El Pollo Locco Tacky?

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

I would absolutely LOVE Mexican food at a wedding. Just be sure to have enough vegetarian options if you have any vegetarian guests (would be super easy to do enchiladas verde or bean-based burritos)

Post # 3
2909 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2006

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sdbride80 :  If I went to a wedding and they had Mexican food I would be thrilled. And TACOS!!! Forget it. I’d die. I say do it! It’s your wedding, who cares. I personally would think it was fun! Beats BBQ any day of the week. 

Post # 4
995 posts
Busy bee

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sdbride80 :  we get el pollo loco catered to my office and it’s pretty good! I don’t know if it’s really….Mexican though….I feel like the sides are Mac and cheese and gravy and stuff, more like Boston Market. 


Look, I think it’s ok, but I think it would be better if you went to a local Mexican place or something. Or, reset your expectations for a formal affair.  At the end of the day, it IS fast food, and I just don’t see how you can get your wedding catered by a fast food place and not expect it to be casual. 

Post # 5
2847 posts
Sugar bee

I would not choose fast food for my reception.

Honestly, if that’s the only option in your budget, I would consider seriously scaling back your guest list. That, or postponing until you’re able to save enough money to afford to feed your guests something other than fast food.

Post # 6
10374 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I think it’s alright if you’re having a chill wedding but have to agree that at the end of the day it IS fast food and may not match the vibe if you are trying to have a more formal wedding. 

Nothing wrong with it, but buffets tend to be more casual than a formal plated dinner. Also keep in mind you’re really only offering your guests fast food roast chicken or possibly cheese enchiladas that may have been frozen for months. Personally, I don’t care for the style of food El Pollo Loco serves so I probably wouldn’t eat at your wedding and would just grab something afterwards (not a complaint, im a picky eater so I wouldn’t be upset!) You know your crowd, would they be into something like this?

Post # 7
99 posts
Worker bee

We are also having Mexican food! But we are Mexican so it was a no brainer. That being said is pollo loco the only place you’ve looked into? It’s good I can admit I enjoy it but the quality isnt the best. 

Post # 8
2985 posts
Sugar bee

I had a courthouse wedding so this might be a lot of a different vibe I was going for but we had family on the beach and I hired a “taco guy” as they call them in southern California. Everyone LOVED having food that wasn’t traditional. But we were also wearing jeans and sneakers to the “reception”. 

In short, I would LOVE having that kind of food served. 

Post # 9
4901 posts
Honey bee

I am not familiar with el pollo loco as we don’t have them.  I’m sure we have similar though – we’ve got pollo campero.

I am not a food snob so long as it is served timely, tastes good (although you seem like you are pretty meh about this option), and there is plenty of it.  I have been to some casual weddings with delivery pizza and I had a good time.  My SO would gladly attend a wedding with chicken fingers and fries.  But where I do side eye a little is pretending it is something it is not.  Fast food and disposible plates are casual.  It just is.

And everyone has a budget.  This is your first post so I don’t know any other details about yours, but I will side-eye if it looks like expenses go to other things rather than guest enjoyment or tries to be more formal than what they are willing/able to host.  For example, I see an expensive venue, large floral centerpieces, and/or you rented a limo, but skimped on food or went with mediocre fast food.  Or people who put black tie or formal on their invitations because they want their guests to show up in formalwear for pretty pictures and then have cash bar or only serve light apps in a budget venue during dinner because they blew their budget on expensive designer wedding outfits.  Maybe that isn’t fair, but if everything is sort of consistent across the board it isn’t really noticeable.  It really only comes into play when things are wildly mismatched and it becomes apparent it is the unfortunate circumstance that they cared more about their aesthetics than guest enjoyment.  Not saying that is what you are doing – there isn’t enough info – just telling you the thought process so you can judge if that is the case here.

Post # 10
688 posts
Busy bee

Just no…but I don’t eat fast food.

Post # 11
7869 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I love great Mexican food.

That said–if you don’t want a casual reception then fast Mexican and plastic/disposable ware are not the way to go. That’s the epitome of casual. You either need to adjust your vision and guest list or adjust your budget/offerings. 

Post # 12
395 posts
Helper bee

I think Mexican food is a nice idea but personally I would not go with fast food style food for a wedding reception. Would it be possible to do a taco bar with a regular caterer? It also sounds like there would be added cost factored in via the chafing dishes, appetizers, sides, and other add-ons you’d have to purchase to make it work. In the end, it might be more cost effective to go with a more traditional caterer. 

Post # 13
849 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
sdbride80 :  I think this sounds great! And it won’t break the bank, which is most important in the end. Honestly, when I go to weddings, I remember the ceremony/venue space and I remember what dress I wore (and any other details that were really pretty or unique) haha. I never really remember the food. It’s totally not worth spending a fortune on. 


Plus, who doesn’t love tacos?!

Post # 14
697 posts
Busy bee

I LOVE EL POLLO LOCCO. I would be excited about this as my meal! 

Post # 15
439 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Mexican food isn’t inherently casual, but as some PPs have said, the real issue is that El Pollo Loco is fast food. If it’s not branded it might not be a big deal, but I’m sure the quality might be noticeable to some. Like a real burger place versus Wendy’s or something. It depends on the vibe you are going for.

ETA: Where are you located? You say the venue is on the bay. Is that as in the Bay Area or somewhere else in the country? I ask because proximity to quality Mexican food could be an issue. If the sd in your user name refers to San Diego I don’t think that’s going to fly…

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