicked off with its switch to tamper-free, sealable delivery bags at the start of the pandemic. It also aligns with El Pollo Loco’s recent adoption of a modern, design-forward approach that complements its high-quality food and offers customers an exceptional and enjoyable experience at every touchpoint.
El Pollo Loco’s Tostadas switched to Thermo-To-Go packaging in late April and the restaurant’s famous Fire-grilled Chicken will be sold in the new containers system-wide by the end of May.