El Pollo Loco will expand its presence in Texas with the arrival of its newest location at 4528 Hwy 6 & Austin Pkwy in Sugar Land this October. This marks the brand’s first expansion into the Greater Houston market. The Sugar Land location will be the ninth El Pollo Loco restaurant in the Lone Star State, with eight others already located in the San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley areas.
El Pollo Loco has identified an initial 80 trade areas in Houston for potential restaurant development by the company and existing and new franchisees. There are more than 20 restaurant sites in various stages of negotiation for company operation.
“Greater Houston is among the country’s fastest growing, most diverse metropolitan areas with residents who are passionate about ethnic cuisines, making it a natural fit for our brand’s expansion,” says Kay Bogeajis, chief operating officer at El Pollo Loco. “We offer guests something a little different than many other restaurants available in the market; we call it ‘QSR-plus.’ It’s the place where the need for distinctive, authentic food meets today’s need for speed; the ‘plus’ means better service, better food, and better environment. We can’t wait to introduce Houstonians to El Pollo Loco this fall and demonstrate our points of differentiation.”
According to the US Census Bureau, the Bayou City is the most racially and ethnically diverse large metropolitan area in the U.S., and the second fastest growing city in the country, by number of residents, second only to New York City. Furthermore, a recent survey from Zagat found that Houstonians eat away from home more than any other U.S. city at 5.5 times per week, compared with the national average of 4.4 times per week.
El Pollo Loco opened its first U.S. restaurant in 1980 in Los Angeles. Featuring an authentic recipe for citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken, the restaurant quickly became a local favorite. Today, El Pollo Loco operates more than 400 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.