Aug 15, 2023 - Business

Utah's Señor Pollo Mexican Grill eyes national expansion

Chicken cooking on the grill. Photo courtesy: Señor Pollo Mexican Grill

Señor Pollo Mexican Grill, a fast-growing Mexican chicken chain, is gearing up to open two new outposts in Salt Lake City — and potentially more outside of Utah.

State of play: Jesus and Dulce Ruiz, a married couple, opened their first location in Ogden in 2018.

  • Five years later, the business has expanded to seven brick-and-mortars with two additional stores anticipated in downtown Salt Lake City and Rose Park in the next couple of months.

The latest: Jesus Ruiz said his legal team is working on paperwork that would allow Señor Pollo to be franchised in all 50 states.

  • And he's in discussions with investors to expand the chain into California, Nevada, New York and Texas.
  • "We might go national by next year if everything goes well," he said.

The intrigue: Jesus Ruiz — who's from the Mexican state of Michoacán and was raised in Utah — said the Sinaloa-style grilled chicken is a secret family recipe with Lebanese roots.

  • The chicken is marinated for about 24 hours and then cooked over a fire grill.
  • The eatery's menu also includes tacos, nachos, tamales and a variety of salsas.

Zoom out: Sinaloa-style chicken is a popular take-out meal in Mexico meant to be shared with friends and family, according to Ruiz.

💭 Kim's thought bubble: I went to Señor Pollo's new Sugar House location last Friday to try their two-piece chicken meal and definitely plan to return.

  • The citrus-flavored meat was juicy, tender and lightly charred.
  • The rice and pinto beans, which came on the side, tasted like they came from my mother's kitchen.
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