Foodservice

Steal This Idea: Create, Sell Branded Merchandise

El Pollo Loco enlists Latino artists to work on skateboards, trucker hats, shirts and more
El Pollo Loco
Photo courtesy of El Pollo Loco

CHICAGO  If “Would you like fries with that?” has gone stale as an upsell line, how about, “Would you like a T-shirt with that?”

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based El Pollo Loco recently launched its first-ever merchandise store, selling shirts, totes and skateboards designed by Latino creators.

The online Loco Gifts and Gear shop is a branding opportunity for the fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, said senior vice president of marketing Andy Rebhun.

El Pollo Loco, which joins a number of chains creating or expanding merchandise lines, contacted Latino artists such as skateboard designer and muralist David Flores, who designed branded skateboards, trucker hats, T-shirts, a pair of board shorts and a tote bag. Custom lowrider designer Manny Silva crafted an El Pollo Loco lowrider bike and more.

Members of the chain’s digital rewards program got early access to the online shop.

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