At El Pollo Loco, pronounced “L Po-yo Lo-co” and Spanish for “The Crazy Chicken,” we go to crazy lengths for our signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken. First, we marinate fresh, whole chickens in a special recipe of herbs, spices, fruit juices and garlic. The whole chickens are then fire-grilled, hand-cut, and served with our chicken meals, burritos, salads, soups, tacos and quesadillas. And if that’s not enough, we apply that same passion to our handmade guacamole, salsas and dressings every day.
We’re dedicated to serving healthful, freshly prepared food hot off our open-flame grills from the skilled hands of our Grill Masters. But we’re not just dedicated to our delicious, authentic food. We’re dedicated to our customers—from our grill masters, who compete annually for the honor of being the best, to our cashiers, who want to make every customer experience count. We’re dedicated to our communities, too, whether it means volunteering in our local neighborhoods, running Fire-Grilled Fundraisers, or supporting those in need through our EPL Charities partnerships. And, of course, we’re dedicated to serving perfectly fire-grilled chicken every single day.Read Gary's Story
Gary Herrarte has been a fundamental part of the EPL team since 2002. Over the course of 12 years, Gary has gained a unique EPL experience working in various roles. Gary exemplifies the meaning of “hard work pays off” – he started as food prep crew member, was quickly promoted to Shift Leader, became an Assistant Manager and General Manager, then eventually moved up to General Training Manager. As a GTM, Gary feels privileged to help other employees learn the El Pollo Loco way and successfully move up the ranks. His favorite parts about working at El Pollo Loco are educating others about the company and getting involved in the community. Gary often lends a helping hand with EPL Charities and has served food for underprivileged children and families in Los Angeles. Gary’s continued dedication to El Pollo Loco and its neighboring communities are what make him a model employee.
In 1980, the very first American El Pollo Loco opened on Alvarado Street in Los Angeles where El Pollo Loco quickly became a local favorite. With authentically prepared flame-grilled, citrus-marinated chicken, freshly prepared ingredients and a welcoming atmosphere customers knew they had a unique dining experience unlike any other in their neighborhood. As word spread, so did our popularity and locations -- establishing El Pollo Loco as a true local brand throughout California.
While a lot has changed over the past few decades, El Pollo Loco’s commitment to fresh, authentically prepared food has not. And we’re just getting started because with each day that passes, we grow more and more passionate about our food.Learn more here.
1980: El Pollo Loco opened its first location on Alvarado Street in Los Angeles, CA and lines form around the block as the mesmerizing aroma of fresh chicken cooking on an open grill fills the air. Called El Pollo Loco or "The Crazy Chicken," the chicken restaurant features an authentic recipe for fresh chicken marinated in special herbs, spices, garlic and fruit juices, and then fire-grilled to perfection. The restaurant quickly becomes a local favorite.
1991: El Pollo Loco opens its 200th restaurant.
1993: El Pollo Loco expands its menu and debuts six new burritos in October. Lunch sales soar.
1994: El Pollo Loco adds self-serve salsa bars in all restaurants.
1995: On July 31, El Pollo Loco earns a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for building the world’s largest burrito in Anaheim, California. The burrito is 3,112 feet long and weighs two tons.
1996: In February, El Pollo Loco introduces the original Pollo Bowl®, a tasty combination of fire-grilled chicken, Spanish rice and pinto beans topped with onions, cilantro and salsa, with only 10 grams of fat.
1998: In October, El Pollo Loco introduces two new salsas–Avocado and Pico de Gallo–alongside its famous House Salsa. All are prepared fresh every day.
2005: In April, El Pollo Loco celebrates its 25th anniversary, introducing its first-ever Loco Value Menu.
2007: In January, El Pollo Loco appears on NBC TV’s hit show, The Apprentice: Los Angeles. Contestants compete by creating and selling versions of El Pollo Loco’s Pollo Bowl®.
2008: In July, El Pollo Loco captures first place in QSR Magazine’s 2008 Applied Technology Awards in the “Enduring Technology” category for implementation of its customer feedback program.
In September, El Pollo Loco debuts the Chicken Tortilla Roll, a tasty, portable entree served with a choice of dipping sauces.
2009: In April, El Pollo Loco’s “throwdown” with fast-food goliath KFC ruffles a few feathers when it launches an award-winning Taste the Fire® campaign and challenges KFC to a public taste test: El Pollo Loco’s fresh, natural, citrus-marinated chicken grilled to perfection over open flames vs. the fried chicken chain’s new “grilled” chicken cooked in an oven. KFC plays “chicken” and does not accept the challenge. El Pollo Loco’s hugely successful campaign brings forth a series of amusing television commercials and online videos, igniting what reporters have referred to as the “Chicken Wars.”
2010: El Pollo Loco is recognized by the World Franchising Network as a Top Franchise for Hispanics.
2012: In January, El Pollo Loco launched major remodel program that celebrates the brand’s heritage and updates the dining room and building exterior.
In March, El Pollo Loco began a series of popular limited time offerings including the upscale Roja Wet Burrito, Avocado Bacon Tostada with fresh slices of avocado, Pork Carnitas Tacos, Burritos and Quesadillas and the unique Stuffed Chicken Quesadillas.
2014: On July 25, trading of El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. commenced on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: LOCO)
El Pollo Loco, Inc.
3535 Harbor Blvd., Suite 100
Costa Mesa, CA 92626