How Dallas-based Pollo Campero plans to dominate the chicken business in the U.S.

The Guatemalan-born chain opened its 100th location in the U.S. and is investing in a larger growth plan.

Pollo Campero, the Guatemalan-born chicken chain with a loyal following, has big plans for the United States.

The chain, which launched its U.S. headquarters in Dallas in 2007, opened its 100th U.S. location this month and plans to expand even more to gain market share in the fried and rotisserie chicken world. Its parent company, 103-year-old Corporación Multi-Inversiones, pledged to invest $190 million in the expansion over the next few years.


Pollo Campero, which is a fast-casual restaurant that sells fried and grilled chicken with typical Central American side dishes such as yucca or plantains, started in Guatemala in 1971 and then expanded to El Salvador and other Latin American countries. By 2002, they entered the U.S. market.

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A family platter of fried and grilled chicken, with rice, macaroni and coleslaw at Pollo...
A family platter of fried and grilled chicken, with rice, macaroni and coleslaw at Pollo Campero. The chain has added some American dishes to their menu.(Anja Schlein / Special Contributor)

“We have a loyal following of Central Americans who are very passionate about the brand, not only because it is fresh food, but because they have memorable experiences when they go to the restaurants growing [up] in their countries,” said Blas Escarcega, Pollo Campero’s vice president of franchise development, to The News. “When we open a restaurant here in the U.S., people get excited because they say, ‘Oh, that’s my brand, that’s home.’”

Pollo Campero has added other dishes to its menu to gain ground with American diners, such as mac and cheese and coleslaw.


“We’re not only expanding to have more presence, but we are also adding things to the menu so our customers have more relatable things to order,” Escarcega said. “When people say chicken, I want them to say Pollo Campero.”

Another attraction of Pollo Campero is that the dishes are served with silverware, making it a place somewhere between a fast-food chain and a restaurant.

Pollo Campero aims to open 25 more restaurants in the U.S. in 2024. About 16% of U.S. locations are franchised, and the rest are corporate-owned. By 2026, the chain hopes to lift that number to 30%.


The company’s revenue increased 19% last year. According to a press release, each U.S. location averages over $2.9 million in annual sales.

In North Texas, Pollo Campero has two locations in Dallas, one in Farmers Branch, one in Irving, and one in Richardson. The chain has locations in 19 states and the D.C. area.

Pollo Campero in Richardson, Texas, Friday April 12, 2024.
Pollo Campero in Richardson, Texas, Friday April 12, 2024. (Anja Schlein / Special Contributor)

For Escarcega, part of the brand’s expansion in the United States in recent years is due to the greater acceptance of Hispanic culture in the country, boosted by social networks where new generations show their appreciation for cultural diversity.

“I do see the younger generation wanting to taste more flavors and experiment with different cultures; they are not afraid to try anything,” Escarcega said. “So this has allowed us to enter the more mainstream consumer [market] here in the U.S., but you also bring along our legacy customers.”