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

May 03, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET

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

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Q & A
Operator
Operator

At this time, we'll be conducting a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Matthew DiFrisco, Guggenheim Securities. Please proceed with your question.

Analyst
Matthew DiFrisco

Thank you. I know it might be a little bit early but, Bernard, I guess, could you talk a little bit about some of the potential marketing strategies or at least the cadence of the pace of when we might see different marketing strategies or significant difference in waiting or something of that nature? How that might change over the next couple of quarters or over the next couple of years? What sort of a cadence and pace we should expect?

Executive
Bernard Acoca

Well, I think I would categorize them in two buckets. And per my opening remarks, I think we're very, very focused in the near term in terms of optimizing our marketing calendar and our marketing message to regain momentum in the back half of the year. So I think what you can expect to see there is us taking the hard look and revisiting our marketing calendar, our advertising and how we're allocating our media weight to best optimize those things to have maximum impact for the balance of the year.

Concurrently, we're taking a hard look at our brand architecture to ensure that we are clarifying and differentiating what our brand stands for and really leveraging what our key differentiators are in the marketplace. So in the short-term, I think you could expect to see some incremental changes to what we're doing in the back half of the calendar year with more to come medium to longer term as we start to further differentiate and clarify what our brand stands for.

Analyst
Matthew DiFrisco

Excellent. Okay. Thank you.

Operator
Operator

As a reminder, we are now conducting a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Our next question comes from Mary McNellis, Robert W. Baird & Company. Please proceed with your question.

Analyst
Mary McNellis

Good afternoon. Thanks for taking the question. Bernard, you noted an opportunity in your remarks about focusing on continually delivering a good guest experience. So I was wondering if you could talk a little bit how operations improvements might play a role in this strategy going forward and what your consumer feedback scores or what your initial experience has told you about what might need to improve there.

Executive
Bernard Acoca

Sure. Well, I would say, first off, that the culture that we had at the company is something that I have been very, very impressed by coming into the company. There is a word here that I've heard repeated quite often, both in this building, at our support center and then our restaurants, and that's family. And that's evidenced by the very long tenure we have in many, many of our employees both here at the support center and in our restaurants.

I think it's something that's somewhat of an anomaly in the QSR business, for the restaurant business in general I should say. That is a very strong foundation, off of which to build a very dynamic culture, which really focuses