The company will also face industry challenges such as labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and rising costs.
Fans in cities without Portillo are eagerly awaiting the company to expand. In a recent Facebook post announcing the opening of a new Portillo’s in Madison, commentators posted requests for cities in 17 different states.
In Dallas, Texas, there is a 743-person Facebook group campaigning for a restaurant called Portillo Wanted by DFW. Founder Nancy Boyce, 65, grew up in a hot dog shop in Villa Park but now lives in Grapevine, Texas.
“We all miss our food, and we want to bring Chicago food here to Texas,” she said.
Meanwhile, some local buyers feared that too much growth could change the local favorite, saying they believed they felt the change after Dick Portillo sold the company in 2014.
“This is my concern because this is such an iconic Chicago restaurant. If it gets too big, too quickly, it could damage the brand, ”said 50-year-old Barb Arrathe.
Arrate first visited Portillo about 30 years ago on one of her first dates with her current husband, Tony, in Villa Park.
“It was the best hot dog I’ve ever had,” she said.
Now they don’t eat there as often because they live in Spring Valley, about an hour’s drive from Peoria and nearby Portillo. Despite her concerns, she is considering investing.