Tuesday, May 18, 2021

El Pollo Loco joins the Me to We Movement


El Pollo Loco, is the latest company joining Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks, and many more in understand the importance of edifying consumer relevant touchpoints, driving new electricity into the brand. The Me to We movement was identified as the restaurant sectors 2021 call to arms the “from me to we” is where restaurants will focus on sustainability driving the message that we are here and we are getting better for you.”

According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, “brands that are getting ‘better for you’ are bettering themselves as well.”

Now El Pollo Loco, is eliminating its use of Styrofoam and continuing its improvements to customers’ off-premises dining experience with a system-wide rollout of clear, eco-conscious Thermo-To-Go packaging that keeps food hotter for a fresh-from-the-grill taste in every bite. This will drive new electricity into customer relevance and its brand according to Johnson.

El Pollo Loco President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Acoca, stated, “El Pollo Loco is committed to enhancing the convenience and overall experience of off-premises dining, which continues to grow exponentially and currently comprises the bulk of our business,”   “Not only is our new Thermo-To-Go packaging better for the environment, but it’s also sturdier and has an appealing aesthetic that showcases our delicious food while preserving heat and quality.”

So, the transition to the Thermo-To-Go containers, which are made from partially recycled materials, will remove 1.9 million cubic feet of Styrofoam — the equivalent of 21 Olympic-size swimming pools — from the national waste stream annually.

Get this, El Pollo Loco’s off-premises business has grown since 2019, with delivery sales jumping by 250 percent and its already robust drive-thru business growing by 43 percent. In the last year, El Pollo Loco has introduced GPS-enabled curbside pickup, drive-thru enhancements and other improvements to its off-premises offerings as part of its ongoing digital transformation strategy; however, the pandemic-induced growth in off-premises business served as further incentive to accelerate the rollout of additional upgrades, including the move to better packaging. Regular readers of this blog know consumers ‘love’ the halo around all things ‘better-4-you’.

This new Thermo-To-Go packaging is a continuation of El Pollo Loco’s commitment to being an industry leader in safe and reliable off-premises dining, which it kicked off with its switch to tamper-free, sealable delivery bags at the start of the pandemic. It also aligns with El Pollo Loco’s recent adoption of a modern, design-forward approach that complements its high-quality food and offers customers an exceptional and enjoyable experience at every touchpoint.

El Pollo Loco’s Tostadas switched to Thermo-To-Go packaging in late April and the restaurant’s famous Fire-grilled Chicken will be sold in the new containers system-wide by the end of May. How is your brand building new electricity?

According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new menu related products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, music, developing brands, unique urban hemp clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  How is your brand building new electricity?

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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