Portillo’s Taps Former Cracker Barrel Exec as Chief Development Officer

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Mike Ellis joins Portillo's with over 30 years of restaurant development experience. Courtesy of Portillo's.

Chicago-based Portillo’s has appointed restaurant industry veteran Mike Ellis as chief development officer, following the retirement of Chief Development and Supply Chain Officer Sherri Abruscato, who was with the fast-casual brand for over 40 years.

Ellis will help lead Portillo’s growth as it scales into new and existing markets, including the Midwest, Florida and Arizona, with plans to open the first Texas restaurant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area later this year.

Before Portillo’s, Ellis, who has over 30 years of restaurant development experience, served as 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 improved operational efficiencies, according to Portillo’s.

Ellis’ resume also includes chief development officer positions with FoodFirst Global Restaurants—where he also served as COO—Ruby Tuesday and O’Charley’s.

Founded in 1963, Portillo’s has over 70 restaurants in nine states.


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