Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco is a fast-food restaurant chain and Mexican grilled chicken franchise, and may be the first Latin-American franchise to branch into the United States market. "El Pollo Loco" is Spanish for "The Crazy Chicken".
Juan Francisco Ochoa started the restaurant in Guasave, in 1975. By 1979, the chain had expanded over northern Mexico. In 1980, the first restaurant opened in Los Angeles, California. In 1983, the American restaurants in the chain were acquired by Denny's, with an agreement where the Ochoa family could operate the restaurants in Mexico.
There are some holes in the history presented at the El Pollo Loco website, however. The USPTO reports that El Pollo Loco's trademark was assigned from a Humberto Galvez to the El Pollo Loco corporation in 1981. El Pollo Loco joined the former Trans World Corporation with the rest of Denny's in 1987,but was sold as the holding company got rid of all its operations other than Denny's.
Humberto Galvez later started the Pescado Mojado chain of fish restaurants.
The El Pollo Loco chain operates in the Southwest and California. Their main dish is pollo asado, a grilled marinated chicken. Initially, their competition was with Kentucky Fried Chicken for plates of chicken, but today, they have expanded into burritos and salads, and serve items that compete with Taco Bell. Their primary competition appears to come from smaller mom-and-pop restaurants with copycat names.
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