Wing Zone vs El Pollo Loco Franchise Comparison

Below is an in-depth analysis and side-by-side comparison of Wing Zone vs El Pollo Loco including start-up costs and fees, business experience requirements, training & support and financing options.

Start-Up Costs and Fees

Wing Zone Franchise
El Pollo Loco Franchise
Investment $342,800 - $566,000$900,000 - $1,755,000
Franchise Fee $30,000 - $40,000$40,000
Royalty Fee 5%2%-3%-4%
Advertising Fee 2%-
Year Founded 19911975
Year Franchised 19991980
Term Of Agreement 10 years20 years
Term Of Agreement 10 years20 years
Renewal Fee $10K-

Business Experience Requirements

Wing Zone Franchise
El Pollo Loco Franchise
  • Industry experience
  • General business experience
  • Marketing skills
  • We require a minimum of five years of experience as an owner/operator within the restaurant industry. You must also live in the area of development in order to manage the restaurant on a daily basis.

    Financing Options

    Wing Zone Franchise
    El Pollo Loco Franchise
      In-House/3rd PartyIn-House/3rd Party
    Franchise Fees No/YesNo/No
    Start-up Costs No/YesNo/No
    Equipment No/YesNo/No
    Inventory No/YesNo/No
    Receivables No/YesNo/No
    Payroll No/YesNo/No

    Training & Support

    Wing Zone Franchise
    El Pollo Loco Franchise
    Training Wing Zone University, our training program consists of three (3) weeks of classroom and on-site training Our program consists of everything you need to know to open and successfully operate a Wing Zone, including: Recipes and Food-Prep Procedures Quality and Service Standards Guest Promise Inventory Procedures Food Safety Best Hiring Practices Local Store Marketing Digital and Social Media Online Review Management (Yelp, Google, Facebook) Grand Opening Plan * Seven weeks pre-opening training for franchisee and restaurant managers * Franchise training consultants offering ongoing training programs for crew and management * Complete restaurant-opening support
    Support Newsletter, Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations, Purchasing cooperatives From the moment, you sign the Franchise Agreement to the day you open and beyond we’ll help and guide you with site selection, lease negotiations, finding and hiring the right contractor, store design and construction as well the training on how to open, hire the right people and operate your Wing Zone.Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations
    Marketing Ad slicks, National media, Regional advertisingHas a proven history of successful marketing Is aligned with award-winning advertising agencies Utilizes a strategic approach to building a strong brand Is focused on driving traffic and sales profitably We provide a full array of targeted advertising tools and marketing plans to build awareness and drive customers into our restaurants through: Innovative marketing and advertising campaign Development and execution of bilingual promotional strategies Product innovation to fuel sustained growth Support for grand openings Marketing plans tailored to each market's needs Effective communication and support of franchisees' needs Access to El Pollo Loco's online LSM toolkit (at franchisees disposal)
    Operations 20% of all franchisees own more than one unit

    Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 12

    Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed.

    Franchisees required to buy multiple units/master licenses; 40% of all franchisees own more than one unit

    Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 25

    Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed. (100% of current franchisees are owner/operators)

    Expansion Plans

    Wing Zone Franchise
    El Pollo Loco Franchise
    US Expansion YesYes
    Canada Expansion NoNo
    International Expansion NoNo

    Company Overviews

    About Wing Zone

    Join Wing Zone!
    Here's your opportunity to join WingZone, one of the nation's fastest-growing takeout/delivery chains. The Wing Zone concept was launched in 1991 in the most unlikely setting, a fraternity house kitchen. Despite Wing Zone's humble birth, the core idea targeted a pressing need in the marketplace: to serve high-quality, cooked to order food, available for takeout, delivery and dine-in. Today, this simple idea has become one of the hottest franchise opportunities around, having grown to nearly 100 restaurants.
     Matt Friedman and Adam Scott conceived Wing Zone while at the University of Florida due to a dilemma they faced - there was no alternative to pizza delivery for students studying late or suffering from the late night hunger. To fill this void, Matt and Adam developed the Wing Zone concept and quickly expanded it into a great business opportunity. The Wing Zone menu has grown over the years beyond just buffalo wings. It now includes chicken fingers, buffalo shrimp, half-pound burgers, chicken sandwiches and fresh salads. A key ingredient to Wing Zone's success is unchanged - its 25 signature sauces. While Wing Zone is proud of its past, the company is focused on the future. Wing Zone is currently seeking franchise partners to help make Wing Zone the leading franchise opportunity with single, multi-unit, and area development opportunities available in many areas across the nation.

    About El Pollo Loco

    In 1975, Juan Ochoa opened a roadside chicken stand in Guasace, Mexico, he called El Pollo Loco. Ochoa served chicken the same way his mother did, hand-marinating using an old family recipe and flame-broiling. The stand quickly grew in popularity, and over the next four years, Ochoa's family opened 85 restaurants in Northern Mexico. The chain moved into the United States in 1980 with the first restaurant opening on Alvarado Street in Los Angeles, California. El Pollo Loco featured an authentic recipe of fresh chicken marinated in special herbs, spices and citrus juices, and then fire-grilled to perfection. The restaurant quickly became a local favorite. Over the years, El Pollo Loco has added tacos, burritos and salads to its menu, all featuring the Ochoa family's chicken. In 1995, the chain entered into a joint venture with Foster's Freeze to offer soft-serve treats at El Pollo Loco restaurants. Today, the tradition continues with signature dishes that satisfy consumers’ desire for flavorful food that fits well with today's active lifestyles. We're currently fire-grilling marinated chicken in about 400 company and franchise-owned El Pollo Loco restaurants.

    Franchise fees apply to new and existing franchisees with multi-unit development agreements in new markets through March 31, 2018. The initial franchise fee has been cut to $30,000 for the first restaurant and $20,000 for each additional restaurant. The standard franchise fee is $40,000, and $30,000 for secondary units. The initial franchise fee for any restaurant opened in the calendar year ahead of the year in their development schedule will be cut by 50%. And any restaurants opened beyond the multi-development agreement will be eligible for a zero dollar initial franchise fee. Royalty fees have also been reduced for the first time in three years: 2% for the first year, 3% in the second year, and 4% in the third year. The standard royalty fee is 5%.