Pollo Campero, the world's largest Latin chicken restaurant brand, announced its strong performance for 2016, marking the fifth consecutive year the Latin chicken chain has posted positive sales growth, and the first time the company surpassed $100 million in sales in the United States. The news comes as Campero looks to continue its sales momentum in 2017, while enhancing its Latin menu and expanding its restaurant footprint.
"We couldn't be more excited to have seen another year of solid growth," says Tim Pulido, president and CEO of Pollo Campero International. "To see growth at a time when the restaurant industry is struggling is already a positive, but to experience 20 straight quarters with an average 8 percent growth rate is hard to do—we are extremely proud of the work we have done."
"Besides the challenging state of the industry, we knew we were rolling over double digit comparable growth from 2015, so it was important to us to remain focused on our strategic growth avenues to maintain our momentum," shared Pulido. In 2015, the brand posted 10 percent same-store sales growth, the brand has averaged an 8% comparable sales growth since 2012. "Growing our existing stores at an 8 percent rate, while growing our restaurant units by 16 percent and total sales by 24 percent, is a feat we are extremely proud of—especially when we opened new stores in existing markets."
Pollo Campero has focused on strengthening its Latin positioning and attention on millennials to maintain its brand momentum. From menu and new product innovation, technology and new brand image, Campero continues to fuel its growth by growing its millennial customer base.
"We focused on enhancing the Campero experience, providing unique Latin meals at a good value, combined with investments in technology and innovation—everything played an important role in Campero's growing popularity among millennials," says Federico Valiente, Pollo Campero International brand lead. "Right now, millennials make up 64 percent of Campero's customer base and as we look ahead, we remain focused on understanding their evolving needs to deliver an attractive and relevant value proposition."
Looking into 2017 and beyond, Pollo Campero has bold plans as it sets out to grow the brand in the United States. "We are in the midst of a very exciting time in this company's growth," says Pulido. "Our goal is to double the size of the business in the next three years. It's an ambitious plan, but we feel we have the pieces and people in place to reach that goal."
Campero's growth plan includes expansion via company-owned restaurants and franchising. As the brand sets out to double the size of its U.S. footprint, it will remain focused on select markets across the country. One of the company's biggest initiatives for 2017 is to build its franchise pipeline as it looks to aggressively expand its franchise network in California, South Texas, New Jersey and Atlanta. "We have developed an attractive value proposition for prospective franchisees. As we build our franchise network, we place special emphasis on making sure new franchisees are a good fit for our brand beyond financials, to ensure we deliver the right experience for our guests, to fuel our momentum and achieve our ambitious goals," says Pulido.