El Pollo Loco Announces the Grand Opening of New Restaurant in Richardson, TX

COSTA MESA, Calif., March 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — El Pollo Loco, Inc. (Nasdaq:LOCO), the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken chain, opened its newest restaurant in Richardson, TX today. The new El Pollo Loco, located at 1400 E. Beltline Rd., marks the first restaurant to open in Richardson.

“We are excited to expand our presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth market and bring our fans another conveniently located destination to enjoy our signature citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and authentic Mexican-inspired entrees,” said Gus Siade, Senior Vice President of Operations at El Pollo Loco. “The DFW market is a special one for us and with now more than 10 restaurants in the area, El Pollo Loco is thrilled to serve the community of Richardson. We are eager to serve our loyal fans and new customers the delicious flavors and passionate service our brand is known for.”

The 2,660 square foot restaurant has seating for 64 guests and the dining room features the Company’s new ‘Vision Design,’ which highlights an authentic, Mexican-inspired atmosphere and encompasses El Pollo Loco’s menu and brand identity. The new design features warm textures, rustic elements and a focus on the Company’s signature open kitchen layout which allows for guests to view El Pollo Loco’s signature chicken as it is fire-grilled. The restaurant and drive-thru is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For promotions and news on the new Richardson location, fans can follow the restaurant’s local Facebook page. El Pollo Loco fans are also encouraged to join the new Loco Rewards Loyalty Program and receive a free chicken avocado taco after signing up. Loco Rewards members will be able to earn points, redeem rewards and manage offers directly from the new El Pollo Loco mobile app, which is available for download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

About El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) is the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain renowned for its masterfully citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and handcrafted entrees using fresh ingredients inspired by Mexican recipes. With more than 475 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Utah, El Pollo Loco is expanding its presence in key markets through a combination of company and existing and new franchisee development. Visit us on our website at www.elpolloloco.com.

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Kate Kohlbrenner

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WaterWalk Breaks Ground in Richardson, Texas

WICHITA, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WaterWalk, Jack DeBoer’s fifth national brand, announced today the groundbreaking of its third property at 2210 North Glenville Drive in Richardson, Texas. This is the second WaterWalk franchise property sponsored by MBC Partners who opened their first WaterWalk franchise property in Centennial, Colorado in September of this year.

“We look forward to a smooth construction period, a strong pre-opening sales effort, and witnessing the operational talents for which WaterWalk management is well known.”

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The planned two-building, four-story, 153-room hybrid hotel and apartment concept has a projected opening date of November 2018. Law Company of Wichita, Kansas is serving as general contractor and Woolpert of Dallas, Texas is serving as architect and civil engineer.

WaterWalk was created by entrepreneur Jack DeBoer, founder of Residence Inn (now Marriott), Candlewood Suites, Value Place (now WoodSpring Suites), and Summerfield Suites (now Hyatt House). WaterWalk’s first property opened in Wichita, Kansas in November 2014 and its second property opened in Centennial, Colorado in September 2017. Three additional locations are under construction and seven construction starts are planned for the next eight months. The next two locations to open will be San Antonio, Texas in March 2018 and Las Colinas, Texas in May 2018.

WaterWalk combines the space and comfort of apartment living with the services of an upscale hotel. Business travelers staying a few nights to several months for relocations, training, or projects gain an added level of comfort and convenience with a fully-equipped modern kitchen, full-size in-room washer and dryer, housekeeping, and customized breakfast options delivered weekly to their suite. Guests also enjoy an onsite fitness center, 300 DirecTV channels and a DVR, internet, and 24/7 front desk service.

For those seeking an improved apartment experience, residents of WaterWalk get more for their money with all utilities, internet, DirecTV with 300 channels, and a DVR included in one monthly payment. Additional benefits include a washer and dryer in each unit, flexible lease terms, 24/7 front desk service, an on-site fitness center, and the savings and convenience of no security deposit, administrative fee, or utility deposits.

Upon completion, WaterWalk Richardson guests will experience additional amenities not yet seen before at previous WaterWalk locations with the planned introduction of WaterWalk Prototype 4.0. New amenities will include a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with a lounge area along with an expansive outdoor green space. WaterWalk Richardson will also be the very first WaterWalk location to have balconies and a spacious new lobby. The open concept will invite guests and residents to linger and connect with one another at the coffee bar or over a televised sporting event on the 70” flat screen television in the media room. A high level of attention will also be paid to selecting comfortable and stylish lobby furniture to further enhance the guest experience.

“WaterWalk is eager to add another WaterWalk property to the thriving Dallas, Texas area and we’re honored to be doing it with MBC’s founding partners – Rob Mossburg, Chris Copps, and Bill Booth,” said David Redfern, president of WaterWalk.

“MBC Partners could not be more pleased to break ground in Richardson with its second WaterWalk franchise, and to have invested in two of the country’s most dynamic markets,” said Rob Mossburg. “We look forward to a smooth construction period, a strong pre-opening sales effort, and witnessing the operational talents for which WaterWalk management is well known.”

Companies using WaterWalk for their corporate housing needs will find a particularly convenient added level of service compared to other corporate housing facilities, including a national sales team, full support staff on-site 24 hours a day for any guest needs, increased flexibility in arrival and departure dates, and the convenience of a 24-hour notice to vacate.

WaterWalk is focused on strategically expanding throughout the United States via corporate and franchised locations. Over the next two years, WaterWalk’s expansion plans include properties in Denver, CO; Washington, D.C.; Phoenix, AZ; Salt Lake City, UT; Miami, FL; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Overland Park, KS; Nashville, TN; and Austin, TX.

About MBC Partners

Headquartered in Newport Beach, California, MBC’s founding partners Rob Mossburg, Bill Booth and Chris Copps have a combined 90-plus years experience in private equity investing, the US lodging industry, real estate development and construction and the acquisition, operations, asset management and disposition of real estate assets and enterprises.

About WaterWalk

Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, WaterWalk combines the most appealing features of an upscale extended stay hotel with the space and lifestyle of apartment living. Guests may choose to stay a week, a month, a year, or more with one all-inclusive bill for utilities, DirecTV with 300 channels including premium channels, DVR, internet access, phone, fitness center, and 24/7 concierge services. With the full-service package, guests enjoy fully-furnished accommodations, housekeeping, and complimentary breakfast delivered to each suite. WaterWalk is the fifth national brand started by Jack DeBoer, including Residence Inn (Marriott), Summerfield Suites (Hyatt), Candlewood Suites, and Value Place/WoodSpring Suites. For more information, visit www.waterwalk.com or call (316) 631-1351.


Press Contact:
Gregory FCA
Leigh Minnier
Vice President
Company Contact:
Sherrill Carper
Director of Marketing
Company Contact:
Rob Mossburg
Founding Partner, MBC Partners

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Pigg, Tommie Catherine

Tommie Catherine Pigg, 84, of Richardson, passed away Wednesday, March 7. A memorial service will be held Friday, March 23 at 11 a.m., Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church, 3901 North Star Road, Richardson, TX. A reception will follow.

She was born Tommie Catherine Bunting Oct. 5, 1933 in Bryan, graduated Stephen F. Austin High School in 1951, and Baylor University with a BA in Education in 1954. She returned home to marry her high-school sweetheart, James Calvin Pigg, also of Bryan. They were married 63 years before she lost her valiant four-year fight with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.

Tommie was the daughter of William David and Dorothy Bunting. Her father served as Brazos County School Superintendent and was instrumental in desegregating county schools. Tommie began her own career teaching third grade at Crockett Elementary where her first class saved pennies to buy her a tiny box of glass animals. She kept that little box of animals until the day she died.

She had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel to the mountains. She loved sitting home with Calvin in front of a fire on a cold night. To know Tommie was to know a soft-pillow hug and a radiant smile. "She was so enthusiastic," writes friend and author Tim Sandlin. "The little things excited her. She loved without question."

Tommie is survived by her husband, James Calvin Pigg, her younger brother William David Bunting, Jr., and his wife Joyce, her daughter Deborah Pigg Bedford, and her husband Jack, her son James Calvin Pigg, Jr., and her grandchildren Jeffrey Taylor Bedford, Avery Elizabeth Bedford and Cooper James Pigg. She is also survived by nieces and a nephew she dearly loved, Laurie Bunting Weesner, Amy Bunting Storrie and William Clayton Bunting. Memorial gifts can be sent in her honor to St. Labre Indian School, 1000 Tongue River Road, Ashland MT 59003, give.stlabre.org. Gifts can also be sent to her church, address above, 75082.

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Kobe Steel CEO to Resign Over False-Data Scandal

TOKYO— Kobe Steel Ltd.’s KBSTY 1.54% chief executive said he would step down effective April 1 to take responsibility for a quality scandal that has shaken Japan’s reputation for top-notch manufacturing.

“To demonstrate that Kobe Steel has changed and to speed up change, we need new management,” said Hiroya Kawasaki, the head of Japan’s third-largest steelmaker.

Kobe Steel—which supplies the makers of cars, planes and nuclear plants—admitted in October to falsifying quality specifications on products shipped to hundreds of customers, prompting an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. On Tuesday, the company said some of the data falsification went back 50 years.

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Kobe Steel’s announcement opened the floodgates for similar revelations at other top manufacturers, puncturing national pride in Japan’s manufacturing prowess.

In recent months, Mitsubishi Materials Corp. MIMTF 945.78% and Subaru Corp. FUJHY 0.64% admitted to quality-inspection lapses, while Nissan Motor Co. said it let unqualified employees perform final quality inspections on some cars. Those companies, as well as Kobe Steel, said no safety issues resulted.

Other scandals in recent years affecting Japan’s reputation include problems at Takata Corp. , which declared bankruptcy last year after it said it supplied more than 50 million defective vehicle air bags in the U.S.

Mr. Kawasaki blamed a corporate culture that he said prioritized winning orders and meeting delivery deadlines over quality. Kobe Steel said that two current and two former executives at its aluminum and copper division had been aware that workers were falsifying data but that they failed to stop the practice or report it to the board. Another executive only partially addressed the issue by having some of the orders halted, it said.

The two former executives were directly involved at some point in the practice, the company said, following a probe by outside legal experts. It didn’t name those involved or detail what happened to them.

‘To demonstrate that Kobe Steel has changed and to speed up change, we need new management.’

—Hiroya Kawasaki, Kobe Steel’s chief executive

To date, the company has found that 605 customers received shipments affected by data falsification. Overseas customers accounted for 222 of those.

The company will overhaul its board so that a third of its members are external directors and set up an advisory committee dedicated to compliance issues, Mr. Kawasaki said.

“I cannot but say that the roots of the problem go deep,” he said.

Kobe Steel said five executives, including the head of its aluminum and copper division, would also resign, while other executives would have their pay cut as much as 80%. The company said it would name a new CEO soon.

For all the upheaval, Kobe Steel’s results have yet to take a major hit. The company has said the scandal would reduce net profit by ¥10 billion ($94 million) in the year ending March 31 to ¥45 billion, up from a loss the previous year, thanks to higher steel prices and strong demand for construction machinery.

The impact next fiscal year will hinge on overseas litigation, said Ryosaku Kadowaki, head of Kobe Steel’s management strategy.

Write to Mayumi Negishi at mayumi.negishi@wsj.com

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