Portillo’s tapped Michael Osanloo to succeed Keith Kinsey as the legacy brand’s next chief executive officer, the company announced August 6. The move will take effect October 1. Osanloo comes to the chain, which has more than 50 locations and is known for its Chicago-style hot dogs, from P.F. Chang’s, where he served as president and CEO since 2015. Osanloo left a post as executive vice president and president of Kraft Food Group’s North American grocery business unit to join the full-service Asian concept
“Michael Osanloo is a great choice to lead the company I founded more than 50 years ago. I have confidence that Michael has what it takes to continue the legacy of exceptional standards on which I founded this wonderful company,” Portillo’s founder Dick Portillo said in a statement.
Portillo opened his first hot dog stand in 1963 in Villa Park, Illinois. Private-equity firm Berkshire Partners bought the Oak Brook, Illinois-based brand for close to $1 billion in 2014. Kinsey, 64, who is retiring, was COO of Noodles & Company before joining Portillo’s the following year. He also worked executive roles at McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Checkers, Big Sky Bread Company, and Chipotle.
Per The Chicago Tribune, Portillo’s has been growing its unit count at a rate of 10–15 percent each year under Kinsey’s leadership, opening its first restaurants in Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Central Illinois. It plans to have 57 total units by the end of the year after adding 19.
“We are excited that Michael will be leading the next chapter of growth at Portillo’s. We thank Keith for his many contributions to Portillo’s, including opening our first restaurants in Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and central Illinois, and we wish him the very best,” said Mike Miles, Portillo’s chairman, in a statement.
Added Osanloo, who lived in Naperville as a teenager: “Growing up in Chicagoland, Portillo's was the first restaurant that I drove to when I got my driver's license, and I'm thrilled to be returning to Illinois to join one of the country’s most beloved restaurant brands. I look forward to building on the company’s success.”
Osanloo departs P.F. Chang’s during a transitional time. In July, Centerbridge Partners and the Board of Managers of Wok Parent LLC announced they were exploring a sale of the concept, which Centerbridge acquired in 2012 along with fast casual Pei Wei in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. P.F. Chang’s has 214 U.S. locations, and franchises another 93 units in 24 countries worldwide.
The Portillo’s brand also includes Barnelli’s restaurants and ships food to all 50 states.