Portillo's has branched into Florida and Texas, but where is it expanding next?

Michael Osanloo, the company's president, CEO and director, explained that Portillo's is "going where the growth is."


Portillo's, the Chicago institution made famous for its Italian beef, hot dogs and chocolate cake shakes, has grown to around 70 restaurants in 10 states, and it's far from done yet.

Michael Osanloo, the company's president, CEO and director, in a call with investors last week, announced an aggressive expansion strategy to add 920 restaurants across the country in the next 20 years -- with a few specific states as priorities.

Osanloo explained that Portillo's is "going where the growth is," and in the coming years will likely expand to Atlanta, Georgia, Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada. The restaurant chain has seen high demand in those areas, based on data compiled from its online "Shop and Ship" orders.

"We're going where people are," Osanloo said. "We're going where people are moving. We're going where people are demanding our food. And so, that is our strategy is to go where the growth is."

Most recently, the chain has focused on the Sunbelt, building additional locations in Arizona, Florida and Texas. Portillo's opened its second restaurant in the Dallas area in early September, and in late August celebrated the grand opening of its sixth location in the Phoenix area.

Additional locations are planned in Arlington and Denton, Texas, but opening dates haven't been announced.

Established in 1963 with just a small hotdog stand in suburban Villa Park, Portillo's mainly operates full-size restaurants, but opened its first pick-up only location in February 2022 in Joliet. Of the 920 potential new locations, 800 would be full-scale restaurants, while 120 would be pick-up or drive-thru locations -- without a dining area.

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