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Portillo’s Is Bringing Chicago Hot Dogs to Florida Next Year

Portillo’s Is Bringing Chicago Hot Dogs to Florida Next Year


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The Illinois-based restaurant is opening its first location in Florida

Portillo's is best known for Chicago hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.

Portillo’s is heading to Florida in March 2016.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the restaurant known for Chicago hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches will be opening in Brandon, Florida, on the corner of State Road 60 and Lakewood Drive.

Chicago hot dogs consist of a Vienna or red hot Chicago dog on a poppy seed bun with mustard, relish, chopped onions, two half-moon tomato slices, one pickle spear, two sport peppers, and celery salt. Italian beef sandwiches are shaved roasted beef soaked in pan juices with sweet peppers and “giardiniera,” or chopped pickled vegetables.

According to Portillo’s website, the restaurant will have a 1930s Prohibition theme, just like the two California locations and some of its Illinois outposts. There will also be a double drive-thru lane to accommodate as many cars as possible.

Portillo’s first opened in 1963 on North Avenue in Villa Park, Illinois. The chain expanded to California in 2005, then to Indiana and Arizona. More restaurants will be opening in Illinois soon. There are currently a total of 50 Portillo’s restaurants in the United States.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So.

CHICAGO -- Dick Portillo thinks he's living the American Dream. So does a group of Japanese investors.

Portillo is the king of hot dogs. He parlayed a tiny hot dog stand into a chain of suburban fast-food restaurants that grosses more than $40 million a year.

And a Japanese consortium is hoping he will make the hot dog -- a la Portillo -- king of fast food in Japan.

Portillo's life could have been scripted by Horatio Alger.

'I never went to college. I married my high school sweetheart and had 14 jobs in the first 18 months I was married,' he said.

'I finally decided if I was going to make it I had to do something where I could work for myself and started putting money aside so I could get into some kind of business of my own,' Portillo recalled.

By the time he scraped together enough money to open his first hot dog stand he had two children. He started out in the Chicago surburb of Villa Park in 1963.

'My initial investment was $1,100. Nobody would loan me a dime,' he said.

'I started with a little trailer -- no water, no bathroom. It's really the American Dream,' said Portillo, 51.

'The trailer was 6 feet wide and 12 feet long, and I parked it in the lot at a small shopping center and started selling hot dogs,' he said. 'We barely scraped out a living with that first trailer, but we scraped by because I had very low overhead.'

Portillo got a larger trailer in 1967, but it still was a bare-bones operation.

'We didn't have a bathroom in the business until 1971,' he said.

'In 1971 we got our first building, but even then we didn't have seating -- just a stand-up counter,' Portillo said. 'Then we started putting up additions and we started expanding from there.'

Today Portillo's 17th restaurant is under construction in suburban Crestwood, Portillo also operates four Barney's restaurants, which specialize in chicken and ribs and share quarters with Portillo's hot dog restaurants.

'I did it all with no partners and no investors. I own all the stock. And they're not litle places,' Portillo said.

He said his most recently opened restaurant in suburban Naperville is 11,000 square feet and seats some 330 people. The average Portillo's occupies around 7,000 square feet.

Portillo's is the leading seller of hot dogs in the country.

'We sell millions of hot dogs a year, but we sell many more millions of other sandwiches,' Portillo said. 'We sell a tremendous amount of Italian beef, hambugers and Polish sausage.'

The average weekly sales of French fries at Portillo's is 22 tons, he added.

But Portillo's hot dogs and the chain's efficiency are what Japanese investors are banking on to provide stiff competition for McDonald's in Japan.

Portillo has signed a 20-year agreement with Chicago Foods, a Japanese group that plans to open 25 Portillo's-style hot dog stands known as Chicago Dogs, in Japan in the next three years.

Under the agreement signed in 1988, Portillo receives a fee for training Chicago Foods personnel, plus a percentage of the gross of its Chicago Dogs restaurants.

Representatives of Chicago Foods toured the United States in 1988 looking for a stand-type fast food operation to take to Japan. They observed several well-known chains, including New York's famous Nathan's.

But they settled on Portillo's largely because of its ability to maintain high quaity while providing fast service, said Jim Eisenberg,

Eisenberg is chairman of Chicago-based Vienna Sausage Co., which makes the hot dogs sold by Portillo's and now by Chicago Dogs.

It was Eisenberg who suggested that Chicago Foods, which includes Vienna Sausage's Japanese distributor, Yonekyu International Corp., observe Portillo's operation.

'In Japan, quality and efficiency are highly regarded,' said Katsunori Hashimoto, chief operating officer of Yonekyu International.

'In Tokyo, there's a population of 12 million. Chicago Dogs needs to serve a lot of people in a short period of time while maintaining high quality. Portillo's has perfected a method for doing this,' Hashimoto said.

Portillo's order-takers use mobile headsets to communicate with the cooks, which helps lines move faster.

'The faster the line, the happier the customer,' Portillo said.

But maintaining speed and quality takes planning.

'There are 256 ways to dress a hot dog, so operationally it can be a nightmare,' he said.

No order is made in advance.

Chicago Dogs managers get classroom instruction at Portillo's suburban Itasca offices, then get on-the-job training at the Naperville restaurant.

So far, two Chicago Dogs stands have opened in Tokyo. A third is due to open this month at Shibuya Station, Tokyo's busiest corner.


Watch the video: Portillos Grand Opening Orlando FL - Unrivaled Chicago Street Food makes its way to the Disney Area (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Bradan

    What a graceful answer

  2. Eumaeus

    Can you tell me where I can find more information on this issue?

  3. Gujin

    Congratulations, your opinion will come in handy

  4. Hilton

    I am afraid, that I do not know.

  5. Enea

    I love it when everything is laid out on the shelves, although I came in for the first time, but I already want to read the sequel.

  6. Bors

    I apologize, I wanted to express my opinion too.

  7. Shakashura

    I mean that you cheated.



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