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Portillo's selling out?

Portillo's selling out?
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  • Portillo's selling out?

    Post #1 - July 2nd, 2014, 6:46 am
    Post #1 - July 2nd, 2014, 6:46 am Post #1 - July 2nd, 2014, 6:46 am
    Looks like the local chain will soon have new outsider corporate overlords:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/ ... 7I20140701
  • Post #2 - July 2nd, 2014, 6:59 am
    Post #2 - July 2nd, 2014, 6:59 am Post #2 - July 2nd, 2014, 6:59 am
    Dick Portillo, who's in his mid-70s, founded the chain in 1963. That's means he's been working at building and improving it, investing his time, his life, and his money for over fifty years. Don't you think he's entitled to sell it if he wants to? To whoever he wants to? Sure, it's a local institution. Yes, it's disappointing that he's selling to an outside firm. But it's his, not a publicly owned company. He started with a tiny shop and built it into a highly successful major restaurant group. Good for him. I think to accuse him of "selling out" belittles his lifetime of work and isn't fair or accurate.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #3 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:23 am
    Post #3 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:23 am Post #3 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:23 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:Dick Portillo, who's in his mid-70s, founded the chain in 1963. That's means he's been working at building and improving it, investing his time, his life, and his money for over fifty years. Don't you think he's entitled to sell it if he wants to? To whoever he wants to? Sure, it's a local institution. Yes, it's disappointing that he's selling to an outside firm. But it's his, not a publicly owned company. He started with a tiny shop and built it into a highly successful major restaurant group. Good for him. I think to accuse him of "selling out" belittles his lifetime of work and isn't fair or accurate.


    Jeez, lighten up a bit. I was referring to the business selling out. I'm not maligning the man's career or achievements. One would assume that there are children there to take over the business, so his aging doesn't really enter into it (nor does a billion dollars if he's in his mid-70's). It would have been nice to keep it local; can't help but be concerned that there are going to be changes (Uno's left a bad taste in everyone's mouths).
  • Post #4 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:29 am
    Post #4 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:29 am Post #4 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:29 am
    Apologies if I offended, but your topic sentence said "selling out" not "selling." I'm accustomed to the phrase "selling out" having a rather particular and negative meaning, distinct from just "selling." I think we're in undoubted agreement that it's sad that the kids (if they were an option) had no desire/interest/ability and that he couldn't find a local investor(s). It's frankly kind of hard to imagine that no one (or no group) locally could be interested. But that may well be the case. In any event, it's part of the increasing concentration in the industry and that's a trend--in general--to be sorry about.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #5 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:32 am
    Post #5 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:32 am Post #5 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:32 am
    Gypsy Boy wrote:It's frankly kind of hard to imagine that no one (or no group) locally could be interested.


    Interested is one thing. Being willing to pay a billion dollars for a chain of hot dog stands is another.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:37 am
    Post #6 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:37 am Post #6 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:37 am
    stevez wrote:
    Gypsy Boy wrote:It's frankly kind of hard to imagine that no one (or no group) locally could be interested.


    Interested is one thing. Being willing to pay a billion dollars for a chain of hot dog stands is another.


    $300MM in annual revenue (and $70MM in pretax profits) for hot dog stands ain't hay.

    That averages out to more than $8MM in annual revenues per "stand." While those aren't Gibson's revenue dollars their price points are waaaaay below Gibson's, so those figures are pretty impressive.
    Last edited by spinynorman99 on July 2nd, 2014, 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #7 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:59 am
    Post #7 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:59 am Post #7 - July 2nd, 2014, 7:59 am
    It isn't just hot dog stands, either. Portillo's Restaurant Group (which also has locations in southern California and Arizona, oh, and Indiana--and even in Japan, once upon a time) also sells by mail order to the whole country and includes some Honey-Jam Cafe, Barnelli's, and Luigi's House. It also appears from its website that it owns a couple retail properties, plazas in Elgin and Bolingbrook.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #8 - July 2nd, 2014, 8:19 am
    Post #8 - July 2nd, 2014, 8:19 am Post #8 - July 2nd, 2014, 8:19 am
    I'd have to guess that they wanted top dollar for the primary purpose of obtaining capital for further expansion--what most successful businesses do. Takes money to build an empire these days. Silly to say "selling out" when this is a perfectly normal business move.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #9 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:21 am
    Post #9 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:21 am Post #9 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:21 am
    I totally applaud the Portillo family selling (out). They worked their behinds off and made excellent business decisions to get to where they are today. The American dream! Time for them to relax and enjoy their well-deserved fortune. Grandpa is having a Jack Daniels toast in heaven right now!
    The recipes will stay the same everyone, so all can chillax. Who knows-delivery???
  • Post #10 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:27 am
    Post #10 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:27 am Post #10 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:27 am
    This is a sale, not a sell-out.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:29 am
    Post #11 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:29 am Post #11 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:29 am
    Just trying to even the responses my friend. I'm quite aware of what it is. Is the heat getting to people lately?
  • Post #12 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:50 am
    Post #12 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:50 am Post #12 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:50 am
    kitty wrote:Just trying to even the responses my friend. I'm quite aware of what it is. Is the heat getting to people lately?


    Heat? What heat? :D It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #13 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:50 am
    Post #13 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:50 am Post #13 - July 2nd, 2014, 9:50 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    Gypsy Boy wrote:It's frankly kind of hard to imagine that no one (or no group) locally could be interested.


    Interested is one thing. Being willing to pay a billion dollars for a chain of hot dog stands is another.


    $300MM in annual revenue (and $70MM in pretax profits) for hot dog stands ain't hay.

    That averages out to more than $8MM in annual revenues per "stand." While those aren't Gibson's revenue dollars their price points are waaaaay below Gibson's, so those figures are pretty impressive.


    Well, it's a business decision that the buyer has to make. I wish Dick Portillo (a very nice man) the best. Not sure I'd be pulling the trigger on that particular deal, but I don't have an extra $Billion, either.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - July 2nd, 2014, 10:02 am
    Post #14 - July 2nd, 2014, 10:02 am Post #14 - July 2nd, 2014, 10:02 am
    kitty wrote:Just trying to even the responses my friend. I'm quite aware of what it is. Is the heat getting to people lately?


    Not that he needs me to defend him but pretty sure Ronnie was voicing agreement with you kitty :)
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #15 - July 2nd, 2014, 10:39 am
    Post #15 - July 2nd, 2014, 10:39 am Post #15 - July 2nd, 2014, 10:39 am
    spinynorman99 wrote: One would assume that there are children there to take over the business, so his aging doesn't really enter into it

    I thought I'd read somewhere that he did not foresee his children being interested in taking over the business, which is why he's been thinking lately of selling it.

    I'm cautiously optimistic that Portillo's will continue its winning ways, especially if, as the latest reports say, he plans to stay involved with it.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #16 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:04 pm
    Post #16 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:04 pm Post #16 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:04 pm
    HI,

    Children are not born to continue their parent's efforts in life. It is terrific if they take an interest, though sperm meeting egg is not a mandate. Many farmers wished their kids wanted the farm.

    In a parallel set of circumstances, I heard someone criticize a person who closed their business and sold their property. This non-interested third party did not like who bought it. They felt the owner should have sold it to someone else who was a small business and not a corporation. I responded, "if you feel this way, then you should have bought it and paid top dollar."

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:55 pm
    Post #17 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:55 pm Post #17 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:55 pm
    I don't know the deal, but PE funds/financial buyers are usually also buying the current management's expertise as well as the business. Unlike a so-called strategic buyer (eg, Bud buying Goose Island). I assume this is a way for the Portillos to monetize the value of their hard work and get some dough for the grandkids (a lot of dough). I'd be surprised if the current team isn't staying around in some material way. They did sell the family biz, though. Good for them, I assume.
  • Post #18 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:59 pm
    Post #18 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:59 pm Post #18 - July 2nd, 2014, 12:59 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Children are not born to continue their parent's efforts in life.

    Sometimes they are - thank goodness for Marc Malnati! :)

    Portillo's does a solid Vienna Beef hot dog and a great Italian Beef - definitely worthy of representing what a great Italian Beef sandwich is to the country in the future. Just hope nothing changes for the worse. For instance, they do the fries in beef tallow. Even though they are frozen, they are fine by me. Don't want to see that change. I am wary of what happened to Uno's chain.
  • Post #19 - July 2nd, 2014, 1:28 pm
    Post #19 - July 2nd, 2014, 1:28 pm Post #19 - July 2nd, 2014, 1:28 pm
    Ram4 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:Children are not born to continue their parent's efforts in life.

    Sometimes they are - thank goodness for Marc Malnati! :)

    Portillo's does a solid Vienna Beef hot dog and a great Italian Beef - definitely worthy of representing what a great Italian Beef sandwich is to the country in the future. Just hope nothing changes for the worse. For instance, they do the fries in beef tallow. Even though they are frozen, they are fine by me. Don't want to see that change. I am wary of what happened to Uno's chain.

    If you quoted the first half of my second sentence, I covered this, "It is terrific if they take an interest ..." :D

    The real hazard zone in family businesses is when it goes from second to third generation. You hope and prey they have their heads screwed on straight and don't treat the business as a piggy bank.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - July 2nd, 2014, 3:54 pm
    Post #20 - July 2nd, 2014, 3:54 pm Post #20 - July 2nd, 2014, 3:54 pm
    I absolutely love Portillo's for their Chicago style hot dogs, Italian beefs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, polish sausage, chopped salad, and their famous chocolate cake. I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there at any point in my life. Portillo's runs like a well oiled machine- they are consistently great at every location. Their Italian beef in particular has always been spectacular. Are Portillo's Italian beef and hot dogs as good as Johnnie's Beef or Gene and Jude's? No, but Portillo's makes great examples of both Italian beef and hot dogs in their own right.

    Hopefully, the quality and consistency stay the same at every location.
    Last edited by deepdish on June 9th, 2018, 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #21 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:22 pm
    Post #21 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:22 pm Post #21 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:22 pm
    deepdish wrote:I absolutely love Portillo's for their Chicago style hot dogs, Italian beefs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, polish sausage, chopped salad, and their famous chocolate cake. I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there at any point in my life. Portillo's runs like a well oiled machine- they are consistently great at every location. Their Italian beef in particular has always be spectacular. Are Portillo's Italian beef and hot dogs as good as Johnnie's Beef or Gene and Jude's? No, but Portillo's makes great examples of both Italian beef and hot dogs in their own right..


    I'm not from Chicago, so the River North Portillo's was the first place I had a truly great Italian beef sandwich. I made the mistake of getting it to go, and trying to drive home with it on the seat next to me. The smells coming from the bag were so enticing I kept trying to sneak bites at red lights, so to prevent a fatal accident I pulled over on Ontario to devour it. That sandwich was so good I started involuntarily cursing and pounding on my steering wheel like a caveman. Since then I've tried beef sandwiches at dozens of other places but only a bare handful have been better than that first Portillo's sandwich, the one that started it all.

    If their new owners can maintain the quality I'd love for them to expand to Indianapolis where my family is from. I bet there are enough Chicago transplants there to provide a good initial market, then word of mouth would get around and the local Hoosiers would make it self-supporting.
  • Post #22 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:32 pm
    Post #22 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:32 pm Post #22 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:32 pm
    Why doesn't somebody change the title of this discussion?
  • Post #23 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:37 pm
    Post #23 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:37 pm Post #23 - July 3rd, 2014, 2:37 pm
    Tim wrote:Why doesn't somebody change the title of this discussion?

    That's completely up to the OP.

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #24 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:25 pm
    Post #24 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:25 pm Post #24 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:25 pm
    While I've never loved their hot dogs (due mainly to a lack of radioactive-green relish), and their McD's-style fries give me little joy, their Italian Beef is quite good.

    If Portillo's national expansion does nothing other than educate the rest of the country (the WORLD!!) about the glories of Italian Beef with hot giardinera, then it's a good thing.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #25 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:48 pm
    Post #25 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:48 pm Post #25 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:48 pm
    JoelF wrote:While I've never loved their hot dogs (due mainly to a lack of radioactive-green relish), and their McD's-style fries give me little joy, their Italian Beef is quite good.

    If Portillo's national expansion does nothing other than educate the rest of the country (the WORLD!!) about the glories of Italian Beef with hot giardinera, then it's a good thing.


    Or they pull a Uno and ruin the Italian Beef reputation across the country.
  • Post #26 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:52 pm
    Post #26 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:52 pm Post #26 - July 3rd, 2014, 3:52 pm
    midas wrote:
    Or they pull a Uno and ruin the Italian Beef reputation across the country.


    I think the Al's Beef franchises have a good head start on that project. :roll:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #27 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:19 pm
    Post #27 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:19 pm Post #27 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:19 pm
    As a second generation small business owner getting on in years, I can sympathize with the decision to sell your business. There should be some reward for working hard all your life and when you decide it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, no one should criticize you for your decision. Terming it selling out is a little unfair for a private decision that was probably agonizing. In my business we have no next generation, even if we did would not guaranty a third generation business. We have wonderful nieces and nephews, but they are all in their twenties and anxious to make their own mark in the world. So how does it finish for us? My Mom says she does not want her tombstone to read "sure wishes she would have spent less time in the shop and more time enjoying life"!
  • Post #28 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:40 pm
    Post #28 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:40 pm Post #28 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:40 pm
    stevez wrote:
    midas wrote:
    Or they pull a Uno and ruin the Italian Beef reputation across the country.


    I think the Al's Beef franchises have a good head start on that project. :roll:


    Is Al's outside the Chicago area yet?

    The truth is, I would say 90% of the IB available, even in Chicago, is bad. I take that back, about 40% is bad, about 50% is awful.
  • Post #29 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:49 pm
    Post #29 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:49 pm Post #29 - July 3rd, 2014, 5:49 pm
    midas wrote:
    Is Al's outside the Chicago area yet?


    Saw one in Vegas on my most recent trip.

    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #30 - July 3rd, 2014, 7:29 pm
    Post #30 - July 3rd, 2014, 7:29 pm Post #30 - July 3rd, 2014, 7:29 pm
    There are also two Cali locations of Al's - one in Chino (east of LA, vaguely in the Ontario area), and one in San Jose.

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