Caribbean-inspired restaurant chain Pollo Tropical eyes up UK

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Franchising

Pollo Tropical could become a familiar brand on our high streets if its franchise is taken up by a large operator
Pollo Tropical could become a familiar brand on our high streets if its franchise is taken up by a large operator
Caribbean-inspired US restaurant chain Pollo Tropical is seeking franchisees with hospitality experience to help it expand into cities in the UK.

The quick service restaurant chain, based in Miami, currently owns and operates 90 restaurants across the US and serves a Caribbean inspired menu which uses fresh ‘citrus marinated’ chicken as a key ingredient in its 50-item menu.

Marc Mushkin, senior vice president of international development for Pollo Tropical, said the large influx of British tourists to its home state of Florida each year made the UK a key target for expansion.

“The UK is one of the international markets the company has identified where brand familiarity exists from high levels of trade and tourism to Pollo Tropical’s home state of Florida.

“Adding to that brand familiarity is the documented popularity of chicken brands in the UK and the country’s increasingly multi-cultural demographics, all combining to make it a desirable market for Pollo Tropical,” he said.


Pollo Tropical , pronounced PO-yo Tropi-CAL, first set up franchises outside the States in 1995 in Puerto Rico. It expanded into Ecquador in 1997, then Venezuala earlier this year with plans to extend into more of South America.

Mushkin said the company hoped to find franchisees with ‘capabilities to enter into multiple-unit agreements in busy metropolitan areas.’

He said: “The Pollo Tropical Caribbean-inspired menu….has huge appeal to today’s health-conscious consumer. The brand’s outstanding unit economics and differentiated food offerings make it a great addition to operators of others brands interested in diversifying their businesses.”

Caribbean chicken

Pollo Tropical is a subsidiary of Carrols Restaurant Group Inc. the largest Burger King franchisee in the world. If efforts to expand into the UK are successful, it could become the first Caribbean chicken chain to operate here.

Caribbean-style food in the UK has long been the reserve of individual operators in the UK, but is becoming a focus for larger operators who have recognised a gap in the market for food from the region.

Las Iguanas founder Ajith Jaya-Wickrema is due to open his second Caribbean restaurant under the Turtle Bay brand, in Southampton this month ​following the success of its sister restaurant in Milton Keynes.

Visit for details about franchise opportunities.

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