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Portillo's-hires-own-delivery-fleet.gif Portillo’s Hot Dogs LLC
Fast-casual brand plans see self-delivery as complement to third-party partnerships.

Portillo’s plans to create own delivery team

Fast-casual brand says it will be hiring several hundred to staff in-house program

Portillo’s Hot Dogs LLC, parent to the 62-unit fast-casual sandwich chain, will be launching its own in-house delivery program, the company said Monday.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based operator said it plans to hire several hundred drivers, including some from within its current employee ranks, to provide delivery that will complement existing relationships with third-party DoorDash and Uber Eats.

“Delivery is here to stay,” said Dino Northway, Portillo’s senior manager of off-premise dining, in an interview Monday. “Self-delivery allows us to be part of the experience from start to finish, which can be a differentiator when ordering direct.”

Northway said Portillo’s plans to continue with DoorDash and Uber Eats. The company's DoorDash rollout was in November 2017, and Uber Eats was added in April.

He said drivers will be required to maintain liability insurance as mandated by the states and Portillo’s is increasing its coverage as well.

Since the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March, Portillo’s has seen delivery double. “it’s no surprise that guests needed it during COVID,” Northway said.

He said Portillo’s is hiring for all locations, and the number of drivers will vary depending on the where the restaurant is located.

Self-delivery will only service online, smartphone and phone orders directly to the company, he said.

Northway said Portillo’s is looking for drivers who are 18 or older with auto insurance proof and driver’s license as well as being able to provide the level of service of in-store employees, as they will be cross-trained in the restaurant. They also must pass a background check.

Self-delivery is being piloted in several locations, and company expects it to roll out in the remainder of the brand within the next month.

Northway said he was excited to help create a “Portillo’s experience” that is outside the restaurant units’ four walls.

“I think we’ve done that with our drive-thrus,” he added.

Portillo’s was founded in 1963 by Dick Portillo in Villa Park, Ill., and is known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, burgers, salads and chocolate cake.

Update July 20, 2020: This story was edited to include rollout information.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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