Pollo Tropical® Gets a Big Texas Welcome

  Pollo Tropical® Gets a Big Texas Welcome

  Fiesta Restaurant Group^®, Inc., pushes expansion west of the Mississippi

Business Wire

ADDISON, Texas -- March 31, 2014

Pollo Tropical opened its first Texas location this weekend to huge crowds and
impressive opening-day sales as Texans showed big support for the Miami-based
Caribbean grilled chicken restaurant owned and operated by Fiesta Restaurant
Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI).

Pollo Tropical Addison (Photo: Business Wire)

Pollo Tropical Addison (Photo: Business Wire)

The opening of the Dallas-area restaurant, in Addison near its parent
company’s headquarters, marks the successful start of Fiesta’s execution phase
of its east-west expansion strategy for its two fast-casual brands, Pollo
Tropical and Taco Cabana^®.

“Pollo Tropical is a deeply beloved restaurant in its core markets, but
there’s nothing like it in this market. The overwhelming response we’re
already seeing tells me that Texans are going embrace it and make it their
own,” said Fiesta President and CEO Tim Taft. “This is an important first step
in the westward expansion of this brand and toward fulfilling Fiesta’s mission
to revitalize and grow our brands.”

Fiesta was spun off from Carrols Restaurant Group in 2012 to focus on the
future of its 26-year-old Pollo Tropical brand and its 35-year-old Taco Cabana
chain. Since then, the company has looked at every aspect of each brand’s
business and formulated a strategy to grow Pollo Tropical west, while bringing
a redesigned, elevated version of Taco Cabana into the Southeast under the new
Cabana Grill™ banner. The first Cabana Grill opens in the Atlanta suburb of
Snellville in about two weeks.

Pollo Tropical Chief Operating Officer Danny Meisenheimer was named to his
post in 2013 with a top priority of growing the 107-unit chain into Texas,
where he has a long history of multi-unit operations. Part of that task
included making sure Texans would understand the concept’s uniqueness and
differentiate it from Tex-Mex restaurant concepts. To that end, the Texas
Pollo Tropical features a bright Caribbean-inspired color scheme and rows of
palms, unlike restaurants in the chain’s native Florida, where fiercely loyal
fans make multiple visits per week.

“We’ve completely redesigned and re-engineered the Pollo Tropical experience,
offering a fresh approach, while taking advantage of decades of operational
excellence to serve our guests,” said Meisenheimer. “This restaurant shows how
far we’ve come in matching the beauty of the building to our distinctive,
unparalleled food and bringing our concept to a new region in a meaningful
way.”

Meisenheimer will oversee the opening of as many as 10 new Pollo Tropical
locations throughout Texas in 2014.

About Fiesta Restaurant Group, ^  Inc.

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., owns, operates and franchises Pollo Tropical,
Taco Cabana and Cabana Grill restaurant brands. The brands specialize in the
operation of fast-casual, ethnic restaurants that offer distinct and unique
flavors with broad appeal at a compelling value. The brands feature
made-from-scratch cooking, fresh salsa bars, drive-thru service and catering.
For more information about Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., visit the corporate
website at www.frgi.com.

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Contact:

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.
Mary Kate Jeffries, 214-379-7000
marykate@spmcommunications.com
 
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