Leadership - Our Story | Portillo's

Meet Our Leadership Team

Michael Osanloo

CEO and President

Michael Osanloo is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Portillo's Hot Dogs where he is responsible for overall brand strategy, business performance and the company's growth across new states and markets. Michael is a passionate servant leader who has structured the company in a way that affords every team member the opportunity to grow and be successful. Since joining Portillo's, Michael was named one of 10 business leaders that could change Chicago's business world in 2019 by the Chicago Tribune.

As the former CEO of P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc., Michael oversaw more than 300 restaurants globally and expanded the brand into China, the UK and Germany. Prior to, Michael served as Executive Vice President and President of Grocery at Kraft Heinz, and in senior leadership roles at Caesar's Entertainment. In 1996, Michael started his successful nine year run as a Partner at Bain & Company where he helped improve the effectiveness of strategic, operational and marketing initiatives at various multibillion-dollar companies.

Michael holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago, a Juris Doctorate the University of Illinois College of Law and an AB Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Michael lives in Chicagoland with his wife and three children.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Italian Beef, dipped with hot peppers.

Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis

Chief Development and Chain Officer

Mike Ellis joined the Portillo's family in 2022 as the Chief Development Officer. In this role, he is responsible for cultivating and executing Portillo's growth strategy as it scales in new and existing markets nationwide. From real estate, to construction, to ongoing building and facilities management, Mike takes a hands-on approach with his teams to drive the momentum of a successful, long-term growth plan. He has been a Portillo's enthusiast for decades, and is excited to bring unrivaled Chicago street food to even more fans throughout the country.

Mike has spent more than 30 years leading development teams in the foodservice industry. Prior to joining Portillo's, he was Vice President of Real Estate and Development at Cracker Barrel, where he spearheaded growth development strategy, new restaurant openings and the development of a new prototype that significantly improved operational efficiencies. He has also held senior development roles with Darden, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and other restaurant brands.

Mike currently resides in Nashville, TN. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife of more than 35 years and their three adult children. He is a fan of tennis, golf, hockey, and his annual family ski trips.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Items: Jumbo Chili Dog.

Rick Cook

Rick Cook

Senior Vice President of Information Technology

Rick Cook joined the Portillo's family in January 2020 as Senior Vice President of Technology. In this capacity, he is responsible for all corporate and restaurant technology for the organization and reports to the CEO. Rick is a servant leader, dedicated to empowering the Portillo's technology team and enabling field leadership and restaurant managers to run exceptional restaurants

Prior to joining Portillo's, Rick served as Senior Director of Technology Delivery for Coates Inc., a Sydney-based digital content and digital signage company. Prior to that, Rick spent several years with McDonald's, most recently as Director of McDonald's US Point of Sale Solutions, responsible for delivering Point of Sale, Kitchen Production, and Kiosk software solutions to over 14,000 McDonald's restaurants.

Rick graduated from West Point in 2006 with a degree in Systems Engineering. He served in the Army for ten years as an enlisted Soldier, Armor officer, Cavalry officer, and Network Engineer. During his time in service, Rick served in Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is a Bronze Star recipient.

Rick lives in Chicagoland with his wife and their four children. When not working, Rick enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Cheeseburger

Michelle Hook

Michelle Hook

Chief Financial Officer

Michelle Hook joined Portillo's as Chief Financial Officer in December 2020 after more than 17 years at Domino's. Most recently, Michelle served as Vice President of Finance for global FP&A and investor relations, where she led the teams responsible for supporting global FP&A, strategic finance analytics, U.S. franchise operations and marketing, Domino's technology, and investor relations.

Michelle previously served as vice president of global operations and was in various accounting and finance roles with increasing responsibilities since joining Domino's in 2003. She was a member of the company's initial public offering team in 2004, as well as numerous recapitalization teams.

Prior to joining Domino's, Michelle was with Holcim, one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of cement around the world. She began her career as a senior auditor at Arthur Andersen LLP, based in Detroit.

Michelle holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, a B.A. in accounting from Michigan State University, and is a certified public accountant. She resides in Michigan with her husband and their two daughters.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Italian beef sandwich with sweet and hot peppers.

Garrett Kern

Garrett Kern

Vice President, Strategy & Culinary

Garrett Kern joined Portillo's in 2019, bringing with him strategy and operations expertise combined with years of experience in the hospitality industry and a passion for food and beverage. And, importantly, he's always loved cooking and eating; he even dreamt of becoming a chef and restaurant owner as a child.

Garrett entered the restaurant industry via working in professional kitchens, eventually managing both front- and back-of-house operations in Chicago's fine-dining scene. He then sharpened his business acumen via a variety of F&B-focused roles in the hotel industry across a portfolio in Chicago, New York, and Florida.

Following these positions in hospitality, Garrett honed his skills in management consulting with Bain & Company in both Boston and Chicago, working across a broad spectrum of industries and functions with a focus on retail brand strategy and commercial due diligence. Time in consulting gave him the skills to create effective growth strategies via a synthesis of market trends, data, and qualitative insight – all viewed through very customer-centric lens.

But he couldn't stay away from the restaurant industry for long. Garrett was drawn to Portillo's for its fantastic leadership team. And, as a Chicagoland native, he was excited to be part of a brand that he adored and grew up with.

Garrett received a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and an MBA from The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Garrett enjoys spending time cooking, woodworking, and gardening at home in Chicagoland, where he lives with his wife and his dog.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Chicago-style hot dog

Michael Portillo

Michael Portillo

Vice President Training and People Development

Michael Portillo has more than four decades of restaurant industry experience, including 35 years with Portillo's. The son of founder Dick Portillo, Michael's first job in the restaurants included washing dishes, taking out garbage and placing coupons on car windows. In fact, if he wasn't in school or playing sports while growing up, he was working at Portillo's. To expand his experience, Michael worked every station and every shift as a team member, eventually managing his first shift when he was 17 years old.

Michael branched out on his own in 1999, opening four restaurants over a five-year period. But he couldn't stay away for long. Michael rejoined Portillo's in 2005 as the Director of Training, where he was responsible for manager and team member training, including at the first California restaurant. He also held the VP, Training and Development role before taking on his latest position of VP, Restaurant Support. In this role, Michael enables Portillo's growth by cultivating culture and operations through new restaurant openings, innovation and team member experience, supporting training, culinary and more. Michael is also the vice chair of the Heart of Portillo's Fund, a 501(c)3 Portillo's created to support team members in need.

Michael currently resides in Chicagoland with his wife, Gina – the maker of what was then called "Gina Portillo's Soon-to-be-Famous Chocolate Cake." His high school sweetheart, he and Gina married in 1981, the same year he became a Portillo's manager. They now have three daughters and three grandchildren.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Chocolate cake, naturally!

Derrick Pratt

Derrick Pratt

Chief Operating Officer

Derrick Pratt is a seasoned restaurant executive with a proven track record for driving best-in-class operations, profit, performance results, world class culture and people development. Derrick joined the Portillo's family in September 2020 to lead restaurant operations, bringing with him strategic leadership experience in operations, real estate development, franchising and licensing, marketing, finance, supply chain management, and operations general management.

Derrick joined Portillo's from Starbucks, where he most recently served as VP, Operations Services. Prior to that, he held a Regional VP of Operations role for Starbucks Southeast market, leading 800 locations and $1.4 billion in annual revenue, among other roles. Before Starbucks, Derrick worked his way up to various VP-level positions within the McDonald's organization and was also a franchise owner/operator for a fast-casual deli concept in Dallas.

Raised in an Army military family, Derrick grew up and went to school on the Fort George Meade Military Base in Maryland. There, he learned skills that secured him a role with the National Security Agency as a Crypto Analyst. While in this role, he took additional courses and also a part-time job at McDonald's, beginning his love for working in the restaurant industry. Derrick also has an MBA from Texas Christian University.

Derrick now resides in Chicagoland with his wife of 35 years. They share four children and 10 grandchildren.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Maxwell St. Polish

Nick Scarpino

Nick Scarpino

Senior Vice President of Marketing & Off-Premise Dining

Nick Scarpino is SVP of Marketing and Off-Premise Dining at Portillo's Hot Dogs. Prior to joining Portillo's in 2015, he worked in digital advertising leadership roles at Google. Nick's first job at Portillo's was as a cashier for the brand while in high school.

After 52 years without a formal Marketing function, Nick was hired to build the first Portillo's Marketing team, reporting directly to the CEO. He now oversees four aspects of the business:

  • Brand Marketing & Communications
  • Guest Services
  • Field Marketing & Brand Partnerships
  • Off Premise Dining, including Portillo's Home Kitchen Catering

Nick leads the team behind the Portillo's online ordering platform and oversaw the launch of delivery at all Portillo's nationwide. He also serves on the menu strategy team and real estate committee.

Nick has a Bachelor's degree in Marketing from the University of Notre Dame and a Master's degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. Nick lives in Chicagoland and is a husband, twin, and a dad to four awesome kids.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Item: Italian Beef n' Cheddar Croissant with sweet peppers.

Susan Shelton

Susan Shelton

General Counsel

Susan Shelton currently serves as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Portillo's Hot Dogs, LLC. As General Counsel, Susan oversees and directs the company's legal team responsible for all aspects of Portillo's legal affairs, including contracts, corporate governance, litigation, licensing and compliance. In addition, she is responsible for oversight of the Risk Department and serves as the legal advisor to senior management and as corporate secretary. Susan joined the company in 1998, after having served as one of the company's outside attorneys for 10 years.

Susan holds a B.A. in Economics from Wheaton College and a J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law. Susan lives in Chicagoland with her husband and enjoys gardening, hiking, reading and spending time with their amazing (soon to be married) daughters.

Favorite Portillo's Menu Items: Combo Beef and Char-Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwich with hot peppers and the Strawberry Shortcake – they always bring back great memories of sharing a special meal with my Dad!

Jill Waite

Jill Waite

Chief Human Resources Officer

Jill Waite is Chief Human Resources Officer at Portillo's Hot Dogs, a restaurant chain with more than 60 locations, headquartered in Oak Brook, IL. Prior to joining Portillo's in 2019, she held several Human Resources and Operations roles in the retail, grocery and fitness industries with companies such as Sephora and 24-Hour Fitness.  

Jill was hired to reinvigorate the Portillo's culture by reclaiming the hearts and minds of our 6,000 Team Members. She is also responsible for building the talent pipeline to support the company's growth, retaining Team Members who are passionate about creating lifelong memories for our guests, and developing world-class learning and development programs

She has a Bachelor's degree in Management from University of Florida. Go Gators! Jill lives in Chicagoland with her husband of nearly 20 years, and is a mom to two boys who have a passion for playing soccer competitively. 

Favorite Portillo's Menu Items: Italian beef sandwich, cheese fries, and chocolate cake.