We feel good about our business: El Pollo Loco CEO

LOCO CEO: Quarter strong, have a chicken salad

While investors were apparently disappointed by El Pollo Loco's weak outlook, the company's CEO told CNBC on Friday business is good.

The restaurant chain reported earnings that topped analysts' expectations Thursday, but gave weaker-than expected comparable restaurant sales and guidance.

The stock closed down 15 percent on Friday.

"We feel very good out our business," CEO Steve Sather said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

The company posted adjusted first-quarter earnings of 18 cents per share, up from 13 cents in the year-earlier period. Revenue came in at $90.4 million, up from $81.4 million.

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Wall Street had expected El Pollo Loco to deliver quarterly earnings per share of 17 cents on $88 million in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

Sather said the restaurant did see some softness in the second quarter as it tested multiple proteins on its menu. That concludes next week, and then the company introduces its new hand-carved chicken salad, which Sather thinks will be "very popular."

He also touted El Pollo Loco's 5.1 percent sales growth, brushing off comparisons to Shake Shack's nearly 12 percent sales growth.

"We've had 15 consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales growth. We've had a very strong multiple-year comp-sales growth and 5.1 percent is ... actually above the guidance we've given," Sather noted.

"We feel very strong about the long-term positioning of our concept and really we're focused on new unit growth."

—CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.