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El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco Franchise

El Pollo Loco has a story distinct from most successful restaurant brands in America. The chain, which specializes in Mexican-style flame-grilled chicken dishes, originated in Mexico and spread through the northern part of the country before moving north across the border and opening its first American location in Los Angeles. From that foray, El Pollo Loco has continued to spread, mostly across the American Southwest. El Pollo Loco has also expanded its menu, venturing into burritos and salads and becoming a competitor with other Mexican-style restaurant brands, such as Taco Bell and Del Taco. And always, there has been El Pollo Locos famous salsa bar, with fresh salsas made daily. More about the cost of owning a El Pollo Loco franchise below.

Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
Net worth required
$502,000 - $1,100,000
Franchise fee
Units in operation


El Pollo Loco, which is Spanish for “The Crazy Chicken,” operates a 14-hour day, serving 50% lunch and 50% dinner customers. The company seeks franchisees to invest in multi-unit agreements, preferably a minimum of three locations in a 48-month period. El Pollo Loco corporation has built a strong business model with great potential for return-on-investment. The restaurant company is the nation’s leading quick-service chain specializing in flame-grilled chicken.

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El Pollo Loco Franchise Opportunities – History

El Pollo Loco began as a roadside chicken stand opened by Juan Francisco Ochoa in the small town of Guasave, Mexico, on the Pacific Coast, featuring a simple menu of fresh chicken marinated in special herbs, spices and citrus juices, an Ochoa family recipe, then flame-grilled to perfection. The restaurant quickly became a local favorite and grew to several locations in Northern Mexico. In 1980, the first El Pollo Loco opened in Los Angeles. In 1983, the American restaurants in the chain were acquired by Denny’s, leaving the Ochoas to run the Mexican chain. The chain has switched ownership twice since and is now owned by Trimaran Capital Partners, since 2005. The brand numbers more than 450 locations.

El Pollo Loco Franchise Cost, Total Investment and Royalties

The franchise fee to join El Pollo Loco is $40,000. The total investment to open an El Pollo Loco franchise ranges from $505,000 to $1.1 million. Financing is available from the company. A 4% royalty fee of monthly receipts is paid to the parent company.

El Pollo Loco Franchise Business Opportunities: Other Information

El Pollo Loco boasts numerous awards and accolades, including being voted “Best Chicken Place” for nine consecutive years by readers of the Orange County Register, and named to the lists of Top 200 Restaurants by Franchise Times and Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500, to name only a few.


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