El Pollo Loco CEO: Competitors helped fuel our success

Where El Pollo Loco is hiring
Where El Pollo Loco is hiring   

El Pollo Loco—which calls itself a quick-service restaurant serving high-quality food—can thank some of its recent success to competitors like Chipotle Mexican Grill, its CEO told CNBC Friday.

The restaurant chain saw a 6 percent boost in revenue in the second quarter, it reported Thursday. Earnings came in at 16 cents per share on $87 million in revenue, up from $82 million a year ago.

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"Our menu appeals very much to not only the Hispanic market but also the general market. We were very successful and I attribute that to companies like Chipotle who have introduced burritos and tacos around the country. Taco Bell as well," Steve Sather said in an interview with "Street Signs."

An El Pollo Loco restaurant
Source: El Pollo Loco
An El Pollo Loco restaurant

Since going public on July 25, the company has seen its shares soar about 140 percent, making it the fourth best IPO of the year.

The key to El Pollo Loco's success is its "unique" Mexican-themed menu—which is centered around its signature grilled chicken—and its positioning between traditional quick-service and fast casual restaurants, Sather said.

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El Pollo Loco's food is "much like the quality of food you'd find at a Chipotle or a Panera—the fast casual at the high-end—but we offer the speed, convenience and value that you'd find at quick service," he noted.

While there are currently 401 El Pollo Loco locations situated in the Southwest, the company is looking to eventually open 2,300 restaurants across the country.

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"We are very excited about our expansion potential," Sather said.

In fact, the company is currently hiring for its Houston store, which is expected to open in October.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox. CNBC's Stefanie Kratter contributed to this report.