El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: LOCO) announced the grand opening of its newest location in Watsonville, CA today. The new El Pollo Loco, located at 1401 N. Main St., is owned and operated by El Pollo Loco’s largest franchise partner, WKS Restaurant Group (WKS). The new restaurant marks the first El Pollo Loco location to open in Watsonville and the 64th for WKS.

“We are thrilled to bring El Pollo Loco’s signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and delicious, authentic Mexican offerings to Watsonville and offer the community a family-friendly environment in which to enjoy our healthy, flavorful, Mexican-inspired dishes,” said Roland Spongberg, President and CEO of WKS Restaurant Group. “We have a phenomenal relationship with El Pollo Loco and feel honored to work with such a great brand. It’s always exciting opening a new restaurant and we can’t wait to welcome residents and visitors of Watsonville to come join us at our new restaurant.”

“We are thrilled to have WKS Restaurant Group bring El Pollo Loco to Watsonville and expand our presence in our home state of California,” said Steve Sather, Chief Executive Officer at El Pollo Loco. “For more than 28 years, Roland and the entire team at WKS have been fantastic stewards of the El Pollo Loco brand. As our largest franchise partner, we are grateful for all of the hard work they’ve put into helping expand the presence of this great brand. We look forward to continuing this relationship and opening even more El Pollo Loco restaurants with them in the future.”

The 2,798 square foot restaurant has seating for 120 guests and incorporates the brand’s new ‘Vision Design,’ which highlights an authentic, Mexican-inspired atmosphere and encompasses El Pollo Loco’s menu and brand identity. The new design features warm textures, rustic elements and a focus on the Company’s signature open kitchen layout which allows for guests to view El Pollo Loco’s chicken as it is fire-grilled. The restaurant is open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.

The new Watsonville location will open with El Pollo Loco’s new online and mobile ordering capabilities. (Original Source)

Shares of El Pollo LoCo are currently trading at $12.70, down $0.15 or -1.17%. LOCO has a 1-year high of $15.44 and a 1-year low of $10.08. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $12.72 and its 200-day moving average is $12.82.

On the ratings front, El Pollo LoCo has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 4, William Blair analyst Sharon Zackfia downgraded LOCO to Hold. Separately, on September 19, Jefferies Co.’s Andy Barish reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $16.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Sharon Zackfia and Andy Barish have a yearly average return of 1.2% and 9.5% respectively. Zackfia has a success rate of 45% and is ranked #1948 out of 4295 analysts, while Barish has a success rate of 62% and is ranked #321.

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. operates as a holding company with interest in managing restaurants. It operates through its subsidiary, El Pollo Loco, Inc. develops, franchises, licenses and operates quick-service restaurants under the name El Pollo Loco. The company specialize in flame-grilled chicken in a wide variety of contemporary mexican-influenced entrees, including specialty chicken burritos, chicken quesadillas, chicken tortilla soup,pollo bowls and pollo salads.