The Sweet Way El Pollo Loco Is Celebrating Día De Los Muertos

It's almost Día de los Muertos, and El Pollo Loco has plenty of celebrations planned for the annual holiday. The restaurant chain has been serving authentic Mexican dishes and chicken since Pancho Ochoa opened the first location in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico in 1975 (via the official website). The restaurant's delicious family recipes were incredibly popular, and the first U.S. location opened in Los Angeles in 1980 before the chain eventually spread to 500 locations across six states.

The Día de los Muertos holiday, also known as Day of the Dead, is celebrated every year on November 1, and it's incredibly important to families in Mexico and other parts of Latin America as a way to honor loved ones that have passed on. The holiday involves lots of celebrations that include food and drink, particularly those that the deceased family members loved, as well as building altars in their memory, and making offerings (or ofrendas) of food and drink to their spirits, per National Geographic.

Larry Roberts, the Interim CEO and CFO of the chain, said in a press release sent to Mashed, "At El Pollo Loco, we are incredibly proud of our Mexican heritage, and family and tradition are at the heart of everything we do." The restaurant group is choosing to honor that heritage and tradition by going all out with their Día de los Muertos celebrations this year. Here's how you can participate.

El Pollo Loco's Día de los Muertos festivities include special food and artwork

El Pollo Loco is pulling out all the stops to celebrate Día de los Muertos this year, as noted in a press release sent to Mashed. First, the chain commissioned L.A. artist Steve Martinez to paint a special mural on the exterior of the restaurant group's Inglewood location, which was completed October 12 (the restaurant documented its creation on their Youtube channel). There is also a special El Pollo Loco Día de los Muertos gift card available in two different designs for a limited time — and, as an added perk, an extra $10 bonus card will be given for every $50 e-gift card purchased through February 27, 2022. The physical gift cards can be purchased at any location, and e-gift cards can be purchased online.

Of course, there is also a special promotion for diners that visit El Pollo Loco on the holiday, which is November 1. All customers who purchase a Familia Dinner on this day will receive two loaves of Pan de Muerto, the Mexican sweet bread imbued with anise and orange blossom that is often included in offerings to passed loved ones. This bread will be made with an authentic recipe from El Pollo Loco chefs, per the press release.

The celebrations continue on the restaurant's TikTok account, where they have partnered with influencers on a "Build Your Own Ofrenda" series. The creators will share what the holiday means to them and show their family's method of making an offering to their loved ones that have passed on. All the celebrations will definitely get you in the mood for some delicious fire-grilled chicken. Pop into your local El Pollo Loco location to get in on the festivities!