Julie Weeks, VP of Communications, El Pollo Loco
Healthy Dining (HD): Before “healthy” was really a trend in the restaurant industry, El Pollo Loco was making it delicious. How did that simple, healthy idea grow into the company it is today?
Julie Weeks (JW): “Our restaurant was founded in Mexico, with a family recipe. It was simple and it was delicious and it grew from there. We noticed long ago, almost from the beginning, that not only was our citrus-marinated and flame-grilled fresh chicken tasty enough to create raving fans, it was also a healthful point of difference that set us apart from other fast food chains. It’s this difference that has helped define who we are and where we’re going as a company. El Pollo Loco has always offered quick and convenient food for individuals and families alike; we’ve just done it in our own healthful way.”
HD: How does El Pollo Loco continue to stand out from the crowd as the health trend grows?
JW: “We see more and more customers demanding healthier options, and we embrace every opportunity to bring them through our doors. That means we offer the favorites they’ve come to expect and continue to create new and healthful items for them to love. El Pollo Loco also offers plenty of options, such as fresh salsas, a light version of our popular Creamy Cilantro dressing, and special requests, such as Chicken Tortilla Soup without tortilla strips and our famous Citrus-Marinated, Flame-Grilled Chicken, skinless. For guests who want to make informed decisions about what they eat ahead of time, we offer a nutrition calculator online and promote a variety of different items through the Healthy Dining Program. It’s about growing in a way that doesn’t lose sight of what made us unique in the first place.”
HD: How has El Pollo Loco used the Healthy Dining Program over the years?
JW: “El Pollo Loco joined the original, Southern California-based Healthy Dining Program in January of 2003 because it truly compliments our brand. We have taken full advantage of the program over the years, participating in many community events, including the California Dietetic Association’s annual conference, where we provided samples of our Healthy Dining endorsed menu items. We promote our participation in Healthy Dining with window stickers, brochures, logos on the menu, and coupons and offers for Healthy Dining-endorsed items at El Pollo Loco. We have found that it’s a great way to engage in the community, while introducing guests and potential guests to El Pollo Loco and everything we have to offer.”
Read more about El Pollo Loco’s history on their website here