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Pollo Campero Opens 11 New Locations, Sees Double-Digit Revenue Growth in 2023

After breaking into three new markets and launching a breakfast menu at select restaurants last year, the chicken franchise is prepared to open its 100th U.S. location and continue growing in 2024.

By Morgan Wood1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 12:12PM 02/15/24

Pollo Campero, the Central American chicken franchise with 93 units throughout the U.S. and another 270 worldwide, is expanding its American footprint. Last year, Pollo Campero added 11 new restaurants to the system, breaking into the Orlando, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Manhattan markets. After a successful 2023, the brand continues to grow its presence throughout the U.S. and is prepared for another year of healthy growth in 2024.

“2023 was a great year for our growth, both in terms of unit count and other progress made for the system as a whole,” explained Vice President of Franchise Development Blas Escarcega. “In addition to opening 11 new restaurants, we were able to launch a breakfast menu at some locations and introduce a new prototype to the St. Cloud, Florida community. The entire system also saw a 19% increase in sales year-over-year, illustrating the continued demand for our flavorful chicken meals in all the markets we enter.”

Footprint and Revenue Growth

Pollo Campero saw meaningful growth in its footprint and system-wide revenue benchmarks. Last year, 11 new restaurants were opened across New York, Georgia, Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

As it entered into new markets and expanded its offerings, Pollo Campero saw a positive response from guests, driving both revenue and transaction count. In 2023, the system saw a 19% increase in revenue— bringing in over $275 million for the year— and a 13.3% increase in transaction count compared to 2022.

Pollo Campero has long enjoyed a loyal fan base in global markets thanks to its strong Central American roots, and it’s beginning to build a similar brand affinity in the U.S. The franchise continues to be celebrated for bringing a fresh, exciting take to the booming chicken segment among Central Americans who already know and love the brand as well as new guests discovering Pollo Campero for the first time

“We have a fan base that has known us for many years in Central America and has continued to support our growth efforts wherever we go,” said Escarcega. “We’re very happy with the legacy customer base, and we also have new consumers that don’t know us but have been very open to coming and trying our food, and they continue to come. They love our food, menu and offerings.”

Pollo Campero Expands Its Menu To Include Breakfast and Mac & Cheese

Pollo Campero has long differentiated itself by offering flavorful chicken meals that allow it to shine in the high-demand chicken segment. However, the introduction of breakfast meals further widened its reach, allowing it to target three dayparts.

In 2023, Pollo Campero began offering breakfast at its Manhattan; Chicago River North; Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles; and Mission St, San Francisco locations as a pilot, but after a positive response in diverse markets, the offering is expected to roll out in other markets nationwide, including Miami, throughout the year.

“This step into the breakfast space is a big one for us,” explained Escarcega. “Very few major chicken concepts offer a robust breakfast menu, and a breakfast menu that includes both favorites like chicken breakfast sandwiches and unique items like breakfast empanadas is even more novel.”

The brand also launched a new mac & cheese side — the first addition to the sides menu in four years. Like always, Pollo Campero put its own spin on a classic mac & cheese, pairing bold seasonings with the rich, creamy taste of four different cheeses. Naturally, the side item caught on quickly with guests, and it is now one of the most ordered options.

As Pollo Campero grows, it continues to leverage its unique flavors and service experience to stand out in new markets.

This year, Pollo Campero aims to continue driving its expansion after building strong momentum in 2023. The system is on track to cross the 100-unit mark in the U.S. in March, and the team plans to open at least 25 restaurants this year through both franchising and corporate development. The team is also looking to award five new franchises, focusing its development on Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina,  Northern Florida, Utah, South Texas and Colorado.

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