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El Pollo Loco goes Air Loco for drone delivery

Partnership with Flytex brings drone delivery to random reward members

El Pollo Loco began a drone delivery test of its fire-grilled chicken in the Southern California market. Executives note the pilot is part of its digital evolution. The restaurant company partnered with Tel Aviv-based drone startup Flytex for what it calls its Air Loco program.

Flytex’s drone cruises at 32 mph, soaring above typical traffic obstacles and jams. Using a wire mechanism, the drones lower food to their locations in a methodical and gentle manner from 80 feet above, according to El Pollo Loco’s announcement.

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

El Pollo Loco created a new Thermo-to-Go packaging that will keep food hot and the expedited delivery option will speed up the time it takes for hot food to reach customers. Also, the Air Loco drone’s fastened delivery box helps keep food intact during the flights.

The fire-grilled chicken chain says that Loco Rewards members will be the first to receive drone delivery.

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To promote delivery, El Pollo Loco is offering customers free (vehicle or drone) delivery starting June 24. The promotion will highlight the new Thermo-to-Go packaging. Customers can take advantage of the promotion by placing orders of $20 or more at elpolloloco.com and on the rewards app.

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