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A Sneak Peek Inside Wisconsin's First Portillo's

CBS 58—The Chicago-based Portillo’s is set to open its first Wisconsin restaurant July 19.

It started as a hot dog stand in 1963 and now has a total of 43 stores. The Brookfield location will be number 44.

“Wisconsin and Chicago are kind of different, but once they taste the Chicago style hot dog, they'll love it,” said Anne Feehan, the assistant general manager of the Brookfield Portillo’s.

It's known for the Italian beef-but serves everything from burgers and hot dogs to salads. As staff trains for the July 19 opening, managers want to make sure everyone knows the Portillo's way.

“There are some of the Chicago people, they come in and they can tell you how much beef goes on their sandwich,” said Tim Koch, another Portillo’s manager.   

Beyond the food, staff says Portillo's is also about atmosphere, and each restaurant has a different theme. The Brookfield location is a rock and roll theme.

Feehan says the staff tries to make sure the entire experience is entertaining. So instead of just calling your name when the order is up, they use rhymes.

Number five your order has arrived. Number four you’re out the door. Just fun little rhymes like that, kids love it,” Feehan said.

She adds that customer service is another key part of the Portillo’s experience.

“You have to treat the customer like they're coming in to your house,” Feehan said.

Portillo’s is still hiring. There are open interviews every day except Sunday and Wednesday. Just stop by the location at 17685 W Bluemound Road.

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