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How the Head of Operations Fernando Perez is Positioning Pollo Campero USA for Growth

Perez, who has been with the brand for 20 years, has played a key role in positioning the world’s largest Central American chicken chain for success in the United States.

By Victoria CampisiStaff Writer
SPONSOREDUpdated 4:16PM 03/20/23

At Pollo Campero, the fast-casual chicken franchise with 85-plus U.S. locations and another 270 worldwide, franchisees are backed by an expert team of executives with decades of experience. One of those executives is the Head of Operations Fernando Perez

Perez has been with Pollo Campero for the last 20 years, starting in the brand’s home country of Guatemala and working his way up. In 2018, Perez moved to the U.S. to support Pollo Campero’s growth efforts around the country. 

Today, the senior executive oversees the operations of all corporate and franchise stores in the U.S. Perez is also an adjunct professor at Dallas College and on the board of directors at the Texas Restaurant Association, as well as All in Guatemala, a nonprofit organization.

“Around six years ago, I led the process of transformation of Pollo Campero USA while I was based in Guatemala,” said Perez. “We changed everything from the value proposition to processes. The Board of Directors asked me to move to the U.S. and put the plan in action. And now, I lead all the Operation processes. We made big improvements.”

How Perez Leads Continuous Improvement Efforts

These improvements include a simplified menu, streamlined back of house processes, quality consistency, speed of service efforts — and more. “We are always looking for continuous improvement with the mindset of addressing all consumer needs while focusing on productivity efficiency,” he said. “Overall, everything we do comes down to putting the consumer first.” 

The corporate team always takes feedback from franchise partners into consideration while continuously examining the industry to ensure the brand is adapting to changing consumer needs and experiences. For instance, in recent years, Pollo Campero changed the layout of its kitchens. Just by simply reducing the number of steps needed to travel from one side of the kitchen to the other, the brand was able to increase the speed of service and expedite orders. 

“This ultimately increased productivity, not only improving the speed of service, but also the quality, consistency and overall satisfaction of the customer,” noted Perez. 

The Day-to-Day of the Head of Operations 

Every day, Perez works with his team to support the day-to-day operations of all Pollo Campero stores around the country. Perez is in contact with teams based in four U.S. regions on a daily basis to ensure they are addressing any arising issues. 

“In each of the markets, I also give direction to make sure we can keep everything together in a standardized way, while also making sure that our company values are being kept,” he said. “I stay very close to my team and help them make decisions, give them directions and solve any situations that get in between our efforts and goals.” 

Additionally, a typical day includes a lot of collaborative work with support teams, Perez noted. The executive works closely in support areas such as marketing, HR, training and quality assurance. 

“Essentially, we are the center point of the business where everything comes together at some point,” he said. “My role is continuously examining that system to make sure it is working and improving.” 

Growth Priorities

At Pollo Campero, growth is a top priority. After earning record U.S. sales throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Pollo Campero launched a strategy in 2021 to reach 250 restaurants across the U.S. over the next five years. The brand’s proven business model, loyal fanbase and experienced leadership team have continued to attract multi-unit, multi-brand franchisees in markets around the country. 

For Perez, his role is directly connected to these growth plans. This includes everything from being a part of the committee that validates all the new sites to connecting completed restaurants to the Pollo Campero ecosystem.

“Our ecosystem includes operating systems all over the country with everything being connected to our values,” he said. “We want to make sure that all restaurants are operating in accordance with our standards because we are truly believers that, if you follow the guidelines we have set out, you will be successful with Pollo Campero.”  

To learn more about franchising with Pollo Campero, visit

About Pollo Campero

Family founded in Guatemala in 1971, Pollo Campero is a fast-service restaurant specializing in uniquely flavorful chicken and a diverse menu offering individual and family meals made with quality ingredients. Using family recipes passed down from generation to generation and a fried chicken recipe that is considered a national treasure of Guatemala, Pollo Campero offers tender, juicy, hand-breaded fried chicken and slow-marinated, citrus-infused grilled chicken that is always fresh and prepared daily. Pollo Campero also offers hand-selected sides inspired by the brand’s roots in Latin America. Since its beginnings as a small, family-owned restaurant, Pollo Campero has grown to more than 350 restaurants around the world. To learn more about Pollo Campero, visit and follow the flavor on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.