Habit Burger CFO Ira Fils moves to El Pollo Loco

Fils, who had been with the Yum Brands’ burger concept since 2008, has also worked at Mimi’s Café and Rubio’s Restaurants.
El Pollo Loco
Photo: Shutterstock

Ira Fils, previously the CFO at The Habit Burger Grill, is the new chief financial officer at El Pollo Loco, the chicken chain announced Thursday.

Fils had held the top finance post with the Yum Brands’ fast-casual burger chain since 2008, helping steer the company through its IPO in 2014 and through its sale to Yum in 2020. During his tenure, Habit Burger grew from 20 locations to more than 300 units.

Larry Roberts had served as the CFO at El Pollo Loco since July 2013, and added the duties of president and CEO in March following the resignation of Bernard Acoca to helm Zaxby’s. Roberts also had a significant tenure at KFC, another Yum Brand, serving as chief operating officer from 2008 to 2012.

“I am very excited to welcome Ira to the El Pollo Loco team,” Roberts said in a statement. “He is a well-rounded and accomplished executive with a successful 20-plus year track record of business acumen and strong leadership. Combined with his deep knowledge of and passion for the restaurant industry, I believe Ira is the perfect complement to our management team and I look forward to his contributions as we execute our strategic priorities and endeavor to accelerate growth in 2022 and beyond.”

The 481-unit fire-grilled chicken chain recently said it had rebounded from the impact of the omicron wave, reporting a 7.8% increase in same-store sales for the period ended March 30.

Fils also served as CFO of Mimi’s Café from 2005 to 2008. Before that, he was the CFO at Rubio’s Restaurants.

“I look forward to working closely with Larry and the entire El Pollo Loco team as we look to further strengthen the brand and deliver long-term growth, Fils 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.


Exclusive Content


Executives' franchisee profitability comments are pointless until they report the data

The Bottom Line: McDonald’s and its franchisees differ on the profitability of restaurants, but we can’t judge for ourselves because the company doesn’t release the data, like most franchise businesses.

Emerging Brands

The race is on for a piece of the pickleball pie

New concepts seem to pop up daily. Here's a look at how the pickleball eatertainment landscape is taking shape.


Will Subway make Roark Capital too dominant? Not really

The Bottom Line: The addition of the sandwich giant will make Roark a bigger player than McDonald's in the U.S. But its position in the sandwich market will not be all that unusual.


More from our partners