How a Guatemalan Chicken Restaurant Acquired New Diners and Kept Them

January 6, 2022
Barbara Castiglia

The fast-casual chicken market has a lot of competition in the U.S. That hasn’t stopped Campero USA from growing and winning over consumers. The Guatemalan brand has achieved great success in the U.S. market. Sharing the story is the company’s Managing Director and COO Luis Javier Rodas joined The Main Course Host Barbara Castiglia.

Rodas has spent over 20 years with the brand and began to manage the U.S. stores in 2016.

First, Rodas described the menu. “Fried chicken is our top seller, and it has a unique flavor. The key to the chicken sandwich is we use the same flavor from our bone-in chicken.”

The restaurant, like any other, faced considerable disruption in 2020. However, they were already ahead of the curve. “Without knowing what would happen, we were already launching digital kitchens, our delivery service, and loyalty program,” Rodas said.

Before the pandemic, most sales were dine-in. They were able to keep serving during shutdowns with drive-thru and delivery. They even added new customers. Rodas explained how. “Most marketing was billboards or radio, which was working. After the pandemic, we switched everything to digital and social media to expand reach.”

They also began using ghost kitchens in 2020, extending their service area by opening them in places where stores didn’t currently exist.

Their pivots made 2020 a record year. Once dining rooms were able to open, the company implemented new technology for safety. “We changed our service model to allow for ordering and payment at the table instead of interacting with a cashier,” Rodas noted.

Rodas said the company has big plans for growth in the next few years but will always balance growth with quality. “We have parallel teams working on this, and we’re looking for franchise partners that have a passion for the industry and experience.”

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