COSTA MESA Calif. In a move likely targeting quick-service rival KFC, El Pollo Loco on Thursday said its more than 400 locations would accept chicken coupons from competing restaurants for a limited time.
Company officials said it was the first time that El Pollo Loco has accepted coupons from competitors. No end date for the limited-time practice has been set.
Customers can bring in printed coupons from any restaurant’s individual chicken meal or entree and receive $1 off any El Pollo Loco Combo Meal. A family chicken meal from a competing restaurant will count toward $3 off any El Pollo Loco Family Meal.
“Though this offer may ruffle a few feathers, we want to do our part to heat up the economy and reward our guests by offering this special dollars-off discount on our fresh, healthful flame-grilled chicken,” said Steve Carley, El Pollo Loco chief executive.
“El Pollo Loco doesn’t need to lock its recipe in some well-armed underground bunker,” Carley continued, jabbing at KFC’s publicized protection of its secret recipe. “It’s no secret that El Pollo Loco’s juicy, citrus-marinated, flame-grilled chicken has perfected a traditional family recipe with 30 years of grilling expertise.”
KFC, a 5,300-unit chain owned by Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc., earlier this year rolled out its first value menu and has been focusing marketing efforts on the freshness of its chicken. Later this year, KFC is expected to roll out a new line of grilled chicken.