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Review of the Pollo Tropical Franchise Opp and Startup Costs

Restaurants that focus on chicken are becoming a strong investment opportunity across the world today. It’s a lean protein that tastes great, is fairly affordable for the average person, and can be used in a wide variety of ways. If you’re looking to diversify your portfolio or you want a good investment opportunity and want to get into franchising, then Pollo Tropical might just have the right place to put your money. Bringing a feeling of a visit to the beach in over 140 franchise locations already, this could be a good investment opportunity for you.

Here’s What You Need To Know About This Opportunity

Pollo Tropical isn’t seeking any traditional franchises in the continental United States right now. They are instead seeking out partners for institutional restaurants that will be licensed under the brand name. If you’ve got mainland 48 locations that are at a college campus or perhaps an airport, then you might wish to speak with the company about joining forces to create more excitement for your existing location.

If you are looking to franchise in markets that are outside of the continental US, however, then Pollo Tropical might be the right opportunity for you. They’re looking for good people who have a lot of experience working in high volume food service situations, including multi-unit restaurant management. The qualified candidate will have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in this area, but an equity partner can fulfill this obligation.

You’ll also need excellent credit and business references and a proven ability to develop commercial retail properties. You’ll need to have an existing business infrastructure that will be able to support the operation and investment that is required to become a franchisee of Pollo Tropical and plan on being very involved with the restaurant.

As for the net worth mandatory minimum, all potential franchisees must provide proof of at least $5 million through verified financial records. If a territorial agreement is being pursued as part of the franchising agreement, then this net worth minimum will be higher. There must also be unencumbered liquid assets that are verifiable and in excess of $1.5 million, which must also be higher in a territorial agreement. The typical Pollo Tropical location typically costs about $1 million to achieve a grand opening and this investment opportunity requires a minimum commitment of 5 restaurants.

Depending on the location of your franchise, the startup period may last for as little as 60 days or it may take over a year.

What Kind of Support Do You Receive?

Pollo Tropical has made a name for itself by providing customers with fresh, fire-grilled chicken dishes that are prepared and cooked to order. It’s not a Mexican restaurant by any means and you won’t find fried chicken. What you will find are healthy recipes that are designed to attract a Caribbean, Central American, and South American audience primarily, or an Asian-Pacific audience that is attracted to this style of cuisine.

Your training begins with access to the recipes that will help define the success of this franchise opportunity. You’ll be putting in a real fire-grill that you’ll be trained to use and your training will go over all of the best practices that have been put into place by the home organizations. Fresh salsas, salads, sandwiches, wraps… the whole goal is to provide people with food that they’ll feel better about eating.

What you won’t receive with this investment opportunity, however, is a new understanding of the chain restaurant industry. In almost all cases, Pollo Tropical offers a franchising opportunity to investors that are already highly involved in the business and understand the concept from top to bottom. It’s a highly competitive industry that requires brand building and plenty of capital, but also lots of relevant experience. Pollo Tropical believes that experience comes from running a business, not from time sitting in the classroom.

Because of that, it is very difficult for the average investor with hospitality industry experience to pick up a franchise opportunity with this organization. This brand is looking to grow aggressively, but smartly. It’s not good for business if franchises go out of business, nor is it good for business to have inconsistencies in the brand in any way. Because of that, uniforms, trademarks, and even the design of the menu are all subject to the approval of Pollo Tropical and are rigorously maintained with consistent checks of franchises.

How Good Is This Investment Opportunity?

If you’re looking for a brand partner for an existing US location, you’ll need to think about the merits of a partnership when compared to the current level of business you’re doing under your own brand. In regards to an international franchise opportunity, it depends if you’ve got the capital to make this level of investment happen. This isn’t one of those opportunities where you can just diversify a portfolio to get more revenues coming in from different sources. This is a major investment opportunity that will take a lot of work to develop and grow over time.

It’s not going to be for the average investor or small business entrepreneur. That’s the reason why the mandatory minimums are set at such a high level. The amount of net worth helps to provide another layer of proof that a potential franchisee has the proven experience that is needed in order to make the Pollo Tropical brand become #1 in the community where it is located.

If you do have the required resources and have the necessary experience to build a minimum of 5 units for this organization, then this is a good chance to score big with a reasonably secure investment in the ultra-competitive food industry. Based in Miami and with a worldwide presence, you could become part of a growing team that has people excited about fire-grilled chicken in a unique way. Some might smell a wonderful chicken recipe when the meat is on the grill, but you just might smell extra money in the bank.

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