- Restaurant chain El Pollo Loco announced that Organic will be its digital agency of record. Organic is part of the Omnicom Precision Marketing Group and Omnicom Group Inc.
- Organic will aid El Pollo Loco as it seeks to advance digital efforts, social media engagement and its e-commerce business. The agency will be responsible for planning, development and execution of creative across all digital and social media platforms.
- El Pollo Loco's partnership with Organic continues the chain's acceleration of digital efforts that began in 2019. After spending less than 3% of its media budget on digital just a few years ago, El Pollo Loco now spends 30% to 40% of its budget on digital, with a focus on its mobile app, loyalty and GPS-enabled curbside pickup, per the announcement.
El Pollo Loco's selection of Organic as its digital agency continues the work that the chain has been doing for several years to modernize its marketing. The partnership will see Organic focus on advancing digital efforts, including social media engagement and e-commerce, which can help the restaurant chain stand out and drive sales as the pandemic continues to affect how consumers dine out.
The digital efforts are key for El Pollo Loco, which was still spending 98% of its media budget on TV and print media when Bernard Acoca was named CEO in 2018. The dramatic shift in digital spend has helped the chain triple the growth of its e-commerce business.
"Our commitment to digital reflects a commitment to meet our customers where they are, no matter how they choose to interact with and order from us," Acoca said in the announcement.
Digital is crucial for the chain as the pandemic keeps many of its dining rooms closed, especially in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, where nearly 60% of its system restaurants are located. The closures have negatively affected sales as the chain relies on takeout, mobile pickup and delivery, per a preliminary quarterly report.
With those headwinds in mind, El Pollo Loco in December unveiled two "restaurant of the future" designs that focus on digital ordering channels and off-premise business. The models include cubbies for mobile to-go orders, digital menu boards and a GPS-enabled curbside pickup service, features that are integrated with the chain's mobile app.
The selection of Organic adds to El Pollo Loco's agency partners. The chain in July 2020 selected IPG Mediabrands' Initiative as its strategic media agency of record, responsible for a $30 million media budget.