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|Founded||Guasave, Sinaloa, 1975|
|Headquarters||Costa Mesa, California|
|Number of locations||450|
|Key people||Steve Sather, [President, CEO]|
|Products||Flame-grilled chicken and related Mexican food|
|Owner(s)||Trimaran Capital Partners|
El Pollo Loco's signature dish is pollo asado, a grilled marinated chicken. Over time, the chain has expanded into burritos and salads, and serves items that compete with Taco Bell, Del Taco, and other Mexican-style restaurants.
Juan Francisco Ochoa started the restaurant in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1975. By 1979, the chain had expanded throughout northern Mexico. In 1980, its first U.S. restaurant opened in Los Angeles, California, at 503 Alvarado Street, near Sixth Street. In 1983, the American restaurants in the chain were acquired by Denny's, with an agreement where the Ochoa family could continue operate the restaurants in Mexico. American Securities Capital Partners acquired El Pollo Loco in 1999, and sold it to current owner Trimaran Capital Partners in 2005.
In the U.S., the El Pollo Loco chain operates in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, California, and Illinois.
El Pollo Loco operated several restaurants in metro Atlanta, Georgia and in the Hampton Roads of Virginia; these closed by 2011. The chain's franchised restaurants in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area also closed in 2011. An El Pollo Loco in the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut closed in spring 2012.
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