Southwestern chain El Pollo Loco taps Zeno Group

COSTA MESA, CA: Chicken restaurant chain El Pollo Loco has selected Zeno Group as its first PR AOR following a competitive review.

COSTA MESA, CA: Chicken restaurant chain El Pollo Loco has selected Zeno Group as its first PR AOR following a competitive review.

The company, which started as a roadside chicken stand in Mexico in 1975, operates about 400 restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. 

The RFP involved four agencies, and two firms made it to the final round, said Ed Valle, CMO of El Pollo Loco. He declined to name the other agencies in the review or disclose budget information.

Zeno is handling both consumer and corporate PR, and it will work closely with El Pollo Loco's marketing team. Valle said the company chose Zeno because its team is “strategic and creative” and has a comprehensive view of marketing and communications.

One of Zeno's main objectives is to raise awareness of the brand and showcase El Pollo Loco as a unique chain in the quick-service restaurant space. Zeno is tasked with positioning El Pollo Loco as “QSR-plus, the place where the need for authentic, handcrafted food meets the need for speed,” said Valle.

The firm, managing the account from its Santa Monica, CA, office, will engage national English- and Spanish-language consumer media and business press throughout the year-long contract.

Zeno is also creating a social media strategy to help the brand communicate its QSR-plus story to consumers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms, added Valle. El Pollo Loco's Twitter account has nearly 12,400 followers, and its Facebook page has more than 81,000 “likes.”

Valle said the chain is planning to build more restaurants in areas where it is already located, and expand to new regions in the future.

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