Flame-Grilled Chicken Leader Rolls Out Electric Delivery Vehicles Wrapped in Brand Messaging
June 30, 2008 // Franchising.com // COSTA MESA, CA – El Pollo Loco, the nation's leader in flame-grilled chicken, is driving its marketing efforts in a new way—literally—through the use of a three-wheel, sub compact electric car covered in bumper to bumper brand messaging and emblazoned with scorching red flames against a vivid purple background.
El Pollo Loco, which has over 400 fast casual restaurants, was searching for a delivery vehicle that would act as a moving billboard for the restaurant's new delivery and catering restaurant in the Beverly Hills and Century City areas, as well as contribute to the company's environmental stewardship efforts. The cars make an eye catching statement as they whirl quietly down the street with the corporate branding wrap. In addition, they produce 97 percent less emissions than a gas powered vehicle. A single electric vehicle driven for 30 miles a day in place of a gas vehicle saves about 700 gallons of gas per year.
"People stop in their tracks and can't stop staring at these cars wrapped with the El Pollo Loco branding. Not only does it make a statement about driving electric vehicles, it acts like a green billboard for the restaurant," said Karen Eadon, El Pollo Loco's Chief Marketing Officer. "One of our drivers arrived at an office recently where more than 20 people came out to take pictures of the car. The vehicle draws an incredible amount of attention."
El Pollo Loco purchased the Xebra™ electric vehicles from Santa-Rosa based ZAPâ, a company that offers a full line of electric and advanced technology vehicles. With a top speed of 40 miles per hour, the Xebra is 10 feet long, 5 feet wide, and slightly over 5 feet high with a payload of 1,000 pounds. It plugs into a 110-volt outlet for a full charge in up to six hours and a 50 percent charge in up to 1.5 hours. The range on a single charge is 20 miles. The cost to run a Xebra, which retails for about $12,000, is about three cents a mile, compared to 13.3 cents a mile for a gas vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon at $4 a gallon. Maintenance costs are one-third that of gas vehicles due to the reduction of moving parts, less wear and replacements.
"With gas at record high prices, we offer companies the chance to lead the way in energy conservation. Not only do the electric vehicles send a green message, our technologies have the potential to significantly impact a company's bottom line and impact the economy as a whole," says ZAP CEO Steve Schneider.
Continuing its plan for national growth, El Pollo Loco recently expanded into New England, where it celebrated its 400th location in the Boston area in May. Throughout 2008, El Pollo Loco is continuing expansion into other markets around the country, including California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Virginia.
Founded in Guasave, Mexico in 1975, El Pollo Loco, pronounced "L Po-yo Lo-co" and Spanish for "The Crazy Chicken," opened its first U.S. restaurant in 1980 and is famous for the unique preparation of its award-winning "pollo"-- fresh chicken marinated in a special recipe of herbs, spices and citrus juices passed down from the founding family. The marinated chicken is then flame-grilled, hand cut and served hot off the grill with warm tortillas, freshly prepared salsas, and a wide assortment of side dishes. Rounding out the menu are fresh flavorful entrées inspired by the kitchens of Mexico, including signature, grilled burritos, Pollo Bowl® entrees, Pollo Salads, tacos, quesadillas, Chicken Tortilla Soup, and more.
El Pollo Loco® currently operates 406 restaurants (242 franchised locations and 164 company-owned restaurants) located in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Utah, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California, El Pollo Loco, Inc. is a privately held company owned by Trimaran Pollo Partners, LLC and management. The principal investors in Trimaran Pollo Partners are funds affiliated with Trimaran Capital, LLC and Freeman Spogli & Co. For more information about El Pollo Loco, visit the company's website at www.elpolloloco.com.
ZAP has been a leader in advanced transportation technologies since 1994, delivering over 100,000 vehicles to consumers in more than 75 countries. At the forefront of fuel-efficient transportation with new technologies including energy efficient gas systems, electric, hybrid and other innovative power systems, ZAP has a joint venture called Detroit Electric to manufacture electric and hybrid vehicles with Youngman Automotive Group. Detroit Electric is developing a freeway capable electric vehicle called the ZAP Alias. ZAP is also developing a new generation of vehicles using lithium batteries. The Company recently announced a strategic partnership with Dubai-based Al Yousuf Group to expand its international vehicle distribution. ZAP also makes an innovative, new portable energy technology that manages power for mobile electronics from cell phones to laptops. For product, dealer and investor information, visit http://www.zapworld.com.