Leadership

El Pollo Loco CEO Bernard Acoca steps down

The company has named CFO Larry Roberts interim CEO while it looks for a permanent successor.
El Pollo Loco CEO steps down
Photograph: Shutterstock

El Pollo Loco on Friday said that its CEO Bernard Acoca has stepped down from his position, “effective today.”

Larry Roberts, the company’s CFO, has been named interim CEO as the company searches for his replacement.

Acoca, who has been the CEO since 2018, is leaving “to pursue other opportunities.”

“It has been an honor to lead El Pollo Loco the last three and a half years,” Acoca said in a statement.

Michael Maselli, El Pollo Loco’s chairman, credited Acoca for navigating the chain through the pandemic and said the company “is stronger than ever with increasing sales and a strong connection with our customers.”

Roberts has more than 25 years of experience in financial and operating roles and has been CFO of El Pollo Loco for the past eight years.

Sales at the 480-unit chain were consistent under Acoca following his arrival until the pandemic. Those sales recovered quickly this year. Overall, system sales declined 1.7% in 2020 to $879.6 million, according to Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

“We have worked hard over the last few years to build on the momentum in our core business and firmly establish the foundation for successful growth,” Roberts said in a statement.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Starbucks' value offer is a bad idea

The Bottom Line: It’s not entirely clear that price is the reason Starbucks is losing traffic. If it isn’t, the company’s new value offer could backfire.

Financing

Struggling I Heart Mac and Cheese franchisees push back against their franchisor

Operators say most of them aren't making money and want a break on their royalties. But they also complain about receiving expired cheese from closed stores. "Don't send us moldy product."

Financing

In California, jobs are up, but traffic is down

The Bottom Line: Limited-service restaurants have not cut jobs in California, despite the $20 fast-food wage. But that doesn't mean it hasn't had an impact.

Trending

More from our partners