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Pollo Campero Identifies Louisiana as Market Primed for Franchise Growth

The world’s largest Central American chicken franchise has its sights set on the Bayou State as it aims to expand in concentric circles around established and popular corporate locations.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 9:09AM 05/16/22

Pollo Campero, the fast-casual chicken franchise with 80-plus U.S. locations and another 270 around the world, is ready to grow in Louisiana. As the brand embarks on a mission to reach 250 U.S. locations open by 2026, Pollo Campero is set to become one of the most dominant players in the $40.6 billion fast-food chicken franchise segment. Now, the Pollo Campero team has identified Louisiana as a prime market for franchise expansion following the success of a corporate location in the area, the flourishing economic landscape and an unmet demand among both legacy consumers and new fans.

Why the Pollo Campero Team is Looking to Louisiana

When it comes to finding target markets, Director of Franchise Development Blas Escarcega says the team primarily looked for areas in which they could reinvigorate the Pollo Campero brand presence, as opposed to building it from scratch. 

“We have an existing corporate location in Kenner, Louisiana, and we want to be able to fill that market with additional units that will allow us to leverage the supply chain and brand recognition already in place,” said Escarcega. “The market certainly has room for optimization, and we want to eventually sell the corporate location to a franchisee and have them expand from there with room for at least five units.”

Additionally, Escarcega points out that the Louisiana area is growing both demographically and economically, which provides several other benefits for prospective Pollo Campero franchisees. 

“We love the environment in Louisiana, and we have seen exceptional sales growth at our corporate location,” said Escarcega. “We have a strong consumer base that loves chicken there, and the chicken segment is booming in the South in general. Louisiana is full of good, friendly people who love cuisine and want to experience all of the foods of the world. It is really a mecca when it comes to trying new cuisine and world-renowned foods, and Pollo Campero fits the bill.”

How Pollo Campero Positions Franchisees for Success

The quick-service, grilled and fried chicken restaurant began in Guatemala as a family-owned business with a carefully crafted menu and unique chicken recipe. Today, as the world's largest Central American chicken chain, Pollo Campero boasts a legacy, flavor profile and built-in customer base, which Escarcega says ensures franchisees can enter new markets with ease. 

“We have legacy customers — Latin American customers who know the brand from our international footprint — in markets all over the country, and those were the markets we traditionally focused on,” Escarcega said. “Now, what has happened is that we’ve expanded that legacy customer base and realized that the brand has legs to reach more mainstream consumers in the U.S. We want to maintain the legacy piece, while also bringing the opportunity to new customers and developing around the existing markets that we have.”

And those new customers are coming in faster than ever as the QSR chicken segment proves to be pandemic-proof in markets all over the country. Over the past few years, Pollo Campero has optimized its business model, innovated the menu and expanded its support infrastructure to ensure franchisees can carve out a lucrative niche and satisfy the demand for delicious chicken in the communities they serve. 

“We’ve spent the past 20 years figuring out the supply chain requirements in each market we’ve operated in, making sure we can get our high-quality product to restaurants promptly,” said Luis Javier Rodas, Managing Director and COO. “Now, this will allow us to expand to nearby territories outside of those core markets.”

A Strategic Plan for Future Growth

In addition to Louisiana, the Pollo Campero team says their expansion efforts will be primarily focused across the Southeast over the next three to five years, including the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Arizona and North Florida. Additionally, the brand has identified a big growth opportunity in Arizona, as well as a few other markets scattered across the country. The brand will also open more corporate-owned stores, with a particular focus on California. 

“At the end of the day, we are lacking the number of units to keep up with what our customers want,” Escarcega said. “We have some customers who have to travel to visit the closest Pollo Campero, and we don’t want that. We want to plant the seeds that will eventually allow us to bring a Pollo Campero restaurant closer to every hungry customer.”

Escarcega says Pollo Campero ended the past year with 81 total restaurant units in the U.S., including 60 corporate stores, 17 franchise units and four ghost kitchens. Now, he says the five-year plan is to reach 180 corporate units, 85 franchise locations and 10 to 20 ghost kitchens. 

“The past few years have been incredible for Pollo Campero, and our franchise concept is all about allowing new customers to try an incredible product,” said Rodas. “Now, as we move forward with a strategic growth mindset, we are eager to bring Pollo Campero to more communities by partnering with qualified franchisees who can build locally owned businesses they can be proud of.”

Initial investments range from $887,250 - $2,126,500*. For more information, visit: https://camperofranchise.com/

*To see the brand’s full reported financials, please reference Pollo Campero’s Franchise Disclosure Document (updated June 7, 2021). 

ABOUT POLLO CAMPERO:

Pollo Campero is a fast-casual restaurant chain focused on delighting guests with better-chicken offerings. Through its flavor and quality, Pollo Campero offers a unique and convenient feel-good eating experience for individual, group/family and catering occasions. Chicken entrees can be ordered either Campero Fried or Citrus-Grilled, bone in or boneless and paired with an array of fresh sides, drinks and desserts for a complete meal. Pollo Campero started as a small family-owned restaurant in Guatemala in 1971, and has grown to one of the biggest chicken chains in the world.

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

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