El Pollo Loco Franchise Cost, Profit & Failure Rate 2024

El Pollo Loco is a Mexican-style restaurant chain known for its grilled chicken.

El Pollo Loco may be the appropriate spot to invest your money if you’re willing to diversify your portfolio and get into franchising.

Here we have discussed some important points related to this El Pollo Loco that will help you understand franchise policies.

El Pollo Loco Franchise

About El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco’s narrative is unlike that of other successful American restaurant chains.

The brand, which specializes in Mexican-style flame-grilled chicken dishes, began in Mexico and quickly grew throughout the country before crossing the border and establishing its first American branch in Los Angeles.

El Pollo Loco has grown in popularity since then, primarily in the American Southwest.

El Pollo Loco has also diversified its menu, adding burritos and salads to compete with Taco Bell and Del Taco franchise cost and menu variety, as well as other Mexican-style restaurant chains. And there’s always El Pollo Loco’s famous salsa bar, with daily fresh salsas.

El Pollo Loco History

Juan Francisco Ochoa started El Pollo Loco as a roadside chicken stands in the little town of Guasave, Mexico, on the Pacific Coast, with a simple menu of fresh chicken marinated in specific herbs, spices, and citrus juices, and Ochoa family recipe, then flame-grilled to perfection.

The restaurant immediately became a local staple, with multiple sites around Northern Mexico.

The first El Pollo Loco opened in Los Angeles in 1980. Denny purchased the American restaurants in the group in 1983, leaving the Ochoas to oversee the Mexican chain.

Since 2005, the chain has changed hands twice and is now owned by Trimaran Capital Partners. There are about 450 outlets under the name.

El Pollo Loco Franchise Model

Cost Or FeesAmount
Investment$782K – $2.1M
Franchise fee$40,000
Royalty fee4%
Area RequirementN/A
Total Outlets450

El Pollo Loco Franchise Revenue & Profit

El Pollo Loco is an extremely profitable business opportunity for the franchisor, with retained earnings of $29.12 million in 2021. Compared to the earnings of $24.90 million in the previous year, they saw an increase of 17%, which indicates positive growth for the company. 

Business Opportunity

El Pollo Loco has received various awards and distinctions, including being voted “Best Chicken Place” by Orange County Register voters for nine straight years.

And being named to Franchise Times and Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 lists, to mention a few.

Marketing & Operation Support

They give franchise operations assistance via their Franchise Company Managers, who assist new franchisees in learning about and implementing critical business procedures.

El Pollo Loco’s marketing staff of seasoned administrators and management is committed to offering first-class marketing support, as well as a full range of focused marketing tools and marketing programs, in order to raise awareness and attract buyers into their restaurants.

El Pollo Loco Real Estate & Training 

Their skilled real estate team will help you to discover the finest possible sites for your restaurants through market planning and site selection.

Their franchise training specialists provide seven weeks of pre-opening training to new franchisees and restaurant managers, as well as ongoing training for crew and management.

El Pollo Loco Location

Their team is dedicated to assisting franchisees in locating the most suitable locations for new businesses.

When suitable sites are submitted, their real estate experts will analyze all relevant site information to assist in the selection of the ideal location.

Failure Rate Of El Pollo Loco

Franchised Outlets:

YearOutlets at the Start of the YearOutlets at the End of the YearNet Change

For the Franchised outlets:

  • In 2012, the failure rate was (0)/229×100≈0.00%
  • In 2013, the growth rate was (4)/229×100≈1.74%
  • In 2021, the growth rate was (10)/233×100≈4.29%

Company-Owned Outlets:

YearOutlets at the Start of the YearOutlets at the End of the YearNet Change

For the Company-Owned outlets:

  • In 2012, the growth rate was (4)/165×100≈2.42%
  • In 2013, the failure rate was (1)/169×100≈0.59%
  • In 2014, the growth rate was (4)/168×100≈2.38%

Total Outlets:

YearOutlets at the Start of the YearOutlets at the End of the YearNet Change

For Total outlets:

  • In 2012, the growth rate was (4)/394×100≈1.01%
  • In 2013, the growth rate was (3)/398×100≈0.75%
  • In 2014, the growth rate was (14)/401×100≈3.49%

According to the above-mentioned data, there is no failure rate for franchised outlets as the outlets at the end of the year increased during the span of 3 years.

We can see that the franchised outlets for El Pollo Loco grew from 2013 to 2014, showing a growth rate between 1.74% and 4.29%.

On the other hand, for company-owned outlets, the failure rate of El Pollo Loco was lying in the range between 2.42% and 2.38% for the same period of time. In 2013, the company experienced failure rate of 0.59%.

Overall, when we combine the data of franchise and company-owned outlets, we can see that the El Pollo Loco franchise has expanded in the years 2012-2014 showing a total growth rate between 1.01% and 3.49%.

El Pollo Loco Financial Requirement

El Pollo Loco mandates that franchisees have at least five years of experience in the restaurant sector as an owner or operators/managers.

They also need that the potential franchisee lives in the El Pollo Loco development region so that they can operate the branch daily.

Aspiring entrepreneurs in the restaurant franchise realm have choices like Golden Krust, Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise, Auntie Anne’s, Mission BBQ, and Wahlburgers Franchise to consider.

El Pollo Loco Comparison

CompanyEl Pollo LocoChipotle  
Founded In19801993  
Initial Investment$782K – $2.1M$800,000 – $1,000,000  
Franchise-Fee$40,000$20,000 to $75,000  
Total Outlets4502189
Annual Revenue$96.4 Million $5 billion 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is El Pollo loco owned by?

How many chickens does El Pollo use a day?

147 full chickens

Who is the CEO of El Pollo Loco?

Bernard Acoca is the CEO of El Pollo Loco.

Does El Pollo Loco Offer Franchises?

El Pollo Loco is a Mexican-style restaurant known for its grilled chicken, and yes, it offers franchises.

How much does an El Pollo Loco Franchise Cost?

El Pollo Loco requires a franchise fee of $40,000, with an initial investment range of $782K – $2.1M.

Where is the headquarters of El Pollo Loco?

El Pollo Loco headquarters is located in Costa Mesa, California, United States.

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