Restaurants

Pollo Tropical restaurants flocking up in Texas

 

First Texas location opened Friday; chain plans to open 20 more in the state this year.

 
Pollo Tropical CEO Tim Taft at a Pollo Tropical on 27th Avenue and US 1 in Miami on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Pollo Tropical CEO Tim Taft at a Pollo Tropical on 27th Avenue and US 1 in Miami on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff

ebenn@MiamiHerald.com

The first Pollo Tropical in Texas opened Friday with the fanfare of a mayoral proclamation, a steel-drum band and rides on a simulated surfing machine.

The new fast-casual restaurant in Addison, about 15 miles north of Dallas, is situated within walking distance of the headquarters of Pollo Tropical’s parent company, Fiesta Restaurant Group.

Fiesta owns and operates about 100 Pollo Tropical restaurants in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and now Texas, where Fiesta plans to open about another 20 more this year. There are three dozen franchisee-owned Pollo Tropicals in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Fiesta, which also owns the Taco Cabana chain, is a publicly traded company that reported $551.3 million in 2013 revenue. Pollo Tropical sales were up 5.9 percent and store traffic increased 2.7 percent last year, the company said. The typical Pollo Tropical store sees an industry-leading $2.6 million average unit volume.

Pollo Tropical was started by two brothers as a single restaurant in Miami in 1988. Larry and Stuart Harris sold the company 10 years later to Carrols Corp., Burger King’s largest U.S. franchisee, for about $90 million.

Carrols spun off the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana brands in 2012 by creating Fiesta. The company tapped Tim Taft as chief executive; he previously led Pizza Inn and Whataburger.

“Over the last couple years we said we’re ready to have [Pollo Tropical] grow to a national scale and not just be in the southeast or Florida,” Taft said to the Dallas Business Journal.

Fiesta worked to amp up Pollo Tropical’s Caribbean theme in Texas to keep it from getting lost among the many Tex-Mex restaurants there. The Addison location features new menu items, including calypso beef and rum punch.

“The last thing we’d want to do is come into the epicenter of Tex-Mex or Mexican food and have something you’d have to visually overcome,” Taft said to the Business Journal. “From the front door to the back door, there’s nothing we haven’t changed.”

Follow @EvanBenn on Twitter.

Read more Business stories from the Miami Herald

  • ArtHackathon coming to Miami this weekend

    In the past year, there have been education, health, law, music and social entrepreneurial hackathons; there was even a hackathon for Cuba. On Saturday and Sunday, The LAB Miami and the YoungArts Foundation are teaming up to produce the first annual ArtHackathon, bringing together artists, coders and innovators for an arts-focused hackathon and live performances. The event will be held out the YoungArts headquarters, 2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, and $2,500 will be awarded to the winning arts-related hack. More info: thelabmiami.com (click on events).

  • Knight announces $15 million Cities Challenge

    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation already runs the Knight News Challenge and the Knight Arts Challenge. On Tuesday, the foundation announced a new initiative: the Knight Cities Challenge.

  • MDC taking applications for 10,000 Small Businesses program

    Miami Dade College is accepting applications for cohort 4 of its Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program to begin Jan. 30 at the Wolfson Campus.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category