COSTA MESA, CALIF. — Quick-service, chicken restaurant chain El Pollo Loco Inc. announced a recent deal signed with Bunch of Pollo Inc. that will bring five new locations to Northern California and Southern Oregon over the next few years. Bunch of Pollo is a franchise group whose partners operate QSR West, a franchise with more than 70 Burger King restaurants across the region.

“El Pollo Loco’s unparalleled support system and outstanding corporate team made it the obvious choice for us when we decided it was time to diversify our portfolio,” said Amir Sahebalzamany, Bunch of Pollo president. “Much of the brand’s growth over the past few years has been fueled by existing franchisees, which speaks volumes to how the company goes above and beyond to ensure their operators succeed. Both Northern California and Southern Oregon are booming markets with unlimited potential for success, and we look forward to bringing the El Pollo Loco brand to these thriving communities.”

Sahebalzamany expects the group’s first El Pollo Loco franchise to open in early 2023.

The restaurants will feature a new El Pollo Loco prototype design. Design plans include a dining room, an optional patio and a dual drive-thru in addition to digital enhancements, such as the “Pollo To Go” cubbies for mobile orders, digital menu boards and GPS-enabled curbside pick-up.

“We are in a robust period of growth in terms of franchising, and we are beyond excited to have such an experienced franchise partner like Bunch of Pollo Inc. on board to grow with us,” said Brian Carmichall, El Pollo Loco’s chief development officer. “We look forward to the positive impact their new locations will have on the communities they’ll serve and can't wait for them to open their doors. The next few years are going to be extremely exciting.”

Since 1980, El Pollo Loco has opened 485 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Louisiana. The company added that it is looking to expand its national footprint by 140 restaurants with existing and new franchisees.