We Hear: El Pollo Loco Launches Creative Agency Review

By Patrick Coffee 

Costa Mesa-based fast food chain El Pollo Loco is looking for a new creative agency of record.

The account has been with Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners since 2012, when El Pollo switched shops after less than a year with Goodness Mfg. (The preceding review allegedly involved some 35 agencies.)

Representatives for El Pollo Loco have not responded to our email query regarding the current review, but sources confirmed the news this afternoon. It’s not clear at this time which agencies are pitching the business, though we do hear that Secret Weapon did not make the initial cut.


The chain has not been mentioned by advertising trades in recent years, but it has been expanding. In May, it hired former Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf CEO John Dawson to fill the newly created role of chief development officer and announced plans to open more than twice as many units in 2016 as it had the previous year.

El Pollo Loco has also made headlines for the pro-transgender hiring practices of one particularly successful franchisee, who runs six locations and says that she has employed transgender individuals for several years.

In 2012, Nielsen reported that the chain had spent $27 million on media the previous year.