Joliet's New Portillo's About To Make Company History

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JOLIET, IL — In about three weeks, Joliet will make history, becoming the Portillo’s Restaurant Group‘s first community in the United States to open an exclusive Portillo’s Pickup. The Joliet Portillo’s at 1444 N. Larkin Ave. will not have a dining room. It will feature a triple drive-thru lane.

Portillo’s recently opened its first triple drive-thru at a new restaurant in Wisconsin, however, the triple drive-thru in Madison also has an indoor dining room. Joliet does not.

Joliet’s Portillo’s Pickup opens Feb. 1, according to the restaurant’s general manager, Julia Beres. She has worked at Portillo’s for nine years and lives in Joliet. Most recently, Beres worked at the Shorewood Portillo’s on Route 59.

Find out what’s happening in Joliet with free, real-time updates from Patch.

This coming week, the Portillo’s Pickup in Joliet will begin training team members and conducting open interviews. There’s a Portillo’s Hiring Center trailer in the parking lot of the North Ridge Plaza.

Beres emphasized that Portillo’s starting wages have been increased to $15 per hour.

Find out what’s happening in Joliet with free, real-time updates from Patch.

People can apply for jobs by going online or walking in to the new restaurant.

Portillo’s plans to have about 150 employees at its new Joliet restaurant, with 40 to 50 people working per shift.

Joliet Patch visited the new Portillo’s Friday afternoon.

Construction of the entire building is done, but contractors are still putting finishing touches on the exterior of the property.

Inside the restaurant, the Portillo’s features three primary lines of production: for hot dogs, Italian beef and burgers. The Portillo’s Pickup expects to make 50 to 100 chocolate cakes per day, the managers told Patch.

As for the triple drive-thru, customers who ordered online will be put into separate lanes, Beres said.

“We’re predicting 40 to 50 percent of our business” will be online sales, Beres said.

The only people typically entering the Portillo’s Pickup will be delivery drivers or customers coming for catering orders, Beres said.

“The building has already been turned over to us,” Beres remarked. “We start training on Tuesday.”

Beres had one final message she wanted to emphasize.

“We’re still hiring,” she added.

Employee training at the new Portillo’s Pickup restaurant on Joliet’s Larkin Avenue begins this week. The place opens Feb. 1. John Ferak/Patch
Employee training at the new Portillo’s Pickup restaurant on Joliet’s Larkin Avenue begins this week. The place opens Feb. 1. John Ferak/Patch
Employee training at the new Portillo’s Pickup restaurant on Joliet’s Larkin Avenue begins this week. The place opens Feb. 1. John Ferak/Patch
Employee training at the new Portillo’s Pickup restaurant on Joliet’s Larkin Avenue begins this week. The place opens Feb. 1. John Ferak/Patch

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