El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOCO) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 03, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET


El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOCO) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the El Pollo Loco First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants have been placed in a listen-only mode and the lines will be open for your questions following the presentation. Please note that this conference is being recorded today, May 3, 2018. On the call today we have Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Pollo Loco, and Larry Roberts, Chief Financial Officer.

And now, I would like to turn the conference over to Larry Roberts.

Laurance Roberts

Thank you, operator, and good afternoon. By now, everyone should have access to our first quarter 2018 earnings release. If not, it can be found at www.elpolloloco.com in the Investor Relations section.

Before we begin our formal remarks, I need to remind everyone that our discussion today will include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and therefore, you should not put undue reliance on them. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we expect. We refer all of you to our recent SEC filings for a more detailed discussion of the risks that could impact our future operating results and financial condition. We expect to file our 10-Q for the first quarter of 2018 within the next few days and we encourage you to review that document at your earliest convenience.

During today's call, we will discuss non-GAAP measures, which we believe can be useful in evaluating our performance. The presentation of this additional information should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP, and reconciliations to comparable GAAP measures are available in our earnings release.

It's now my pleasure to turn the call over to President and Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Acoca.

Bernard Acoca

Thanks, Larry. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. I'm so excited to be here on my first El Pollo Loco earnings call. And I look forward to sharing our journey with you. I've now been at El Pollo Loco for seven-plus weeks. And while I'm still immersing myself in the business, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few of my observations as well as my thoughts on opportunity areas we need to focus on immediately.

When evaluating joining the company, I was first struck with just how special the El Pollo Loco brand is. I instantly fell in love with our signature product, our citrus-marinated chicken, which is freshly prepared right in front of the customer on an open-flame grill. Between the time it takes to marinate and the time it spends on the grill, each chicken takes almost an hour and a half to cook. We simply don't take shortcuts with our chicken, making our product an absolutely delicious, truly differentiated, handcrafted and high quality product. While other may make claims, we believe that few of our competitors freshly prepare