- Restaurant chain El Pollo Loco this week launched a holiday campaign to promote inclusivity by showing how food brings different people together. The "Kids on Culture" effort includes a 30-second spot showing a diverse group of children discussing how sharing a meal promotes greater understanding, per an announcement.
- "When you share food that's part of your tradition, you share part of yourself, which leads to greater understanding and ultimately brings people closer together," Bernard Acoca, president and CEO of El Pollo Loco, said in a statement. "Who better to express this sentiment than children who bring an innocent and unadulterated view on life?"
- The campaign will run on TV, digital and social media channels during the holiday season as El Pollo Loco promotes the return of three dishes inspired by the company's Mexican roots. The menu items include its holiday tamale bowls, chicken pozole verde and Mexican hot chocolate.
El Pollo Loco aims to support diversity and inclusion with its heartwarming "Kids on Culture" campaign to promote its holiday menu. The campaign's centerpiece is the 30-second spot that shows kids from different backgrounds innocently discussing how food can be a cultural touchstone, a message that captures the holiday spirit of generosity and giving. The tone of the ad matches those from Gap, Banana Republic and Zulily as brands deliver hopeful, upbeat messages in advance of a holiday season that will end a historically fraught year.
By running the campaign on multiple channels, El Pollo Loco can reach a broad audience including younger consumers who tend to be heavier users of social media. The campaign is another sign of how El Pollo Loco has expanded its marketing programs since Bernard Acoca began the job as president and CEO two years ago, followings stints at L'Oréal, Starbucks and Pizza Hut. The company expanded its digital media budget to 30% of its total spending from a few percentage points, shifting from its former strategy of dedicated most of its efforts to TV and print.
The restaurant chain last month expanded its app-based loyalty program nationwide to give customers a way to gather points for future purchases. At the time, El Pollo Loco claimed its system of granting rewards was "the most competitive in the industry."
The company returned to growth in Q3 after experiencing a decline in sales during the prior quarter, when the entire restaurant industry suffered from a steep loss in business as lockdowns in many cities and states negatively affected operations. El Pollo Loco's comparable restaurant sales rose 1.8% in Q3 from a year earlier, including a 0.2% gain for company-operated locations and a 3% increase for franchised restaurants, per a quarterly announcement. The difference in performance reflects the heavy concentration of company-owned restaurants in the Los Angeles areas that was hard hit by the pandemic, QSR Magazine reported. The company is testing a "restaurant of the future" concept that will focus on drive-thru service and pickup areas for digital orders to help ease customer concerns about dining out.