Portillo's Restaurants

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Portillo's Restaurants
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1963 in Villa Park, Illinois[citation needed]
Headquarters Oak Brook, Illinois, USA
Key people
Dick Portillo, Founder
Keith Kinsey, CEO
Website portillos.com

Portillo's is a chain of restaurants that specialize in serving Chicago-style food. Portillo's is located primarily throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, and also has two locations in southern California and another two locations in Arizona. Portillo's is owned by The Portillo Restaurant Group.


Portillo's specialty item, the Beef n' Cheddar Croissant

Portillo's menu includes Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, hamburgers, sandwiches, ribs, salads, beer and wine.

The dessert menu includes chocolate cake and milkshakes

The chain's main competition is mostly local, privately owned stores, most of which also specialize in Italian beef and Chicago-style hot dogs. The largest competitors of Portillo's in the Chicago metropolitan area are Scooby's Red Hots and Buona Beef.

Outside Illinois[edit]

Portillo's in Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Portillo's first California location opened on October 11, 2005, at the Buena Park Downtown shopping center in Buena Park, with a second location in Moreno Valley, California opening in 2008. Portillo's also has two locations in Arizona and one in Merrillville, Indiana, though the latter is still well within the firm's home market of Chicagoland.

Portillo's had licensed restaurants in Tokyo, Japan, in the late 1980s and early '90s. The Japanese locations all eventually closed.[1] Portillo's also sells items from its menu by mail order in a partnership with Eli's Cheesecake and Lou Malnati's pizzeria.[2]

Portillo's plans to open its first Florida location in 2016 in Tampa. The chain generated publicity with a tongue-in-cheek open letter on its website on June 16, 2015, the day after its hometown NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the 2015 Stanley Cup. The stunt received newspaper coverage in both cities. “It’s official. Portillo’s is coming to Tampa in 2016. Tampa residents spent years peppering us with requests to build a restaurant — you really put us in a pickle. So we’re thrilled we’re finally making our way to Florida,” Portillo's letter said, showing the chain's ironic humor. “Let’s be frank: No matter whose jersey you’re wearing, everyone will be welcome. We hope you don’t have a beef against us or our hometown team.” [3]

Honey Jam Cafe[edit]

In 2010, Portillo Restaurant Group launched the Honey Jam Café concept.[4] Unlike the other three concepts which focus on fast casual food, Honey Jam is essentially an upscale pancake house similar to Walker Brothers Pancake House in both ambiance and menu. They feature unique pancake and waffle combinations and specialty items such as a baked apple pancake and white chocolate raspberry Belgian waffles, and offer patrons who order coffee a cup "to go" after receiving their check. The concept's name, according to the menu, is derived from the owner's pet name for his wife, "Honey", and the first letter of his three children's first names comprising the acronym "JAM". The concept is positioned as a breakfast and lunch cafe, thus it closes at 3 pm.[5]


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