As restaurants continue to search for additional revenue streams, fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (LOCO, Financial) has launched Loco Gifts and Gear, its first-ever merchandise store.
The online shop will bring El Pollo Loco’s “heritage and brand story” to life through an array of clothes, accessories and gear curated and handcrafted in a one-time exclusive collaboration with three Los Angeles-based Latino creators — David Flores, Rick Massie and Manny Silva -- who embody El Pollo Loco’s “L.A. Mex spirit,” the company said in a release.
Consumers who are members of the chain’s rewards program will have early access to Loco Gifts and Gear to shop each artist’s collection of exclusive apparel and gear, the company added.
El Pollo Loco Holdings, through its subsidiary El Pollo Loco Inc., develops, franchises, licenses and operates quick-service restaurants under the El Pollo Loco name.
“At El Pollo Loco, we are incredibly proud of our L.A. Mex heritage, so we wanted to create truly distinct, high-quality merchandise that really captures the ethos and culture of our brand and our community,” Andy Rebhun, senior vice president of marketing at El Pollo Loco, said. “We are thrilled to becollaborating with such an incredible group of local artisans for the launch of Loco Gifts and Gear and we think our familia of customers are going to love the exclusive products they’ve designed.”
The Loco Gifts and Gear collaborators’ exclusive product showcase different facets of vibrant Angeleno culture.
The first is celebrated skateboard designer and muralist David Flores, who is widely known for his skate industry logos and geometric depictions of cultural icons. “Over the years, he has collaborated with a wide range of brands and organizations, from Stussy and Nike to the Los Angeles Dodgers and The Mexican Consulate,” the release noted. For his Loco Gifts and Gear product line, he has created three skateboards, two trucker hats, two t-shirts, a pair of board shorts and a tote bag.
Second is Venice Beach native Rick Massie, who became the first Mexican-American professional surfer when he signed with Quiksilver at the age of 18 in 1985 and he’s been a local legend ever since. “These days, he operates Massie’s Ding Repair, meticulously repairing and crafting surfboards in the backyard of his Venice home,” the statement said. Massie's contributions include a hand-shaped special-edition, fishtail-style surfboard, as well as a custom t-shirt, board shorts, trucker hat and tote bag.
Last but not least is Mexican-born Manny Silva, also known as "the godfather of lowriders," who has been building custom bikes in his Compton shop since 1973. “His famed lowriders are known for their tooled handlebars, detailed spokes, specialized insignia and designer seats,” the release explained. Silva has designed a custom El Pollo Loco lowrider bike for Loco Gifts and Gear as well as custom shirts, hoodie and trucker hat.
The company has carved a niche with its handcrafted L.A. Mex food, an innovative blend of traditional Mexican cuisine and better-for-you eating, that Los Angeles is known for. Since 1980, the chain has opened and maintained more than 480 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Louisiana.
El Pollo Loco Holdings came out with third-quarter earnings of 27 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents per share. The report represents an earnings surprise of 22.73%.
As Zacks noted, “A quarter ago, it was expected that this Tex-Mex fast food chain would post earnings of 27 cents per share when it actually produced earnings of 29 cents, delivering a surprise of 7.41%. Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates four times.”