Portillo's selling $1 hot dogs on National Hot Dog Day

  • Portillo's restaurants could be extra crowded on July 19. That's National Hot Dog Day and the growing chain plans to sell hot dogs for $1 each that day with the purchase of an entree.

    Portillo's restaurants could be extra crowded on July 19. That's National Hot Dog Day and the growing chain plans to sell hot dogs for $1 each that day with the purchase of an entree. COURTESY OF PORTILLO'S

 
 
Updated 7/11/2017 9:20 AM

Portillo's restaurants could have longer lines than usual on Wednesday, July 19.

That's National Hot Dog Day and the growing chain plans to sell hot dogs for $1 each on that day.

 

Oak Brook-based Portillo's said customers who purchase an entree, such as a sandwich, salad or ribs, also can buy a regular Chicago-style hot dog for $1. The promotion is available for dine-in or drive-through customers and does not apply to online or catering orders.

"We are fully prepared for the demand this will generate," said Portillo's spokesman Nick Scarpino. "We anticipate hot dog sales of 5 times the typical Wednesday. We also anticipate up to double the demand for our other menu items."

The restaurants are prepared for crowds similar to when a chocolate cake promotion took place three months ago. The company offered chocolate cake slices for 54 cents to celebrate its anniversary in April. Sales records were broken, along with a few hearts, when the cake ran out at several of the eateries.

Scarpino says they are ready for the high demand.

"We did a trial run of 'hot dog day' last month only in Wisconsin in order to prepare for National Hot Dog Day," Scarpino said. "It went very well. A hot dog only takes 20 minutes to cook, unlike a cake, which takes two hours to bake and frost. We can also make a lot more hot dogs than we can cakes because we only have so much oven space for the cakes."

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Although the hot dog promotion is while supplies last, Portillo's will have rain checks at all locations in case they run out.

"Our suppliers and our Portillo's Food Service trucks, from our two commissaries, are all on standby to deliver product in an emergency. We have been preparing for this since March," he said.

Local police have been informed near all 50 restaurants in seven states, just in case of concerns with traffic flow, he said.

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