Portillo details ambitious growth targets


Photo courtesy of Portillo’s

Portillo’s menu focuses on foods loved by those with ties to the Chicago area: Italian beef sandwiches salted and dipped in gravy and hot dogs topped with the city’s iconic adornments, such as the celery salt, sport peppers, chopped tomatoes and onions.

But the regional chain has big plans to break out of its geographic footprint and grow its current portfolio of 67 restaurants to more than 600 units by 2046, according to documents released on Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In its IPO filing, Portillo’s said it has a “substantial growth path” and is “well positioned for global growth going forward”.

A spokeswoman for Portillo did not respond to Restaurant Business’s request for comment on the chain’s growth plans or its public filing.

Indeed, Portillo’s has managed significant growth during the pandemic, largely thanks to the strength of its drive-thru, which has grown from $ 3.4 million per unit in 2019 to $ 4.9 million today. , much of the chain’s $ 7.9 million average unit volume. . (Restaurants in the Portillo Home Turf Market posted AUVs of $ 9.1 million during the period.)

Portillo’s said it was in the “early stages” of growth nationwide, with plans to open a total of seven new locations between November 2020 and the end of this year, eventually achieving annual growth of 10%.

The chain’s short-term strategy focuses on adding units in “adjacent and domestic markets outside of Chicagoland,” while also opening “select” locations in the Chicago area.

“Given our major volumes and the size of our restaurants, we generally don’t compete for real estate with quick service or quick, casual concepts and tend to be a preferred tenant for owners due to the heavy traffic passing through our restaurants, ”said Portillo’s. said in his file.

The chain said it was creating professional development plans for its employees to ensure a sufficient number of trained managers to oversee the new restaurants.

Each of the chain’s locations have drive-thru and they plan to open a unit with triple drive-thru this winter.

“In a world where customers increasingly appreciate convenience and optionality, our long-standing multi-channel expertise allows Portillo to continue to be successful and grow its market share,” the chain said in its brief.

This multi-channel approach will be key to the company’s growth strategy going forward as it seeks to keep this business behind the wheel while creating restaurant traffic that was lost during the pandemic. The brand pioneered curbside pickup during the pandemic and also offers catering as well as drop shipping through its website.

Portillo’s also has the opportunity to grow its delivery business, which represents approximately $ 850,000 in annual sales per unit today, up from approximately $ 500,000 in 2019. Delivery represents approximately 11% of the restaurant’s total unit sales. mean.

Portillo’s is known for its great restaurants, with current stores averaging over 8,000 square feet and costing approximately $ 5 million to build. The stores currently serve an average of 825,000 customers per year, the company said, each spending about $ 9.60.

“Our restaurants have attracted an increasingly cult following which has allowed us to thrive in a variety of suburban and urban business areas across the country,” the chain noted.

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