El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO) shares pushed over 7% higher prior to Friday’s market open after posting stronger than expected Q3 earnings.
The California-based restaurant chain notched narrow beats on top and bottom lines for the third quarter. Meanwhile, system-wide comparable restaurant sales increased 3.8% despite an increase in menu prices amid inflationary pressures.
“Food and labor inflation continue to pressure margins; however, we are very pleased with the progress we made on a number of initiatives during the third quarter,” CEO Larry Roberts said. “Our top-line momentum continued, resulting in system-wide comparable restaurant sales growth of 3.8%. Moreover, four-wall execution at company-operated restaurants continued to improve during the quarter with almost all restaurants fully open across all channels and key performance metrics achieving the highest levels in years.”
Shares rose 7.65% after posting the results in premarket hours.
For the full-year, the chain targets the opening of four new company-owned restaurants and 7-9 new franchised restaurants. Read more on full-year forecasts.