US-based chicken restaurant chain El Pollo Loco has launched its eco-friendly Thermo-To-Go packaging across its operations in the country.

The packaging is made using partially recycled materials and is designed to keep food hot and safe while reducing waste. It will replace the use of Styrofoam containers for the company’s food offerings.

The move will remove 1.9 million cubic feet of Styrofoam from the US’s national waste stream a year.

The Thermo-To-Go packaging will contribute to El Pollo Loco’s commitment to offering a reliable off-premises dining experience to its customers.

Since 2019, the company’s off-premises business has experienced strong growth. Its delivery sales have increased by 250% and its drive-thru business sales by 43%.

The move is also in line with El Pollo Loco’s implementation of a modern, design-forward approach to enhance all aspects of its customer experience.

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Last month, the company started selling its Tostadas in the Thermo-To-Go packaging, with plans to sell its Fire-Grilled Chicken in the packaging by the end of this month.

El Pollo Loco president and CEO Bernard Acoca said: “El Pollo Loco is committed to enhancing the convenience and overall experience of off-premises dining, which continues to grow exponentially and currently comprises the bulk of our business.

“Not only is our new Thermo-To-Go packaging better for the environment, but it’s sturdier and has an appealing aesthetic that showcases our delicious food while preserving heat and quality.”

Last year, El Pollo Loco adopted the use of tamper-free, sealable delivery bags, GPS-enabled curbside pickup, improvements to drive-thru and other offerings.

The company has opened and maintained more than 480 company-owned and franchised restaurants in various US states, including Arizona, California and Nevada.