Portillo's restaurant of the future: smaller box, lower costs but same 'ridiculously high' AUVs

At an Investor Day, company officials plot the 77-unit chain's path to 920 units across the U.S.


Portillo's keeping menu price hike options open

Traffic dropped in the second quarter, but the company said consumers still see the Chicago-based brand as a great value and there's room for price increases.

And in other fast-casual highlights from investor conferences: Portillo's is killing it in the Sun Belt, and Potbelly is carrying momentum into 2Q.

The hot dog chain said it is considering restaurants in airports and overseas after finding surprisingly strong demand in new markets.

Sales at the first Lone Star state location are averaging a "crazy" $48,000 per day since opening in January, fueling optimism about growth across the Sun Belt.

More ICR tidbits: The Italian beef and hot dog chain shows why soft opens are important; some skepticism on the Red Robin grills plan; El Pollo Loco wants more kids and an unexpected interruption.

The hot dog and Italian beef chain is opening most of its new locations in Southern states like Florida, Arizona and Texas, where its restaurants have performed well.

Speed and safety are the goals. Cash is still welcomed inside the chain’s restaurants.

The iconic Chicago chain is testing ways to unlock sales by reorganizing kitchens, automating prep, cross-training and paying team members more.

President and CEO Michael Osanloo said its pricing strategy of lagging behind competitors is working.

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