Small Illinois Based Restaurant is so Popular it has a ‘Cult Following’ Nationwide
If you're a regional fast food restaurant and people in other parts of the country want you to open up shop in their backyard, that means you might be on to something.
Kind of like how people in Illinois wouldn't mind an In-N Out or a Whataburger, I can imagine how people from Texas and California would like a Portillo's.
Portillo's got its start back in 1963, when Dick Portillo founded the brand with a grand and a dream. According to the company, he invested $1,100 in the first Portillo's hot dog stand in Villa Park, Illinois.
Nearly 60 years later, Portillo's is an institution in the midwest. However, the restaurants are located mostly in Illinois.
This means people come from far and wide just to try a hot dog from Portillo's.
Apparently, the place is so popular LoveFood listed Portillo's as one of 25 Small Fast Food Restaurants That Have a Cult Following.
Chicago is known for its all-beef hot dogs served with mustard, relish, celery salt, chopped onions, tomato slices, pickled peppers and dill pickle spears, in a poppy seed bun. And while plenty of vendors sell them, Portillo’s is the place to go.
Portillo's is going from a place only people in Illinois are aware of to a nationally recognized hot dog chain.
They went public last summer on the stock market, PTLO in case you're wondering and according to the Chicago Sun-Times, "The chain plans to increase the number of restaurants about 10% each year to reach 600 restaurants in the U.S. in 25 years."
There are currently 67 Portillo's locations in California, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and of course, Illinois.