Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. plans to enter the Dallas market in 2016, part of an expansion plan that calls for growth to a mix of about 40 franchised and company-owned restaurants in Texas over the next several years.

“We’re about to sign leases [in Dallas],” as part of the company’s southwest U.S. expansion, Sather said.

Texas has been a focus for the fast food chicken chain’s recent growth.

It had six locations in San Antonio as of mid-2014, and opened its first company-owned store in Houston last fall.

It plans to add five to seven company-owned sites in Houston this year.

Fremont, Calif.-based AA Pollo Inc. agreed in August 2014 to buy the company’s six San Antonio locations, open eight new stores there, and add the first of 12 planned franchised sites in Houston in 2016.

AA Pollo Inc. owner Anil Yadav operates more than 200 Jack in the Box locations in Texas and California.

El Pollo Loco has 416 restaurants overall—40% company-owned—mainly in the Southwest and most in California.

El Pollo Loco’s average unit volumes are about $1.9 million.

Last week it reported pro forma net annual income of $21.5 million, up about 25% from 2013’s $17.3 million.