Esteemed industry veteran brings 30 years of restaurant development experience to the Chicagoland fast-casual favorite
CHICAGO, Aug. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Portillo’s (NASDAQ: PTLO), the fast-casual restaurant concept known for its menu of unrivaled Chicago street food, today announced the appointment of Mike Ellis, to the role of Chief Development Officer. With more than 30 years of experience scaling beloved and well-known restaurant brands across the U.S., Ellis will play a key role in leading Portillo’s robust growth plan as it scales strategically in new and existing markets nationwide.
“I am thrilled to welcome Mike to the Portillo’s leadership team, and I’m confident that his expertise and exceptional record of scaling high-profile restaurant concepts will further accelerate our company’s growth,” said Michael Osanloo, President and CEO of Portillo’s. “Mike joins Portillo’s at an exciting time in our high-growth journey. I look forward to him sharing his skillset and knowledge as we continue to expand our restaurant base and introduce Portillo’s Chicago-style favorites to new legions of fans.”
Prior to joining Portillo’s, Ellis held the role of Vice President of Real Estate and Development at Cracker Barrel, where he spearheaded growth development strategy, new restaurant openings and the development of a new prototype that significantly improved operational efficiencies. Additionally, Ellis previously served as the CDO and COO of FoodFirst Global Restaurants, and the CDO of Ruby Tuesday and O’Charley’s Inc.
Ellis joins Portillo’s following the retirement of Chief Development and Supply Chain Officer Sherri Abruscato, a 40+-year veteran of the brand. Ellis’s appointment comes as Portillo’s continues its growth momentum including within the Midwest, Florida and Arizona, with plans to open its first Texas restaurant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area later this year.
In 1963, Dick Portillo invested $1,100 into a small trailer to open the first Portillo’s hot dog stand, “The Dog House,” in Villa Park, IL. Now called Portillo’s, the business has grown to include more than 70 restaurants in 9 states, with plans to enter Texas this fall, and ships its best-selling menu items to fans in all 50 states. Portillo’s serves a menu of craveable items, including its iconic Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads and famous chocolate cake. The fast-casual restaurant concept has a distinct, energy-filled atmosphere designed to create a memorable experience.