El Pollo Loco, Inc., the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, announced today it has signed an eight restaurant franchise agreement to develop the Kansas City area, as well as other parts of Kansas and Missouri over the next 10 years.
The agreement has been signed with new franchisee EPL Missouri LLC, whose leadership team possesses more than 50 years of combined retail experience in the restaurant, grocery, liquor and gas station spaces. The group is initially focusing its attention on the Kansas City metro area for potential sites.
“Kansas and Missouri are untapped markets for El Pollo Loco, and we’re so excited to have the opportunity to get involved with the brand in the early stages of its regional expansion,” says Shawn Choudry, one of the partners of EPL Missouri LLC. “The brand is iconic and the menu is different and better than typical fast food. This is certainly a place that has the right recipe for success.”
The expansion announcement comes at a time when El Pollo Loco is aggressively looking to expand its national footprint over the next several years. The company is currently focused on identifying qualified multi-unit franchisees for development opportunities in various parts of the United States with special focus on the Northwest, Southwest and Midwest.
The new restaurants will introduce El Pollo Loco’s new prototype design geared to meet the demands of the company’s off-premise business. Included in the design will be a dining room that potentially opens up to a patio area, digital menu boards, drive-thrus and “Pollo To-Go” cubbies for mobile to-go and delivery orders. Each restaurant will occupy approximately 2,400 square feet of real estate and employ as many as 50 people.
At El Pollo Loco, the chicken is marinated in-house daily with a proprietary recipe of citrus, garlic and spice, fire-grilled over an open flame and hand-cut to order. The freshly grilled chicken serves as the base for an authentic selection of dishes, including individual or family chicken meals, bowls, burritos and salads. The brand is well-known for a range of flavorful menu items that are made fresh daily and offer customers affordable, healthier alternatives versus typical fast food.
“We are thrilled to partner with EPL Missouri LLC to expand our reach into Kansas and Missouri," says El Pollo Loco CEO Larry Roberts. “We are building on the momentum of our core business and firmly establishing the foundation for successful growth. We continue to see interest from both existing and new franchisees to bring El Pollo Loco to new markets and look forward to working with them as we look to expand across the U.S.”