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06/18/2021

El Pollo Loco Launches Drone Delivery

El Pollo Loco is launching the pilot with Tel Aviv-based drone startup Flytrex.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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El Pollo Loco Inc. has teamed up with Flytrex to start testing door-to-backyard drone delivery on June 24. The test-and-learn pilot of its drone delivery service is the continuation of the company’s digital evolution and focus on customer experience.

a close up of a sign

“We’re highly encouraged by the evolution of our digital flywheel and continued enhancement of the strategies we put in place last year,” President and Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Acoca said. “We look forward to further growth on the heels of our record-breaking 250% increase in delivery performance in 2020.”

El Pollo Loco is launching the pilot with Tel Aviv-based drone startup Flytrex The drones fly up to 32 mph and use a wire release mechanism to gently lower food orders from 80 feet.

“El Pollo Loco continues to explore new and innovative delivery services that offer our customers added quality and convenience, and the Air Loco drone delivery pilot program is our latest effort to unlock fresh options for getting our fire-grilled chicken to hungry customers everywhere – piping hot and in perfect condition,” El Pollo Loco Vice President of Digital Andy Rebhun said. “We want to offer drone food deliveries that are fast, convenient and safe. The insights gleaned during this test-and-learn pilot will play a crucial role in helping us shape this exciting new service ahead of its rollout.”

At Restaurant Next, Andy Rebhun, VP of Digital, gave attendees the inside scoop on its recent tech initiatives.

New Packaging

The Air Loco drone is also outfitted with a fastened delivery box that keeps orders intact, which means customers will receive hot fire-grilled chicken and fresh L.A. Mex food packed in El Pollo Loco’s new Thermo-to-Go packaging, in a fraction of the time it would take for a conventional delivery to arrive. During the pilot, a select number of El Pollo Loco’s loyal Loco Rewards members in Southern California will be surprised with one of the first fire-grilled flights, and will have the Air Loco drone gently lower their food order from from high above their home.

In addition, starting June 24, all customers can enjoy free delivery on El Pollo Loco’s current platform. This special, limited-time promotion aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of El Pollo Loco’s new Thermo-To-Go packaging, which keeps food hotter for longer.