El Pollo Loco(L), Woman(c), Family meal(r)

Walter Cicchetti/Shutterstock @josieherrera65/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘I went home and made dinner’: Woman pulls up to El Pollo Loco drive-thru. She sees price of family meal and dips

‘I’m so over it.’


Melody Heald


Everywhere we go—grocery stores, gas stations, and fast food—prices show signs of slowing down because of inflation and price-gouging. Family meals at fast food once affordable often feel like a relic of the past. Here, a woman was speechless after seeing El Pollo Loco’s family price in the drive-thru in a video with over 36,000 views.

TikTok user Josie (@josieherrera65) sat in El Pollo Loco’s drive-thru and focused on the menu. She couldn’t believe what a 12-piece Family Meal costs.

“I remember when a 12-piece Family Meal was $12.99. Now, it’s $43.99,” she said. Initially, the content creator was fine when the prices slowly crept up. However, $43.99 was too much.

“$23.99, $28.99, but $43.99?” she scoffed. “That is crazy.” In addition to Family Meal, add-ons, such as churros, chips, side salads, and more, are $4.99 a piece. Needless to say, Josie saved her money by not purchasing a Family Meal. “I did not buy. I went home and made dinner,” she shared in the text overlay. “I was not going to get ripped off!”

The Daily Dot reached out to Josie via TikTok comment and direct message as well as El Pollo Loco via press email. Viewers in the comments section were as shocked as Josie.

“That’s why a lot of business will [be] going out of business these prices are insane,” one viewer remarked.

“And that’s not even including drinks or taxes!” a second added.

“I’m so over it I miss cheap fast food so much,” a third stated.

Moreover, others revealed cheaper alternatives.

“Go to Albertsons they have fried original or habanero mango for $10 and on Mondays they give you a free large side and Hawaiian rolls,” one user suggested.

“The grocery store has hot chicken in the deli you get 10 pieces for 10 bucks,” a second recommended.

@josieherrera65 #polloloco ♬ original sound – Josie 🌸

Why has El Pollo Loco become expensive?

The LA-Mex restaurant increased prices to combat labor costs. California-based El Pollo Locos are raising prices significantly because of the minimum wage increase in the chain’s home state. The company expects wage inflation to skyrocket between 12% and 14%. In addition, locations are implementing kiosks to reduce labor costs.

Update 2:35pm CT, July 19:

During an interview with the Daily Dot, Josie revealed that this El Pollo Loco took place in Lodi, California. Needless to say, she was shocked at the prices.

“I just couldn’t believe how high the price was for a 12-piece family meal and you don’t even get the salad and churros anymore, so I had to take a quick video and share how high prices are becoming,” she shared via TikTok direct message.

Furthermore, she started noticing prices at El Apollo Loco rising last month after her husband treated her to some in Stockton, California. However, the content creator will not buy a Family Meal ever again unless the prices were reasonable. Like many people, Josie is saddened by how much prices have gone up.

“I always come home, sad and defeated when I go to the grocery stores and see how high can foods are doubled in price. I’m starting to go more to the discount outlet stores where they offer the dent cans that are two for one. And also I’m starting to take the time and start using coupons,” she said. “I don’t know how people are doing it these days anymore and can’t afford these prices. My husband and I realize that it is less expensive to dine in vs. a quick, healthy fast food restaurant.”

The Daily Dot