El Pollo Loco

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1.0 out of 5, based on 2 ratings and
7 reviews & complaints.

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False Advertising
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I paid a total of almost $13 for the newly advertised on TV "Mango" Grilled Tostada and "Mango" Taco Plate with NO "Mangos". When I complained to the clerk I was told they were "out of mangos" and yet I was never told beforehand nor offered a coupon or free dessert after the fact. I specifically went to El Pollo Loco to try the new specials and was very disappointed and felt cheated by having to pay for something I didn't even get. I really feel like this is "false advertising" and I hesitate to ever go back again because of it. In fact that was my first visit back to El Pollo Loco in several years because I was impressed that they had revamped their boring menu. Furthermore the portions were skimpy, the shells stale and the chicken hard on the edges as if it was old and had been sitting for too long. Bad experience all around and not worth the money.
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Customer service
Posted by on
Regarding El Pollo Loco #3380 at 19762 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA

I phoned the El Pollo Loco customer service line to make a complaint. This was approximately two months ago. I have never heard back from the company. Not a phone call, email or letter. I'm now more angry about the lack of response then the original oomplaint.

The original complaint was regarding a coupon. That particular coupon indicated there would be a $5 discount if a family pak of 12 or more pieces were purchased. The total price of the sale was approximately $22. As the order was being completed the employee said I had gone past the expiration date by 3 days. I told her I didn't realize that and she said that the order couldn't be completed. I asked for the manager and I was told the coupon had expired. I was very upset because I was seeing the same coupon being handed to other customers, so why was the expiration date so critical. If the point of the coupon was to bring in customers then why have an expiration date when the same coupon is being given out to others.

Since it was clear that this location had such great sales that it was willing to turn away a $22 sale. I drove a couple of blocks east and made my purchase at KFC.

I prefer El Pollo Loco but when customers are treated the way I wss treated I'll gladly go elsewhere.

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Sophia Marie on 05/24/2011:
An expired coupon is no longer valid - - that is why they have expiration dates. Unless you actually read the coupons being handed to other cutomers and can verify that they had an expired expiration date then your complaint is not valid.
Anonymous on 05/24/2011:
They were probably handing out valid coupons to other customers.
Anonymous on 05/24/2011:
Good review. Though the coupon had indeed expired as you mentioned, your complaint is valid because the manager showed favorism towards the others customer with coupons of the same expiration date.

You're smart taking your business elsewhere. It's their loss.
Anonymous on 05/24/2011:
Ashley, we don't know if the other customers were being handed expired coupons. Some FF places have coupons all the time. I always use a coupon at BK cause they always have one to use
Anonymous on 05/24/2011:
Actually, I think a one-week grace period would be sufficient.
jktshff1 on 05/24/2011:
Like Dirm says, I can't agree with the grace period. Expired is expired.
trmn8r on 05/24/2011:
You were treated exactly the way I would expect to be treated. "I didn't notice" doesn't work with troopers when you are pulled over for speeding, and I don't think it should work for expiration dates on coupons, rebates, etc.

If the expiration date were not critical, there would not be one.
Venice09 on 05/24/2011:
Why would anyone think coupons were being handed out with the same expiration date? That doesn't even make sense. I'm sure they weren't giving out expired coupons.

It would have been nice if they just gave you a new coupon since they were giving them out anyway, but your old coupon was expired, and I don't believe they should have accepted it. Just think of the can of worms it would open if expiration dates were arbitrary.
PepperElf on 05/25/2011:
Exactly, it sounds like they were handing out new coupons... why the OP didn't try to get a new one I'm not sure.
Sheldonrs on 05/25/2011:
If they offered a one week grace period then people would come in with coupons 3 days past THAT and complain how they wouldn't honor it. See where this is going?
PepperElf on 05/27/2011:
Sheldonrs - EXACTLY.

GARY on 07/09/2011:
I used to love eating at your restaurants. Over the past year or so I've seen you pieces of chicken shrink to skin and bone (WHERE'S THE MEAT?) while KFC INCREASED THE SIZE of their pieces. So guess whose chicken we buy now. We still love your cilantro salad dressing and will miss it. Sorry
Stan on 09/06/2013:
my visit to el, pollo loco last night made me realize that I am justified in getting my take out chicken from popeys.
George on 06/15/2014:
Miss you have no respect for what is right. They did not have to let you use the coupon. The coupon was expired. You should learn how to read no offense.
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Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CALIFORNIA -- Years ago this was good chicken, good loco salad, at a reasonable price. The prices have gone through the roof. The chicken pieces are half the size they were. Over a buck for two little nibbles? Yikes. I'm not Warren Buffet. No more specials on chicken, and sides nearly doubled in price. No more that place for me. If I want chicken, I'll drop the $11 at Hometown buffet and get all I want. It's just as good.
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Why can't they get a simple order correct
Posted by on
When ordering a Jalapeño sandwich without sauce.
1.) I get a guacamole sandwich instead.
2.) Upon return I get a Jalapeño with more sauce than should be legal.
3.) Upon my second return I get another one full of sauce, at this point they had pushed my buttons. At that point in time I grabbed the bun and smeared it all over the drive through window, "what part of NO sauce do you not comprehend?" The manager then gave me my money back.
What I fail to comprehend is it is cheaper for any restaurant to leave ingredients off an order yet they turn "no sauce" into rocket science.
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Venice09 on 10/29/2010:
It does seem like a simple instruction and getting it right shouldn't be difficult, but your actions actually made me sympathize with the store. No business should have to put up with vandalism even if mistakes are made repeatedly. That's not the way to get what you want.
Anonymous on 10/29/2010:
Doug you realize smearing sauce on a drive through window is vandalism right? Keep doing that bud and you'll end up behind bars.
jktshff1 on 10/29/2010:
what they said. If I go further it will get removed.
Anonymous on 10/29/2010:
Special orders do require a bit of patience DougB. You are asking for something in a way that they are not accustomed to preparing it. Three times is a bit much and I can understand your frustration however, you need to learn to practice a little restraint. There really isn't any excuse on God's green earth to behave that way over a danged SANDWICH. Do better. You will have better results. I promise :)
Skye on 10/29/2010:
Sometimes food orders get messed up, which you cannot control, but you can control how you react.

Venice09 on 10/29/2010:
I can understand being pushed over the edge. There are things that make me want to just scream. But fast food isn't one of them. A little perspective goes a long way.
Anonymous on 10/29/2010:
I have had my order wrong more times then I care to count. I usually just shrug it of to human error and let them know. Not worth going to jail over.

This complaint kind of reminds me about that girl that went all physco on the McDonald's employee for not having nuggets for breakfast.
Skye on 10/29/2010:
Oh yea Wally, the one who started flinging Mcnuggest all over the drive through person at the window. Didn't she try to climb into the window, to beat the girl up??

Anonymous on 10/29/2010:
lol yeah sky that is the one, And yes she did.
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Delicious Chicken!
Posted on
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- Today, El Pollo Loco is offering a 'Taste the Fire' for free promotion. For each customer you get a grilled thigh, leg, 2 tortillas (choice of flour or corn) and fresh salsa.

Keep in mind that one must ask for this offer, and it's only at participating locations. Also only available inside the restaurant, however, you could order it to go (which we did).

I haven't had El Pollo Loco chicken in over 20 years, since moving to the east coast, and my husband and I thought we would give it a try.

We parked, and went inside to order. The store appeared very clean (important, I know).

We had virtually no wait in line. Our cashier was extremely pleasant to deal with. As a little splurge, I also ordered a $1 taquito, and my husband ordered a side of mashed potatoes.

A trip to the salsa bar was certainly in order, and I wasn't shy about choosing several different ones, along with lemon wedges and cilantro.

The chicken was juicy and very tasty, with only a hint of citrus marinade. The salsas were quite fresh and delicious.

I loved every bite of it, but waited for my husband's take on the food, as he can be picky sometimes.

He loved it too, and I'm sure we will be back to try some of the other dishes..

Kudos to the manager and staff of El Pollo Loco on Upton Drive in Virginia Beach!

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User Replies:
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
Sorry, Crabman -- I completely forgot what your order was. Perhaps I'll do better next time...
BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
Oh yum! I miss this stuff so badly! Nice review.
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
I love El Pollo Loco. Sounds like I'll be making a stop on my way home from work today.
BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
MM is there any real fire (as in heat, hot food, spicy hot) if you noticed, or is that referring to the grill..
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
Boki, not spicy at all, so must be referring to the grill. Another neat thing - you get to actually watch them grill the chicken.

BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
And we know what that means...clean kitchen!!!
Principissa on 04/28/2009:
I've never been to this place. Do they have a website?

I really want to try this chicken!! :)

I swear I am going to get so fat reading these food reviews.
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
El Pollo Loco is grilled. Not fattening at all
BokiBean on 04/28/2009:
Here Princi.


I wouldn't let myself stare at the chicken but I accidentally saw the flan as I scrolled down. Looks so good! If someone would put one of these down here they would make a killing...
Anonymous on 04/28/2009:
I want to taste the fire! Thanks MM.
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El Pollo Loco is Falling Apart
Posted by on
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA -- Complaint to El Pollo Loco:

"First of all, how dare you require my address in order to complain!!!

I have been visiting your chain since 1988. Today was the worst experience ever at the Burbank blvd, North Hollywood location. The quality control was terrible. No breasts. No wings. No avocado salsa. No nacho cheese. Chunky and very watery salsa. The chicken in the tostada salada was old and tasted like it was refrigerated over night. Every trip to this location seems to get worse and worse. They rarely have ice cream and when they do, they stop making it at around 7:00pm. Often the cheese and fries are kept until they become very stale. The beans consist of about half water. I often wonder if I am going to get samanila from the very lighly cooked chicken. I don't think the owner even gives a damn about the customers, and he lost one today.

cc: Better Business Bureau
cc: My3cents.com
cc: Complaints.com
cc: (additional)"
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Anonymous on 01/02/2008:
If its so bad why do you keep going there.
Anonymous on 01/02/2008:
That's a million dollar question, it does sound like they are through with this location though. Our local El Pollo Loco is really good and always has long lines, so maybe try a different location.
CrazyRedHead on 01/02/2008:
Oh my gawd, no breasts!!!! (*frantic gasp*) Call the CIA, FBI, CSI and AARP!!!! How do they make ice cream? it takes a couple of hours to just make one batch, no wonder they stop making at 7. But seriously, why do you still go there if the food has been going downhill since 1988, that's almost 20 years of bad service and poor food.
bsb7140 on 01/03/2008:
cc: stupid person who keeps eating a place that "has bad food"
for twenty years and then complains about it.
Principissa on 01/03/2008:
I would just stop going there. And if salmonella is that big of a concern to you, call the health department and report them. The only way you are going to get things to change is if you are proactive and force their hand.
MRM on 01/03/2008:
"Jose" es loco la cabeza.
Anonymous on 01/03/2008:
Sounds like you need to find a new place to dine my friend BUT, anyone that complains about chicken that is not FULLY COOKED is okay with me! (VH)
Suusan B. on 01/03/2008:
Come on - - if you're unhappy with this particular El Pollo Loco, just drive on and eat someplace else. You're getting all worked up over a fast food restaurant. Sorry, but no one is forcing you to eat there and your complaints are way over the top.
CrazyRedHead on 01/03/2008:
Yeah, if he hasn't left after 20 years of bad food and service he isn't going to, he's is just blowing a lot of air.
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Posted by on
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA -- I have gone to the El Pollo Loco on Market/Cherry and every time I have ordered a flan and every time they say they are not ready, I don't care if its 11am, 1pm, or 5pm the excuse is the same. They have the best flan's and I usually order 2 or 3 at a time at least twice a week and they tell me the same thing, they are NOT ready....

Just thought I would inform you and I probably won't return if this problem keeps occurring.

Thank you
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Ponie on 05/16/2008:
If '...every time they say they are not ready...,' how do you know they're the best 'flan's?'
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