Portillo's hopes to offer delivery via mobile app at all locations

The Oak Brook-based Portillo's restaurant chain is testing delivery from a Chicago location and in two other markets nationally with the hope of rolling out delivery from all its stores, including in the Chicago suburbs.

Portillo's has been working with GrubHub for its delivery in the River North neighborhood, allowing people to order food via its website and mobile app. Portillo's also launched its own mobile app last August, offering its customers the option of ordering and paying for their food in advance.

Delivery being tested at stores in the Tampa, Florida, and Phoenix, Arizona, metro areas is ordered through Portillo's website and mobile app, company spokesman Marc Trevino said.

“Should the test go well, we will consider bringing the service to Chicagoland,” Trevino said. There's not an estimated timeline, he said.

Crain's Chicago Business first reported CEO Keith Kinsey talking about the delivery test Thursday in Chicago.

“Our food carries very well,” Kinsey said, speaking at a food industry conference hosted by the Association for Corporate Growth's Chicago chapter. “I see it as a huge opportunity for us.”

The company, Crain's reported Kinsey saying, “is working hard and fast” on bringing the service to all of its stores.

The move is part of the growth strategy for the chain, which made staples of Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, not to mention its chocolate cake.

This week the chain announced it would be opening a location in Fishers, Indiana, its 52nd restaurant. Its 49th through 51st restaurants will be opening in the next few months in Champaign, Illinois; Woodbury, Minnesota; and Normal, Illinois. It opened store No. 48 last month in Greenfield, Wisconsin, where it exclusively is offering “Badger brats.”

Meanwhile, Portillo's is running a contest this month as part of National Italian Beef Month in which a posted picture could win a customer Portillo's meals for a year, in the form of a $700 Portillo's gift card.

Customers can post a photo of their “Portillo's experience,” the chain's Web page says, to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #meatupsweeps and tagging @portilloshotdogs. The photo must show people meeting and eating at a Portillo's.

Catering for up to 16 and Portillo's swag also are prizes. Three winners will be selected in a random drawing.

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