The 401-unit, fast-casual chain said it is well positioned to lure "food enthusiasts who seek real food, real fast and at reasonable prices," according to regulatory forms filed last week. If approved, the company would be listed under the Nasdaq symbol "LOCO."
"We believe the quality of our food and dining experience and the affordable prices we offer our customers drive our operating results," the company said in its IPO filing.
The move to go public comes as
Since mid-2011, the company has experienced 11 consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales through the most recent quarter ended
But the chicken chain is also carrying a heavy debt load -- nearly
Its menu features citrus-marinated flame grilled chicken meals served in quesadillas, bowls, burritos, salads and tacos. On a limited basis, the menu has added other proteins, including shrimp, beef and carnitas. In 2010,
A year later under new leadership, steak was slowly phased out as the company retrenched. Since that time,
This year the company introduced five entree meals under 500 calories and is changing the brand's look with a Hacienda-style design. At revamped stores, which began in 2012, grills are visible to guests as they order food. Larger windows shed more light on the orange and blue hues of the dining room. The salsa bar, usually located in the dining room, is at the front counter.
That contemporary look is faring well with diners,
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