Dog Talk: Nicholas Buralli

Portillo's is a close knit family and we love to hear from one another; which is why we started our Dog Talks! Each week a different member of the Portillo's team will write a letter to the whole company discussing our values, what Portillo's means to them, their favorite memories, or anything else they want to share! This week, we heard from Nicholas Buralli, Manager at the Crystal Lake Portillo's.

 

To start this thing off - I’m incredibly honored that I was chosen as the person to write to you all today - even more so because I was asked to write about our #1 value, Family. This means more to me than most people could even know. To give a little background: Portillo’s has been tied to my family in one way or another for as long as I’ve been alive. Growing up, this was always my family’s meeting spot. If a relative that had moved away came back into town; if a sibling visited from college; if there was a birthday to celebrate and everything in between - my home store #23 of Crystal Lake was where we could be found. After completing my working interview with my Market Manager, Luigi; he let me keep the Portillo’s apron he loaned me to use while on the line. I gave that apron to my Grandfather for Christmas when I told him I was going to be working for his all-time favorite restaurant. It was if I had given him a brick of gold he was so ecstatic.

I have a feeling many people reading this had a special place in their heart set aside for Portillo’s long before joining the team.


That is the incredible power this place has and why I feel so strongly for our values. Portillo’s is linked to so many amazing memories: past, present and future.
Family is a working unit, something you live and breathe. I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to travel to many stores over the course of the last couple years. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of you and am currently traveling between Crystal Lake #23 and Davenport #60 to help in any capacity I can.

During this time I’ve also been given the opportunity to join a new team designed specifically to help our Family during challenging times and I would be doing a disservice to you all if I didn’t bring it up in this message while I have the stage.

The “Heart of Portillo’s Fund” was recently created so that OUR Family has a place to turn to in moments of great setback or challenge. Money donated through paycheck deductions will be used exclusively for our own. I’ve seen similar smaller support funds done independently at the store level with family members who have been in the hospital or passed away, etc. It is always incredible what we can do for one another. Just think of what we could do if all 6000+ employees were contributing to help each other. I urge you all to sign up!


With all this said - and all this talk about Family - Portillo’s gets to be another huge part of my life/family, because the day this is published, I will be on vacation with my amazing girlfriend looking to take the next step towards making a family of my own. As she reads this along with all of you, I will be anxiously waiting for her to turn around and see that I’m on one knee with a smile on my face looking up at her to ask her to marry me.


I think I got it in the bag. Salute mi Famiglia!

Nicholas Buralli, Manager at Crystal Lake 

P.S. She said yes!

 

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