Restaurant chain Portillo’s Hot Dogs LLC, which is backed by Berkshire Partners, has named Keith Kinsey as its new CEO. His appointment becomes effective July 1, 2015. Kinsey is the former president and chief operating officer at Noodles & Company.
OAK BROOK, Ill., June 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Portillo’s Hot Dogs, LLC today announced it has named Keith Kinsey as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2015. Mr. Kinsey will become only the second Chief Executive at Portillo’s, succeeding Dick Portillo who founded the company in 1963. Mr. Portillo will continue to be actively involved in the company.
“I am very pleased that Keith will be the next CEO of Portillo’s,” said Dick Portillo. “He has the right experience and values to lead the business into the future – building upon 52 years of great food and fast, friendly service.”
Mr. Kinsey will return to Illinois to lead Portillo’s. He attended the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and CPA.
For the past decade, Keith was an executive at Noodles & Company. He joined as Chief Financial Officer in 2005 and was named President and Chief Operating Officer in 2007. As President and COO, Keith was responsible for opening new restaurants in proven, developing, and new markets.
Prior to his time at Noodles & Company, Keith served in an operations leadership role at Chipotle. While there, he was instrumental in growing the company to more than 400 units and was directly responsible for building the west coast region from three to 70 units.
“Keith has a strong track record growing two of the best fast-casual restaurants in the industry,” said Mike Miles of Berkshire Partners, the Boston-based private equity firm that has invested in Portillo’s. “He is the ideal person to lead the next chapter at Portillo’s. Under his leadership, Portillo’s will be able to expand to more locations across the country.”
“I am thrilled and honored to lead Portillo’s – an iconic brand with a rich history,” said Keith Kinsey. “Dick Portillo spent his career building restaurants loved by millions of customers. With his help, I will ensure that our customers continue to enjoy the high quality food and service they’ve come to expect from Portillo’s.”
Since Mr. Portillo opened his first hot dog stand in 1963, the Chicago-born restaurant menu has grown to include hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, and fresh salads. Later this year, Portillo’s will bring its iconic menu to two new cities in Illinois: Homewood and Gurnee. Its Rockford, IL store opened on June 9th and was the company’s most successful new store opening.
Portillo’s restaurants are also located in Tempe and Scottsdale, AZ; Buena Park and Moreno Valley, CA; and Merrillville, IN. Portillo’s ships food to all 50 states via Portillos.com. Last week the company announced it would be opening in Tampa, Florida in 2016.
In 1963, Dick Portillo invested $1,100 into a small trailer to open the first Portillo’s hot dog stand in Villa Park, IL, which he called “The Dog House.” 52 years later, Portillo’s has grown to include restaurants in 39 locations across 4 states. Portillo’s is best known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, fresh salads, and famous chocolate cake. The Portillo’s brand also includes Barnelli’s restaurants that serve award-winning ribs, pastas with homemade sauces, and fresh sandwiches, soups, and salads. Portillo’s ships food to all 50 states via Portillos.com. Portillo’s Home Kitchen is the company’s fast-growing catering business.