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Y'all really like Portillo's: North Texas location raking in 'crazy' $48K per day

The Colony location has been Portillo's top location in the country since it opened to much fanfare in January.

THE COLONY, Texas — Portillo's is apparently a big hit in North Texas.

The Chicago-based fast-casual restaurant, known for its hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches, opened its first Texas location in The Colony on Jan. 18. And since then, the 7,900-square-foot restaurant has been raking in the revenue, to the tune of $48,000 per day, on average, the company's CEO shared on a quarterly earnings call this week.

Portillo's is a publicly-traded company ($PTLO) on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

The Colony location has been Portillo's top location in the country since it opened to much fanfare in January.

"This means it's been matching the volumes of restaurants in Chicago that have been open for decades," Portillo's CEO Michael Osanloo said on the March 2 earnings call. "Specifically, The Colony has averaged $48,000 in sales per day since the grand opening. Now, that annualizes to $17 million per year; and that's a crazy number, so please don't model that. It's definitely coming down. But we feel really good that this restaurant will significantly exceed our underwriting expectations and sets us up for further success in Texas as we continued to expand."

It's no surprise Portillo's has its eye on expansion. 

Weeks after opening in The Colony, the company announced plans for two more North Texas locations, in Allen and Arlington. The Allen location will be just south of the Allen Premium Outlets, while the Arlington restaurant will be just off Interstate 20 and South Cooper Street.

Osanloo said the company has already started working on the additional North Texas sites, and they'll open this year. They'll be two of nine new locations Portillo's plans to open nationwide in 2023.

Their Texas footprint might get bigger, too. Osanloo said "don't be surprised if we build a few more in Texas this year."

He cautioned that The Colony location "will settle down" as time goes on.

"I think that's a restaurant that's going to settle down," Osanloo said. "It is an iconic flagship restaurant for us, in a fantastic location. And so, my expectations is that it performs closer to like a Chicago market restaurant than a typical out-of-core restaurant."

But the success of The Colony location, in Osanloo's eyes, answered at least one question.

"We have a lot of people asking us questions about, do you think you'll succeed in Texas? Do you think that people will eat Italian beef in Texas?" Osanloo said. "It's only six, eight weeks in, but I feel like the answer to that is a resounding yes. They seem to like our beef sandwiches a lot. No surprise, beef and bread works really well in the great State of Texas."

Osanloo said Texas "can be either hit or miss for restaurant companies." For The Colony location, Portillo's "overinvested to some extent" with experienced management running the restaurant and marketing efforts, including the company's "Beef Bus" making tours in Texas. The location, Osanloo pointed out, is also in the busy Grandscape development area, near NFM, Scheel's sporting goods and numerous other restaurants.

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