Blas Escarcega, director of Franchise Development of Pollo Campero, discusses how the 400-unit chain born in Guatemala, plans to thrive in the U.S.
With over 50 years of proven success, Pollo Campero has become an iconic chicken franchise. Now, we are looking to leverage that experience to expand our franchise opportunities in the United States.
What began in Guatemala as a family owned business with a carefully crafted menu and unique chicken recipe has grown into a brand with nearly 400 locations worldwide. And after 20 years of successfully building 85 restaurants in markets throughout the United States, Pollo Campero has gained a significant crossover audience that extends to every demographic.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw record sales. In 2021, this success led to the launch of a new strategy to reach 250 restaurants across the United States over the next five years. We are leveraging a robust support system, loyal fanbase and innovative menu to attract multi-unit, multi-brand franchisees in markets around the country.
Over the past few years, Pollo Campero has worked to expand our support infrastructure. This included investing heavily in our franchise structure in Dallas, where we support all our franchisees throughout the United States. We want to make sure franchisees can get the training and tools necessary to make them successful. It's one thing to say, "we want you to do this," but it's another to ensure they have the tools and capabilities to succeed.
During the franchise process, new owners will be taught about all things Pollo Campero. This includes the tools and technology utilized, the quality of the products, the different phases of managing a restaurant, how to ensure consistency and more.
A loyal fanbase
Part of Pollo Campero's growth in the U.S. can be attributed to its loyal Central American customer base. We pride ourselves on our brand's historical heritage, food culture and family-oriented atmosphere. We have a nostalgic appeal to the Central American population. 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 leveraging our supply chain to develop around the existing markets that we have.
A competitive product
There's no doubt the chicken category is hot in fast-food right now. And Pollo Campero has already established itself as one of the most dominant players in the $40.6 billion segment. The key to our success? Our ingredients. The high-quality products are what make us stand out from others in the chicken segment. The unique menu was designed to honor our origins in Central American cuisine, while also creating a top-notch fried chicken. We're talking about marinated to the bone, slow-down-and-enjoy-every-bite chicken. A deep, rich and unique taste that can only be obtained by uniting the freshest ingredients with the best, complementary spices. It's about combining generations of family recipes into the perfect, savory bite.