200th Store While O! Deli trys to get a toehold in Orange County, El Pollo Loco is about to open its 200th store. The "store of significance," as the company calls it, is situated on Yorba Linda Boulevard in Yorba Linda and opens Wednesday.
The new store is in keeping with a corporate plan laid out five years ago that called for 200 stores by 1990. "With the opening of the Yorba Linda El Pollo Loco, we will have achieved a benchmark in our development plan," said James Verney, president of El Pollo Loco.
The chain, which is owned by Denny's Inc. of Irvine, operates exclusively in sun-belt states where it can capitalize on its Spanish name, Mexican heritage and California's health-conscious consumers.
One recent study, however, questioned whether El Pollo Loco's grilled, marinated chicken is much lower in fat and calories than fried chicken. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which conducted the study using data supplied by fast-food firms, found it was 9.5% lower in calories and 2% lower in fat than the fried chicken sold at the Kentucky Fried Chicken chain.
El Pollo could not be reached for comment.
Still, El Pollo Loco remains the nation's fastest-growing chain of chicken restaurants.