El Pollo Loco vs The Flame Broiler Restaurant Franchise Comparison

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

Start-Up Costs and Fees

El Pollo Loco Franchise
The Flame Broiler Restaurant Franchise
Investment $900,000 - $1,755,000$380,116 - $609,763
Franchise Fee $40,000$35,000
Royalty Fee 2%-3%-4%5%
Advertising Fee -3%
Year Founded 19751995
Year Franchised 19801999
Term Of Agreement 20 years-
Term Of Agreement 20 years-
Renewal Fee --

Business Experience Requirements

El Pollo Loco Franchise
The Flame Broiler Restaurant 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.-

Financing Options

El Pollo Loco Franchise
The Flame Broiler Restaurant 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
The Flame Broiler Restaurant 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 support On-The-Job Training: 68-148 hours Classroom Training: 12 hours
Support Meetings, Toll-free phone line, Grand opening, Internet, Security/safety procedures, Field operations/evaluationsMeetings/Conventions Grand Opening Online Support Security/Safety Procedures Field Operations
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) Regional Advertising
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)

Absentee Ownership Allowed

Number of Employees Required to Run: 8

Expansion Plans

El Pollo Loco Franchise
The Flame Broiler Restaurant Franchise
US Expansion YesYes
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 The Flame Broiler Restaurant

The first The Flame Broiler, The Rice Bowl King restaurant opened in 1995 in Fullerton, California. Young Lee, who had graduated from UCLA with a degree in Economics and had joined the workforce, often found himself on the road during his workday. As a result, he often found himself grabbing a quick bite to eat for lunch at many different fast food restaurants. Very entrepreneurial in nature, Young Lee set out to create a better, healthier alternative to the fast food he had to choose from while working. This led him to open the first The Flame Broiler, The Rice Bowl King restaurant, which served simple, healthy, fast food and family-style Korean food.

Word about the new restaurant spread, and Young Lee found himself extremely busy during lunch. He quickly developed a very broad customer base; The Flame Broiler, The Rice Bowl King appealed to all ethnicities. The restaurant was a success. Not only did the concept appeal to a diverse group of people, but Young Lee was able to operate on a very low budget, with virtually no waste.

Because of the restaurant’s popularity and success, Young Lee opened a second restaurant in Santa Ana in 1995. Both restaurants have continued to prosper over the years. Then in April of 1999, Young Lee opened a third restaurant in Anaheim, which would be owned and run by his brother. And he has also developed his own proprietary recipe for the Teriyaki sauce served at The Flame Broiler The Rice Bowl King.

Word about The Flame Broiler The Rice Bowl King continued to spread. The Flame Broiler The Rice Bowl King had become so popular on the West Coast that customers began asking Young Lee to franchise, which is what he decided to do in 1999. Young Lee saw franchising as a way to provide even more customers with a better, healthy alternative to fast food while maintaining the high level of service and food quality for which The Flame Broiler The Rice Bowl King is so well known.

Young Lee realizes that franchisees, who have a vested interest in their businesses, will be more dedicated partners in the growth process. By successfully operating their individual The Flame Broiler The Rice Bowl King restaurants, the entire franchise network will have the ability to expand (first through California, then across the nation and eventually internationally), benefit from each others' innovations, and maintain long-term stability. He also realizes that future growth and success can be achieved through the combined efforts of franchisees who have ownership in a business and who have ties to their local communities.