Portillo’s is a growing brand, and it’s important to us that our team members grow with us. That means we arm them with the skills and knowledge to foster their growth and have practices in place to help them develop in their careers.
Please take a moment to read about Patti Alumbaugh’s growth and what she’s learned along the way as she progressed from Restaurant Manager to HR Business Partner over her 23 year career with Portillo’s!
How long have you been with Portillo’s and what made you come work for us?
I have been with this fantastic brand for a little over 23 years. I originally came to Portillo’s as I relocated to the Chicagoland area and was in need of employment. They still posted ads in the newspaper at that time. I can honestly say the first time I walked in the doors of a Portillo’s was as I was researching the job prior to my interview. Wow, was I blown away! The food was fantastic, and the team moved with urgency and seemed excited to be at work. I knew then that it was the job for me, as it was incredibly important to me that I enjoy my time at work. And what better enjoyment than with others who also enjoyed the same.
What do you love about Portillo’s?
I love everything! The challenge, the excitement, the growth, the loyalty of our guests, and the feeling of being connected to and part of an extended family. I have made so many lasting connections that I cherish. I so enjoy celebrating the anniversaries of other team members that have also been with Portillo’s for 5, 10, 15 ,20 plus years. It is so exciting to be part of a growing brand where quite honestly, the sky has no limit. I love seeing other team members realize that this is not just a job, it can be their career!
What was your first position here and what position did you get promoted to?
My first position was as a restaurant manager. I moved through the ranks into a night supervisory role and then into a Market Manager position, leading a group of 6-7 restaurants at a time. I was honored to be able to help open at least 40 new restaurants during this time as well. I am very excited to soon be taking on my new role as a HR Business Partner.
What do you love about your position?
I truly love the people that are part of this fantastic brand. The commitment that everyone shows at being great is like no other organization I have worked with in the past. Influencing others to see the potential in themselves is a very fulfilling part of my job. Too often people say, “I can’t” and my goal is to get them to say, “I can” and “I will!"
What advice would you give to someone at Portillo’s looking to move up?
Do it! The development programs that Portillo’s has in place not only for initially training for the role they are moving into, but also any continued development that they may need is like no other. The support that is given from everyone to each other truly exemplifies servant leadership at its best. Everyone here wants you to be the best possible version of yourself and are there to support you in your journey. We may serve food, but we are truly invested in developing people.
Where do see yourself growing in this company?
I am up for any challenge. I want to continue to exemplify the values that we embrace; Family, Fun, Energy and Greatness! Not only to the teams in existing restaurants, but to the teams in the future restaurants as well. I will greatly enjoy partnering with even more restaurants and their teams in my new role.