El Pollo Loco, Inc., the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, announced the signing of a multi-unit development deal for four restaurants in metro Seattle, particularly across Pierce County and south King County.

The restaurants will be owned and operated by Jean-Paul Pirio, a more than 20-year restaurant industry veteran who already owns five restaurants and bars throughout the south Puget Sound,including JP’s Tap Room in Kent, Time Out Ale House in Federal Way and Hy Iu Hee Hee in Gig Harbor.

“Restaurants are all I’ve done my whole life. My first job ever was restaurants. All I’ve ever known was waiting tables, busing tables…,” says Pirio. “When I began researching different franchise opportunities, I was looking for a unique concept with a rich tradition that had the ability to bring people together around food, family and culture. I found the perfect match with El Pollo Loco and can’t wait to introduce local customers to the brand’s signature chicken, handcrafted Mexican entrees and assortment of healthy offerings.”

While leases have yet to be signed, Pirio is eyeing Federal Way, Kent, Tacoma and Puyallup, among other areas, for potential sites.

“Jean-Paul is an experienced restaurateur and we’re honored to partner with such an inspiring and well-known individual in the Seattle community,” says Brian Carmichall, El Pollo Loco’s Chief Development Officer. “El Pollo Loco’s proven business model paired with the industry know-how of a seasoned pro like Jean-Paul is a winning combination, and we’re confident his locations will thrive.”

Pirio’s restaurants will feature a new El Pollo Loco 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, as well as a drive-thru and designated curbside pick-up parking.

The restaurants will also feature an enhanced digitized experience – including “Pollo To Go” cubbies for mobile to-go and delivery orders, digital menu boards and GPS-enabled curbside pick-up, all integrated with the company’s dynamic and versatile mobile app.

Fast Casual, Franchising, Growth, News, El Pollo Loco