Times Staff and Wire Reports

New El Pollo Loco Chief Named: John A. Romandetti, a restaurant industry executive who spent the last 14 years with Burger King, has been named president of the Irvine-based chain, which operates 217 company-owned and franchised restaurants. Romandetti, 45, served as vice president of operations for 1,300 of Burger King's franchised restaurants in several Western states, including California, where he was responsible for sales, operations and training. Romandetti said he is aware of the intense competition in Southern California, where most of El Pollo Loco's restaurants are clustered. "Regardless of whether it's burgers or chicken, you've got a lot of quick-service restaurants all competing for the same customer dollar," he said. El Pollo Loco is a subsidiary of Flagstar Companies Inc. of Spartanburg, S.C.

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