Pollo Tropical, Florida’s fast-casual concept known for its citrus-marinated, flame-grilled chicken and array of authentic sauces and sides, launches its expansion into Texas on March 28 with the opening of its first location in the state at 5290 Belt Line Road in Addison.


Pollo Tropical, founded in 1988 in Miami, has a history rooted in serving fresh, handcrafted food with the flavors of the Caribbean at affordable prices. Pollo Tropical’s menu is based on the islands’ melting pot of culinary cultures featuring tangy flavors using savory island spices, mixed herbs, and citrus. These are blended into rubs and marinades that enhance the flavors of fresh vegetables and meats such as pork, beef, and Pollo Tropical’s chicken dishes. The company has built its following on its famous fresh, never frozen grilled bone-in chicken that is marinated in a blend of tropical fruit juices and spices then flame grilled and served quartered or halved.


Pollo Tropical’s extensive menu includes platters, Create Your OwnTropiChops, sandwiches, salads, wraps, kids meals, and family meals. In addition to its signature bone-in chicken, Pollo Tropical offers boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast, Mojo Roast Pork, Grilled Tropical Wings, and made-from-scratch sides including rice, beans, yuca with garlic sauce, sweet plantains, and more. The restaurant uses ingredients that have zero added trans fats or hormones.


Pollo Tropical’s famous Saucing Island brings on the flavor – and a little heat – with 10 signature sauces, including Curry Mustard, Guava BBQ, Pineapple Rum, and Cilantro Garlic. The sauces allow diners to further customize their meals and tempt their taste buds with zesty, tropical flavors.


With the opening of our first Pollo Tropical in Texas, we want to win the hearts of Texans, share our passion for great island-inspired food and culture, and prove that ‘Life’s Better Under the Palm,’” says Pollo Tropical chief operating officer Danny Meisenheimer. “Pollo Tropical offers a uniquely tropical twist on fresh, healthy, hand-prepared foods. Our guests can visit every day to explore new items on the menu, and families can enjoy the convenience and variety of meal choices they feel better about eating.”


To complement its menu, Pollo Tropical also offers diners a variety of island-inspired beverages, ranging from a selection of Caribbean beers to coconut water and popular Refrescas in tropical breeze, mango peach and superfruit punch flavors. Diners can add Bacardi rum for a tropical cocktail or enjoy a Cuba Libre made with Coca-Cola and a fresh squeeze of lime.


Guests can watch as fresh food is prepared all day in the restaurant’s open kitchen. The 3,400-square-foot restaurant also features a design influenced by tropical blues and greens, island-inspired lighting and plants, indoor and patio seating with limited table service, and a drive-thru.


To serve its new Texas guests, the Addison restaurant will hire 45 team members. They will work side-by-side with long-time employees, many of whom bring their Caribbean and Central American culture and heritage to their special brand of hospitality, introducing Texas guests to the authentic Pollo Tropical experience. The company is actively recruiting for new management positions for the market. The restaurant is the first of 20-22 new restaurants the company plans to open in 2014 – many of them in Texas.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Pizza, Pollo Tropical