El Pollo Loco vs Mary Brown's Franchise Comparison

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

Start-Up Costs and Fees

El Pollo Loco Franchise
Mary Brown's Franchise
Investment $900,000 - $1,755,000$500,000 - $600,000
Franchise Fee $40,000$25,000
Royalty Fee 2%-3%-4%5%
Advertising Fee -4%
Year Founded 19751969
Year Franchised 19801969
Term Of Agreement 20 years-
Term Of Agreement 20 years-
Renewal Fee --

Business Experience Requirements

El Pollo Loco Franchise
Mary Brown's Franchise
Experience 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.At Mary Brown’s, we’re looking for results-driven individuals with the determination to succeed. Passion and pride in everything you do is essential. Here’s what we’re looking for: * Hands-on ownership is preferred * Food service experience is an asset * Individual or multi-unit operators are welcome * Must have a willingness to learn, innovate and try new ideas * Entrepreneurial spirit – a desire to work with Mary Brown’s to grow your business * Commitment to delivering extraordinary Guest experiences every time * Pride in leading and motivating your team * A genuine love of people and enthusiasm for getting involved in your community

Financing Options

El Pollo Loco Franchise
Mary Brown's Franchise
  In-House/3rd PartyIn-House/3rd Party
Franchise Fees No/No-/-
Start-up Costs No/No-/-
Equipment No/No-/-
Inventory No/No-/-
Receivables No/No-/-
Payroll No/No-/-

Training & Support

El Pollo Loco Franchise
Mary Brown's Franchise
Training * Seven weeks pre-opening training for franchisee and restaurant managers * Franchise training consultants offering ongoing training programs for crew and management * Complete restaurant-opening supportOur training team ensures you’re armed with the knowledge you need - from hiring to preparing product and beyond. Highlights include: Best-in-class training at our training centre 3 week comprehensive Training Course teaches you how to produce and serve consistently perfect product - profitably Your training includes seminars, 1-on-1 sessions and classroom style courses on all aspects of our business and related systems. Learn about every aspect of your Mary Brown’s operation: * Food preparation * Office procedures * Basic management * Hiring * Guest focused, service-centric approach
Support Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluations-
Marketing Has 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) Mary Brown’s marketing is focused on driving sales and growing brand awareness. High impact multi-media marketing programs include radio, television, direct mail coupon programs and in-store materials. There is a strong digital/online presence including a web site, social media, YouTube promotion and e-newsletters. Location-specific programs are built by local field marketing managers to drive traffic and increase sales within a community or for a particular store. New Mary Brown’s stores are supported by grand opening events, public relations efforts and radio/print support to attract huge crowds.
Operations 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)

Our operations team teaches you how to optimize your results - they're with you throughout your opening and beside you as you build your business. Mary Brown’s mirror report system, implemented by our in-field operations directors, provides continuous monitoring of your operational procedures. This digital evaluation system assesses operational processes, service standards, quality control and hygiene and food safety on a store-by-store basis, ensuring brand integrity, consistency and optimal efficiencies.

Expansion Plans

El Pollo Loco Franchise
Mary Brown's Franchise
US Expansion Yes-
Canada Expansion NoNo
International Expansion NoNo

Company Overviews

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%.

About Mary Brown's

A well established chain of restaurants specializing in chicken with a variety of side dishes. The successful Mary Brown's formula employs a simple but unique cooking system to produce an extensive, high-quality chicken menu.

Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters has a 50-year history of building successful stores. In that time, we’ve perfected our methodologies and systems. And yet, we’re still innovating. Staying ahead of trends. Employing technology to its fullest. When you become part of the Mary Brown’s family, our time-tested franchising system is there to support you every step of the way.

Our real estate specialists choose a location for you that meets your criteria and ours - taking into account demographics, traffic patterns, visibility and much more. Our construction team manages the build of your Mary Brown’s location from start to finish - from store design to subcontracting to signage and beyond. No detail is overlooked.

Our purchasing team ensures the highest quality products are available chain-wide for all Mary Brown’s menu items, reflecting market conditions and industry trends. Our suppliers are carefully selected for optimal quality, competitive pricing and reliable service. All Franchisees must use Mary Brown’s suppliers to ensure consistent product and service across the country - building and strengthening the Mary Brown’s brand.


#56 in Canada's Top franchises.