El Pollo Loco unveiled a new logo Monday (March 12), its most significant visual change in 38 years. The 470-plus-unit chicken chain’s fresh imagery focuses on the brand’s defining trait—its chicken. The old logo was centered around the company’s name; the new one showcases a chicken at the center, with El Pollo Loco written at the top.
The company also switched the color scheme to a red and black visual, which El Pollo Loco said is inspired by the company’s Los Angeles roots and “commitment to offering fresh, authentic Mexican-inspired flavors.” It also pays homage to the past by keeping El Pollo Loco’s iconic typeface.
“Our new logo underscores the heart and soul of our brand—our signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken—and more cohesively aligns with the distinctiveness of the new ‘Vision Design’ restaurants, which showcase our quality, authenticity and [quick-service restaurant]-plus leadership,” said Ed Valle, chief marketing officer of El Pollo Loco, in a statement. “This update is another milestone in the company’s ongoing transformation and reinforces our promise to continually innovate, as we aim to not only provide our guests with the freshest, most delicious flavors, but also a great experience.”
The logo was designed by On the Edge, and continues El Pollo Loco’s brand evolution, which began with the “Vision Design” concept launch in December 2016. The rollout of this new logo started earlier in the month, and is being added to packaging, uniforms, communications, and digital experiences across the system.
El Pollo Loco is coming off a solid fourth quarter. Total revenue increased 2.9 percent to $95.2 million compared to $92.5 million in the prior-year period. System-wide comparable same-store sales increased 1.4 percent, year-over-year, including a 0.9 percent lift at company stores and a 1.9 percent boost at franchised units. El Pollo Loco expects to open 6–8 corporate stores and the same amount of franchised units in 2018.
Additionally, the chain brought back four of its fan-favorite menu items. The Signature Tostadas are available for a limited time.
Chicken & Shrimp
Chicken, shrimp, avocado, beans, sour cream, rice, cheese, pico de gallo
Double chicken, avocado, beans, sour cream, rice, cheese, pico de gallo
Chicken, avocado, bacon, beans, sour cream, rice, cheese, pico de gallo
Avocado Mango Chicken
Chicken, avocado, mango salsa, beans, rice, cotija, cilantro
El Pollo Loco is forging ahead with a new leader as well. In late February, the company announced that Bernard Acoca was named president and chief executive officer. He officially started his position Monday. Acoca succeeded Steve Sather, who previously announced his intent to retire in 2017.
Acoca joined El Pollo Loco after seven years with Starbucks. For the past two-plus years, Acoca served as president of Teavana, Starbucks’ global tea brand, where he was responsible for the overall operations of over 375 Teavana specialty retail stores in North America as well as its e-commerce business. During his tenure, he oversaw the expansion of the Teavana brand to 26,000 Starbucks stores globally and was in charge of evaluating the brand’s prospects and determining its strategy. Before that, Acoca served as senior vice president, Marketing & Category for the Americas, Starbucks’ largest region, where he was responsible for managing categories totaling $9 billion in sales. Additionally, he served as chief marketing officer for the Americas for L’Oréal and spent 10 years at YUM! brands in marketing roles of increasing responsibility.