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Tuesday, July 22 2014 @ 07:52 PM EDT

Pollo Tropical Opens First New Restaurant in Panama

Food & Drink Pollo Tropical announced today that the first of five new restaurants planned with franchisee El Machetazo in Panama, has opened. This new restaurant is located in the popular Albrook Mall in Panama City, Panama's largest shopping center. El Machetazo, a family-owned company founded more than 40 years ago by the late Juan Ramon Poll Cabrera, is considered one of the most important retail companies in Panama today. Among its holdings are 12 hypermarkets of the same name that operate throughout Panama and employ more than 3,000. The company also owns and operates 12 Cafe Caney coffee/pastry shops located inside the markets.

"Panama is an established banking, shipping and tourism-based economy that has seen phenomenal growth in recent years. It also shares strong cultural and business connections with Pollo Tropical's hometown of Miami," said Marc Mushkin, Senior Vice President of International Development for Pollo Tropical. "We are proud to be represented by the Machetazo Group in Panama because of both their strength as a nationwide retailer with extensive landholdings and established infrastructure."

The new Pollo Tropical is located immediately outside the "Elefante" entrance of the Mall, adjacent to other popular restaurants. It seats 60 guests and serves the brand's famous flame-grilled marinated chicken, roast pork, guava barbecue ribs and made-from-scratch side dishes. Other menu favorites include Pollo Tropical's TropiChop - a bowl of grilled chicken breast, pork or vegetables served atop a bed of white or yellow rice and topped with a choice of freshly made salsas. The menu also includes a wide array of other offerings such as Caesar salad, Caribbean chicken soup, wraps, sandwiches and a variety of Latin-inspired desserts and beverages.

El Machetazo has two additional free-standing Pollo Tropical units currently under construction in the Panama City area. The first will open at the Versalles development and the second will be located at the Brisas del Golf Shopping Center, located in Panama City's trendy east side. Additionally, El Machetazo has an in-line Pollo Tropical model in development in the famous Panama City Multi-Plaza shopping center.

ABOUT POLLO TROPICAL - Pollo Tropical owns and operates nearly 90 locations in the United States (Florida and Georgia), has more than 30 international franchised locations in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Costa Rica and has agreements in place for additional franchise restaurants in Guatemala, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Pollo Tropical also has three licensed units located on college campuses in Florida.

The first Pollo Tropical restaurant opened in 1988 in Miami, Florida. The unique restaurant concept is known for its fresh, never frozen, open flame grilled chicken, marinated in a proprietary blend of tropical fruit juices and spices, as well as authentic "made from scratch" side dishes. For more information on Pollo Tropical, including menu items and nutritional information as well as information about international franchising, visit online at www.pollotropical.com .

Pollo Tropical is part of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. FRGI -1.92% , which also owns the Taco Cabana restaurant chain. Taco Cabana operates over 150 restaurants in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and offers a wide selection of fresh traditional Mexican food. Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., is a public company trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "FRGI". Additional information on Fiesta can be found at www.frgi.com. (Press Release)

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