A California-based chicken chain sees Houston as its next growth market. Loco El Pollo plans to open 15 new locations in the Houston area over the next few years, which would more than double the chain’s presence in the city of Bayou.
Known for its Mexican-style chicken which uses a citrus marinade and is grilled over an open fire, El Pollo Loco also serves a range of other Mexican-inspired dishes made with fresh ingredients. Chicken is used in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, bowls and more. There is a menu section for options for those on keto and other low-carb diets.
“We are excited to continue to grow our presence in Houston and bring El Pollo Loco’s signature chicken, artisanal Mexican dishes and an assortment of healthy offerings to even more local communities,” said Brian Carmichall, Director development, in a press release. âThe announcement of the expansion and the impending growth of the units will appeal to the growing number of consumers looking for healthier options; growing consumer demand for bolder and spicier flavors; and experienced franchisees eager to be part of a strong franchise family.
Part of the restaurant’s growth will be fueled by two prototypes that were created to meet the growth of off-premises dining. The first does not offer seats inside; instead, it has a take-out window, double drive-thru, parking for curbside pickup, and patio seating. The second has a small indoor dining area with a larger outdoor patio, double drive-thru, and curbside pickup spaces. Both versions aim to take advantage of order growth through the company’s app.
Expanding its presence in Houston is only one aspect of the company’s growth strategy. Currently at approximately 500 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Louisiana, El Pollo Loco plans to add 140 new stores by 2026, according to a press release. .
Teresa Gubbins contributed to this article.