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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

    ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED December 26, 2021
OR
    TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM         TO

COMMISSION FILE NUMBER: 001-40951
https://cdn.kscope.io/ce2df3e79f56c6ef9ea1794372f10bb7-ptlo-20211226_g1.jpg
PORTILLO'S INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware 87-1104304
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
2001 Spring Road, Suite 400, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
(Address of principal executive offices)
(630)-954-3773
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
N/A
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading SymbolName of each exchange on which registered
Class A common stock, $0.01 par value per sharePTLONasdaq Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. ☐ Yes ☒ No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. ☐ Yes ☒ No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. ☒     Yes    ☐     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
☒     Yes ☐     No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. (See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). (Check one)
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer
Non-accelerated filerSmaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.




Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
☐     Yes         No

The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on December 23, 2021, the last business day of the Registrant's fiscal year, based on the closing price of the registrant's common stock as reported by The Nasdaq Stock Market on that date, was approximately $893,736,455. The registrant has elected to use December 23, 2021 as the calculation date because on June 27, 2021 (the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter), the registrant was a privately held company. This calculation does not reflect a determination that certain persons are affiliates of the registrant for any other purpose.

As of March 3, 2022, there were 35,807,171 shares of the registrant's Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, issued and outstanding.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Part II
Part III
Part IV





Table of Contents
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
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This Annual Report on Form 10-K ("Form 10-K") contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PSLRA"), which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from the statements made herein, including, but not limited to: the potential future impact of COVID-19 (including any variant) on our results of operations, supply chain or liquidity; risks related to or arising from our organizational structure; risks of food-borne illness and food safety and other health concerns about our food; risks associated with our reliance on certain information technology systems and potential failures or interruptions; privacy and cyber security risks related to our digital ordering and payment platforms for our delivery business; the impact of competition, including from our competitors in the restaurant industry or our own restaurants; the increasingly competitive labor market and our ability to attract and retain the best talent and qualified employees; the impact of federal, state or local government regulations relating to privacy, data protection, advertising and consumer protection, building and zoning requirements, costs or ability to open new restaurants, or sale of food and alcoholic beverage control regulations; our ability to achieve our growth strategy, such as the availability of suitable new restaurant sites in existing and new markets; increases in food and other operating costs, tariffs and import taxes, and supply shortages; and certain other risk factors identified in "Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K."

All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Many of the forward-looking statements are located in Part II, Item 7 of this Form 10-K under the heading "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations." Forward-looking statements discuss our current expectations and projections relating to our financial position, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business, and are based on currently available operating, financial and competitive information which are subject to various risks and uncertainties, so you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "future," "outlook," "potential," "project," "projection," "plan," "intend," "seek," "may," "could," "would," "will," "should," "can," "can have," "likely," the negatives thereof and other similar expressions.

All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this Form 10-K in the context of the risks and uncertainties disclosed in Part I, Item 1A of this Form 10-K under the heading "Risk Factors" and Part II, Item 7 "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations".

The forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K are made only as of the date hereof. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.



Portillo's Inc. https://cdn.kscope.io/ce2df3e79f56c6ef9ea1794372f10bb7-ptlo-20211226_g3.jpg Form 10-K | 1


Table of Contents
PART I
ITEM 1.     BUSINESS    

Portillo’s Inc. (the “Company’) was formed and incorporated as a Delaware corporation on June 8, 2021. The Company was formed for the purpose of completing a public offering and related reorganization transactions (collectively, the "Transactions”) in order to carry on the business of PHD Group Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries (“Portillo’s OpCo”). Following the consummation of the Transactions on October 20, 2021, the Company became the sole managing member of Portillo’s OpCo, and as sole managing member, the Company operates and controls all of the business and affairs of Portillo's OpCo. As a result, the Company consolidates the financial results of Portillo's OpCo and reports a non-controlling interest representing the economic interest in Portillo's OpCo held by the other members of Portillo's OpCo (the "pre-IPO LLC Members"). Unless the context otherwise requires, references to "we," "us," "our," "Portillo's," the "Company" and other similar references refer to Portillo's Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Portillo’s OpCo.

Initial Public Offering and the Transactions

The Company's registration statement on Form S-1, as amended (Registration No. 333-259810), related to its initial public offering ("IPO") was declared effective October 20, 2021, and the Company's Class A common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market ("Nasdaq") under the symbol "PTLO" on October 21, 2021. On October 25, 2021, the Company completed its IPO of 23,310,810 shares of the Company's Class A common stock (including 3,040,540 shares sold to the underwriters pursuant to their overallotment option) at an offering price of $20.00 per share. The Company received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $430.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions of $29.1 million and other offering expenses of approximately $7.1 million.

In connection with the IPO, we completed the following:

We amended and restated the limited liability company agreement of Portillo’s OpCo to, among other things, convert all outstanding equity interests (except for those redeemable preferred units which were redeemed in connection with the IPO) into LLC Units.

We became the sole managing member of Portillo's OpCo. Because we manage and operate the business and control the strategic decisions and day-to-day operations of Portillo’s OpCo and because we also have a substantial financial interest in Portillo’s OpCo, we will consolidate the financial results of Portillo’s OpCo, and a portion of our net income will be allocated to non-controlling interests to reflect the entitlement of the pre-IPO LLC Members who retained their equity ownership in Portillo's OpCo. In addition, because Portillo’s OpCo was under the common control of the pre-IPO LLC Members before and after the Transactions, we measured the assets and liabilities of Portillo’s OpCo at their carrying amounts as of the date of the completion of the Transactions.

We amended and restated our certificate of incorporation to authorize the issuance of two classes of common stock: Class A common stock and Class B common stock. Each share of Class A common stock and Class B common stock entitles its holder to one vote per share on all matters submitted to a vote of our stockholders. The Class B common stock is not entitled to economic interests in Portillo’s Inc.

See the consolidated financial statements included in Part II, Item 8 "Financial Statements And Supplementary Data" for more information about the above-mentioned transactions as well as the other transactions completed in connection with the IPO. Following the completion of the Transactions, Portillo's Inc. owns 50.1% of Portillo’s OpCo. The pre-IPO LLC Members own the remaining 49.9% of Portillo’s OpCo.

Overview of Portillo's

Portillo’s serves iconic Chicago street food through high-energy, multichannel restaurants designed to ignite the senses and create a memorable dining experience. Since our founding in 1963 in a small trailer which Dick Portillo called “The Dog House,” we have grown to become a treasured brand with a passionate (some might say obsessed) nationwide following. Our diverse menu features all-American favorites such as Chicago-style hot dogs and sausages, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, chopped salads, crinkle-cut french fries, homemade chocolate cake and signature chocolate cake shake. We create a consumer experience like no other by combining the best attributes of fast casual and quick service concepts with an exciting energy-filled atmosphere and restaurant model capable of generating tremendous volumes. Nearly all of our restaurants were built with double lane drive-thrus and have been thoughtfully designed with a layout that accommodates a variety of access modes including dine-in, carryout, delivery and catering in order to quickly and efficiently serve our guests. No matter how our guests order from us, our highly productive kitchens and team members consistently serve high-quality food and deliver a memorable guest experience. We believe the combination of our craveable food, multichannel sales model, dedication to operational excellence, and a distinctive culture driven by our team members gives us a competitive advantage.

As of December 26, 2021, we owned and operated 69 restaurants across nine states, including a restaurant owned by C&O Chicago, L.L.C. ("C&O") of which we own 50% of the equity.

Our Story

We relish the opportunity to create lifelong memories by igniting the senses with unrivaled food and experiences.

An Iconic and Beloved Brand with Obsessed, Lifelong Fans. We capture the hearts, minds and stomachs of our guests with every meal. Our menu features something for everyone and appeals to a broad demographic that enables our restaurants to thrive across diverse trade areas and generate strong and balanced volumes across multiple dayparts, weekdays and occasions. Our new restaurant openings draw massive crowds of passionate fans who line up overnight with lines stretching around the block.

No matter the location, our fans are bun-believably obsessed! Guests cake shake their way in for our Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, cheese fries, fresh salads and famous chocolate cake. But it's not just our menu that sets us apart.

Energetic Restaurant Atmosphere that Engages the Senses. While our operating model is focused on getting delicious, made-to-order food to our guests quickly, our atmosphere makes the experience even more than a delicious meal. When guests walk into a Portillo’s, they get an experience completely different than a typical chain restaurant visit. Our restaurants engage all the senses to create a fun, relaxed and memorable occasion.

Our dining areas evoke nostalgia and local influences. No two Portillo’s are alike. Each of our restaurants has its own themed décor ranging from a 1930’s prohibition motif to a 1950’s jukebox, to a 1960’s hippie bus. The period music ties to the theme, from ragtime to doo wop to disco. No detail is too small, be it lighting, signage or even the stars subtly sparkling on the ceiling. Each restaurant also draws design elements from the community. The layouts create spaces comfortable for individual diners, families, large groups, and even wedding parties.

Beyond the space itself, the energy of a Portillo’s is unique. Our guests can see into our huge, open kitchens, where their meals are prepared right before their eyes. The smells of burgers broiling, french fries frying, and beef simmering emanate from the kitchen. Each completed meal is announced with a fun rhyme (“Number two, we got you”; “Number seven, welcome to Portillo’s heaven”). But the most important element of the energy is the enthusiasm of the scores of guests who are all excited to be there and enjoying their Portillo’s. We want every guest that visits to leave with a memorable experience, a satiated appetite and a desire to return.

Our Food

Our menu offers something for everyone. We obsess over each and every ingredient and curate our menu to ensure that each item receives high marks from our guests and meets our rigorous quality standards. We're known for our famous Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, chopped salad, cheese fries, homemade chocolate cake, and chocolate cake shake. Our Italian beef is slow-roasted for four hours, thinly sliced, and served on freshly baked French bread. Then, it's dipped in hot gravy made with our homemade blend of seasonings that we've been perfecting for 50 years. Our Chicago-style hot dogs feature mustard, relish, freshly chopped onion, sliced red ripe tomatoes, a kosher pickle and sport peppers piled high onto a perfectly steamed poppy seed bun, all finished with a few shakes of savory celery salt. Guests also love our craveable crinkle-cut french fries that are cooked in beef tallow resulting in a perfectly salted, crispy outside with a soft inside. Lastly, for those craving something sweet, our famous homemade fluffy chocolate cakes are baked with love each morning in every restaurant and generously iced with rich chocolate frosting.

Commitment to Quality. Our food is prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients, and our commitment to quality is brought to light by every item on the menu. We obsess over each and every ingredient and recipe to ensure our food is high quality, consistently prepared and tastes great. We have been perfecting our menu for over 50 years, and we are constantly seeking ways to further enhance the quality and selection of our offerings.

Our Menu. Our menu features unrivaled Chicago-style street food and all-American favorites. With something for everyone, our expansive menu creates a “veto-proof” proposition and drives a broad set of consumer occasions.

Menu Innovation. Our primary strategy for menu innovation is to drive traffic through truly craveable foods that can be made with a Portillo’s spin. New menu items are introduced when we believe they will offer superior guest satisfaction and typically coincide with the removal of an existing menu item to ensure a manageable menu size, so that our team members can maintain the operational efficiency that enables our high volumes and consistently high quality offerings.

Our Sales Channels

Our restaurants are thoughtfully designed for both their variety of access modes and the overall guest experience.

Drive-Thru - Our restaurants are built with double lane drive-thrus staffed with engaging attendants that ensure a pleasant and efficient experience with all food made to order. In February 2022, we opened our first off-premise only restaurant, located in Joliet, Illinois, featuring three drive-thru lanes, including one specifically for pickup of advanced orders placed on our app or website, and a pick-up area inside the restaurant for third-party delivery drivers.

Dine-In - Our restaurant dining rooms are elaborately decorated with timeless, nostalgic designs inspired by the local community. Our dining areas feature a variety of flexible seating arrangements designed to accommodate single diners, couples, families and large groups. Guests dining in our restaurants wait in an ordering line to place their order and walk up to a designated pick up area when their order is called.

Carryout - Guests placing a carryout order by phone, online or through our app have the option to walk into the restaurant to pick up their order at our service counter.

Delivery - We have established partnerships with multiple third-party delivery providers and have added self-delivery capability to fulfill larger orders through our team members.

Catering Offerings - Our catering offerings include buffet-style packages of our ready-to-eat favorites like Italian beef, sausages and meatballs, gourmet salads, pastas and whole cakes. We also sell “Take & Make” offerings – a series of catering items and packages designed for convenient, at-home preparation by our guests. For impromptu gatherings we offer “Fast Packs,” which are convenient packages of eight of our most popular sandwiches, prewrapped and ready to top, which can be prepared and delivered quickly.

Direct Shipping Offerings - Our direct shipping offerings include some of our most popular menu items, including Italian beef (8 sandwich or 20 sandwich pack), Chicago-Style Hot Dogs (10 or 50 pack), sausages, chocolate cake and tamales.

Our Growth Strategies

Expand Our Restaurant Base. We are in the early stages of our nationwide growth with 69 locations across nine states as of December 26, 2021. Since 2015, we have opened new restaurants at a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 9.1%. Over the long term, we plan
to increase our number of restaurants by approximately 10%. Our near-term restaurant growth strategy is focused on leveraging our proven unit economic model primarily in adjacent and national markets outside Chicagoland with favorable macro-economic tailwinds where we already have a presence. We will also add select new restaurants in the Chicagoland market.

Increase Our Same-Restaurant Sales. We aim to continue delivering an outstanding value proposition to our guests and enhance our experience to grow our volumes. We believe the following initiatives will drive same-restaurant sales growth.

Deliver a Consistently Outstanding Guest Experience. Our relentless focus on operational excellence enables us to drive significant throughput in our restaurants, provide a one-of-a-kind experience and a compelling everyday value proposition to our guests and thereby drive increased customer trial and frequency.
Purposeful Menu Enhancements. We are constantly studying ways to further enhance our existing offerings while thoughtfully adding new high-quality items. We are also disciplined in maintaining the number of options on our menu. When a new item earns its way onto our menu, we often replace an existing item to maintain our operational efficiency. We believe this purposeful enhancement drives increased guest frequency and reinforces our everyday value proposition that is key to our success.
Increase Brand Awareness Through Non-Traditional and Social Marketing. We do not rely on mass media advertising or promotion to drive traffic to our restaurants. We actively engage our fans and guests through a dynamic social media effort that includes email, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and other platforms. Our social media activity generates significant engagement with our guests and provides our most passionate fans an opportunity to share their enthusiasm with their followers.
Enhance Our Off-Premises Guest Experience. We have always been committed to providing our guests with our delicious food however and whenever they want it. In February 2022, we opened our first off-premise only restaurant, located in Joliet, Illinois, featuring three drive-thru lanes, including one specifically for pickup of advanced orders placed on our app or website, and a pick-up area inside the restaurant for third-party delivery drivers.

Leverage Our Infrastructure to Drive Profitability. Our attractive business model generates strong operating margins and cash flow. We constantly focus on restaurant-level operations while ensuring that we do not sacrifice the quality and experience for which we are known. Our strong average unit volumes and operational focus give us the ability to manage variable costs and leverage our fixed costs. We believe we will continue to grow revenue and system-wide profitability by executing our growth strategy and leveraging the experience of our existing general managers to lead our new restaurants to drive successful and efficient new openings. Our investments to enhance our multichannel capabilities and drive a frictionless guest order experience are also expected to further leverage our fixed costs. We have made significant investments at the corporate level, which we believe we will leverage in the future, exclusive of the additional costs of operating as a public company.

Our Team - Human Capital Management

Our team member base, as of December 26, 2021, consisted of 7,453 team members. This included 155 Restaurant Support Center (“RSC”) team members and 267 restaurant managers and above restaurant leaders, with the remainder being hourly team members. Our team members are not covered by any collective bargaining agreements. Our executive officers have more than 140 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Values-Driven, People-Centered Culture. In February 2021, we were named one of Forbes Top Midsize Employers to work for. We believe this is attributed to our conviction that our People are the Heart of Portillo’s. We hire and train great people who can turn their obsession for our brand into a profession. Our team members are passionate about our food, love our guests, and call their teammates “family.” And that family is both diverse and inclusive. We strive to foster a sense of individuality, safety, support, belonging and fairness through inclusive practices in talent acquisition, talent management, total rewards and learning and development such as career pathing and unconscious bias training.

This people-centric culture is centered on working together to create a fun, energetic atmosphere while living our values:

“Family” – We work together to make everyone feel at home, and we step up when someone needs help

“Greatness” – We are obsessed with being the best and work hard to continuously improve. Our greatness is rooted in Quality, Service, Attitude and Cleanliness (“QSAC”)

“Energy” – We move with urgency and passion, while maintaining attention to detail

“Fun” – We entertain our guests, we connect authentically, and we make each other smile

These values extend beyond our restaurants, to every team member. For example, during the holiday season, our RSC team members lived our value of family by volunteering to work shifts in the restaurants. This connected our RSC team members to our restaurants as well as provided hands-on perspective on how they can better support the restaurants in their daily responsibilities.

Living these values enforces the culture we’re proud of. It’s why we are passionate about attracting and selecting team members who are aligned with our purpose and values, as well as why we established an employee value proposition centered around culture. It’s also why our team members are our best ambassadors and why we’ve seen success with our referral program. Our culture results in top quartile industry retention for management and hourly team members.

Leadership Development. We provide a full spectrum of resources, from skill building to leadership development, at every level in the organization. Our philosophy is to develop people to be ready before a position is open, as opposed to waiting for a position to be open and then training them. We view this investment as fundamental to our growth, building a pipeline of leaders for our future. In 2021, more than 80% of our leadership openings were filled internally.

We are committed to continuing education and providing ways for individuals to build their talents. We hold quarterly career interest days, we work with team members and managers to build individual development plans with training and experiences, we hold regularly scheduled development programs throughout the year for each level of leadership, we created a training lead program to provide a dedicated team member in each restaurant to oversee station and new initiative training, and we hold bi-annual talent and succession planning to identify and support individuals with career pathing and development opportunities.

Engagement & Experience. We believe in our team members having a voice to share their ideas, feedback and contribute to organizational success. In 2021, we partnered with Gallup to implement our EverEngaged survey to gather, listen to and act on the team members’ feedback. Our engagement results for our multi-unit and general managers were in the top quartile scores. Our team members reflected that they know what is expected of them at work and strongly agree they have what they need to do their jobs right. These are both foundational to an individual’s engagement and success. We will conduct this survey annually to measure improvement and areas of focus. In addition to the survey, we regularly hold roundtable discussions with team members and stay interviews with leaders to gain insights into ways we cultivate an energizing, collaborative work environment.

We have also prioritized a flexible work environment, addressing work-life flexibility and balance across our different workplaces. We piloted a new scheduling system that allows our hourly team members to align their work schedule with their personal schedule, as well as submit schedules, trade shifts and submit all time-off requests in an easier way. To improve work-life flexibility for managers, we’re also testing shift leaders closing restaurants. For our RSC, we provide the option to work remote or at the office based on personal preference and business needs. Quarterly, we hold engagement-focused RSC culture weeks to bring the team together for connecting, recognition and development.

Total Rewards. Early in 2021, we conducted a Total Rewards survey to understand team member preferences. The physical, financial, and mental well-being of our team members remains our top priority, and we continue to invest in their success. We believe in a total rewards philosophy of providing top quartile pay in our restaurants, especially across our leadership positions. We conducted an independent pay equity analysis of our U.S. workforce to identify risks and pay gaps in our organization by gender and race/ethnicity. The results did not identify preferential treatment to any class of team members, which supports our commitment to ensuring we pay our team members equally across gender and race/ethnicity.

This commitment is evidenced by our investment in our compensation packages and robust suite of benefit offerings. In 2021, we improved our paid time off program, made our medical health care program more affordable for hourly team members, added extra hourly pay on key holidays, and implemented a Daily Pay option for team members to access their pay when needed. To prioritize overall well-being, we also added a wellness platform that provides access to fitness and wellness programs and offer personalized mental health assistance through our medical plan.

At the time of our IPO, in recognition of the team's hard work, we issued Restricted Stock Units (“RSUs”) to each manager and RSC team member employed on the day of the IPO. We will continue this practice for our General Managers on an annual basis to continue to provide our team with opportunities to own our shares and support retention of key team members, with the next RSU grant to be issued in 2023. We also celebrate team members who have been with Portillo’s ten plus years by awarding a celebratory $100 bonus.

Impact of COVID-19. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prioritized the health and safety of our team members who in turn helped our business not only survive but thrive. We continue to support our team members with a concierge-style service of a centralized “Wellness Team” to advise on and monitor the well-being of our teams. We also continue to fund our foundation called “The Heart of Portillo’s Fund” to support team members who have fallen on hard times due to unexpected circumstances, with more than 40 grants provided in 2021 alone.

Our Sourcing and Supply Chain

We are committed to maintaining our high-quality food standards which depends on our ability to acquire fresh ingredients and other supplies that meet our demanding specifications from suppliers. We partner with a variety of companies that are similarly aligned with producing and providing high quality products. We are always looking for the best way to provide high-quality food at an incredible everyday value.

Our supply chain approach is based on alignment with key strategic partners that are identified through a comprehensive evaluation process to ensure our standards and expectations are met on a continual basis. This platform affords our organization the opportunity for real time performance assessments to identify any potential gaps and implement corrective measures where required. Robust contingency platforms are reviewed and updated on a regular basis to provide assured supply of products and services for the organization. Through a risk assessment strategy, the supply chain team will identify areas critical to supporting the restaurants and any necessary adjustments or alternate programs are undertaken.

Supplier and distribution partners are managed under both a code of conduct and a pricing protocol that provides transparent insight to costing mechanisms. In addition, we engage directly with manufacturers to ensure compliance with negotiated contract pricing and requisite volume expectations. Our distribution network is comprised of several independently operated partners aligned under the UniPro umbrella, the largest food service distribution cooperative in the United States. This strategy affords us the opportunity to align with right sized organizations that are dedicated to us and allows us to leverage volume and scale for a competitive advantage and exceptional customer service.

We operate two commissaries that we leverage to supply our network of restaurants with several of our most iconic products and ensure product consistency and quality. Our commissaries produce our signature beef, peppers and gravy for our Italian beef sandwiches. The prepared ingredients are shipped to our restaurants where our team members will finish the preparation in our kitchens to serve our guests the food they love. Our commissaries also fulfill orders for our direct shipping business, which enables us to deliver our delectable food to our fans all over the country.

Quality and food safety are paramount to protecting our brand and are treated with the utmost priority. Our supplier and distribution partners participate in third party audits to ensure all applicable quality system expectations are being met and our commissaries undergo Silliker auditing. In addition, we employ dedicated team members focused on the food safety portion within our restaurants.

Our Competition

We compete in the highly competitive and fragmented restaurant industry. We compete primarily with quick service and fast casual concepts, and to a lesser extent, full-service restaurants. The number, size and strength of competitors vary by region. Our competition in these segments includes a variety of small locally owned restaurants, medium-sized regional restaurant concepts, and larger national restaurant concepts that provide some combination of dine-in, carry-out, drive thru and delivery services to their guests. We believe competition with these restaurants is based primarily on food quality, taste, ambiance, convenience, service speed, price, and value.

Our Intellectual Property

Our intellectual property includes our trademarks and service marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (including Portillo’s ® and other names used by our restaurants), the trade dress of our restaurants, our websites and domain names (including our website at portillos.com and other websites and domain names used by our restaurants) and other unregistered intellectual property.

Governmental Regulation and Environmental Matters

Regulation and Compliance

We are subject to extensive federal, state and local government regulation, including those relating to, among others, public health and safety, nutritional content labeling, zoning and fire codes, environmental protection, and employment regulations. Failure to obtain or retain food or other licenses and registrations or exemptions would adversely affect the operations of restaurants. Although we have not experienced and do not anticipate any significant problems in obtaining required licenses, permits or approvals, any difficulties, delays or failures in obtaining such licenses, permits, registrations, exemptions, or approvals could delay or prevent the opening of, or adversely impact the viability of, a restaurant in a particular area. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in frequently revised state and local government regulations affecting our business beginning in March 2020. Such regulations govern, for example, employee leave, opening and closing of restaurants and dining rooms, sanitation practices, guest spacing within dining rooms and other social distancing practices and personal protective equipment.

The development of additional restaurants will be subject to compliance with applicable regulations, including those relating to zoning, land use, water quality and retention, and environment. We believe federal and state environmental regulations have not had a material effect on operations, but more stringent and varied requirements of local government bodies with respect to zoning, land use and environmental factors, among others, could delay construction and increase development costs for new restaurants.

We are also subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and various federal, state and local laws governing such matters as minimum wages, exempt versus non-exempt, overtime, unemployment tax rates, workers’ compensation rates, citizenship requirements and other working conditions. As a result of wage pressures, our team members are all paid more than the applicable minimum wage in the area where they work, and increases in federal or state minimum wages or unemployment benefits may result in increases in the wage rates paid. We are also subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in public accommodations and employment, which may require us to design or modify our restaurants to make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons.

For a discussion of the various risks we face from regulation and compliance matters, see Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors."

Seasonality

Our business is subject to seasonal fluctuations in that our revenues are typically nominally higher during the second, third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year. Our quarterly results have been and will continue to be affected by the timing of new restaurant openings and their associated pre-opening expenses. As a result of these factors, our financial results for any single quarter or for periods of less than a year are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved for a full fiscal year.

Available Information

Our website is located at www.portillos.com, and our investor relations website is located at http://investors.portillos.com. We are subject to the informational requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and file or furnish reports, proxy statements and other information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements, statements of changes in beneficial ownership and amendments to those reports are available for free on our investor relations website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with, or furnish them to, the SEC. The SEC maintains a website (www.sec.gov) that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC.

We webcast our earnings calls and certain events we participate in or host with members of the investment community on our investor relations website. Additionally, we provide notifications of news or announcements regarding our financial performance, including SEC filings, investor events, press and earnings releases as part of our investor relations website. Investors and others can receive notifications of new information posted on our investor relations website in real time by subscribing to email alerts. We also make certain corporate governance documents available on our investor relations website, including our corporate governance guidelines, board committee charters, and code of business conduct.

The contents of our website are not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC, and any references to our websites are intended to be inactive textual references only.

ITEM 1A.     RISK FACTORS

Described below are risks that we believe apply to our business and the industry in which we operate. You should carefully consider each of the following risk factors in conjunction with other information provided in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our other public disclosures. The risks described below highlight potential events, trends or other circumstances that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity or access to sources of financing, and consequently, the market value of our Class A common stock. These risks could cause our future results to differ materially from historical results and from guidance we may provide regarding our expectations of future financial performance.

Summary Risk Factors

Our business is subject to a number of risks, including risks that may prevent us from achieving our business objectives or may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. These risks are discussed more fully below and include, but are not limited to the following:

Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Growth Strategies

Our financial condition and results of operations have been and may continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or future pandemics or disease outbreaks.
We are vulnerable to changes in economic conditions, costs of food and consumer preferences.
We may be unsuccessful in opening new restaurants or establishing new markets and our new restaurants may not perform as well as anticipated, may not be profitable or may close.
Our plans to open new restaurants, and the ongoing need for capital expenditures at our existing restaurants, require us to spend capital.
Our same-restaurant sales may be lower than we expect in future periods.
Our marketing programs and any limited time or seasonal offerings may not be successful and could fail to meet expectations, and our new menu items, advertising campaigns, heavy reliance on social media and restaurant designs and remodels may not generate increased sales or profits.
Incidents involving food-borne illness and food safety, including food tampering or contamination could adversely affect our brand perception, business, financial condition and results of operations.
We face significant competition for guests, and our inability to compete effectively may affect our traffic, our sales and our operating profit margins, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our restaurant base is geographically concentrated in the Midwestern United States, and we could be negatively affected by conditions specific to that region.
Damage to our reputation and negative publicity could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The digital and delivery business, and expansion thereof, is uncertain and subject to risk.
We have a limited number of suppliers and distributors for several of our frequently used ingredients. If our suppliers or distributors are unable to fulfill their obligations under our arrangements with them, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs.
Any prolonged disruption in the operations of our two commissaries could harm our business.
We face potential liability with our gift cards under the property laws of some states.
We depend on our executive officers and certain other key team members, the loss of whom could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our inability to identify qualified individuals for our workforce could slow our growth and adversely impact our ability to operate our restaurants.
Failure to maintain our corporate culture as we grow could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Matters relating to employment and labor law could have a material adverse effect, result in litigation or union activities, add significant costs and divert management attention.
Labor shortages or increased labor costs could have a material adverse effect.
We are exposed to risks associated with leasing property subject to long-term and non-cancelable leases and may be unable to renew leases at the end of their terms.
Our business is subject to risks related to our sale of alcoholic beverages.
An impairment in the carrying value of our goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets or long-lived assets could have a material adverse effect on our business.

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Natural disasters, unusual weather conditions, pandemic outbreaks, political events, war and terrorism could disrupt our business and result in lower sales, increased operating costs and capital expenditures.
The increasing focus on environmental sustainability and social initiatives could increase our costs, harm our reputation, and adversely impact our financial results.

Risks Related to Our Indebtedness

Our level of indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on our business and limit our ability to plan for or respond to changes in our business.
We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our debt service obligations or experience a downgrade in our credit ratings, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure

The interests of Berkshire may conflict with our interests or the interests of the holders of our Class A common stock in the future.
Delaware law and our organizational documents, as well as our existing and future debt agreements, may impede or discourage a takeover, which could deprive our investors of the opportunity to receive a premium for their shares.
We are a holding company and our principal asset is our ownership of 35,807,171 LLC Units in Portillo’s OpCo, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Portillo’s OpCo to pay dividends, if any, and taxes, make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement and pay other expenses.
In certain circumstances, Portillo’s OpCo will be required to make distributions to us and the other holders of LLC Units, and the distributions that Portillo’s OpCo will be required to make may be substantial.
The Tax Receivable Agreement with the TRA Parties requires us to make cash payments to them in respect of certain tax benefits to which we may become entitled, and we expect that the payments we are required to make will be substantial.
Our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreement, confers certain benefits upon the TRA Parties that will not benefit holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent that it will benefit the TRA Parties.
In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement to the TRA Parties may be accelerated or significantly exceed any actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement may impair our ability to consummate change of control transactions or negatively impact the value received by owners of our Class A common stock.
We will not be reimbursed for any payments made to the TRA Parties under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.
If we were deemed to be an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”), as a result of our ownership of Portillo’s OpCo, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Risks Related to Intellectual Property, Information Technology, and Data Security

The failure to protect and maintain our intellectual property, including our trademarks, could have a material adverse effect.
Security breaches, system interruptions or a material failure could negatively impact our business by causing disruption to our operations, a compromise of confidential guest information or team member information and could subject us to loss and harm our business.
Failure to comply with existing or new federal and state laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, advertising and consumer protection could have a material adverse effect.
Litigation with respect to intellectual property, if decided against us, may result in competing uses or require adoption of new, non-infringing intellectual property, which may in turn adversely affect sales and revenues.

Risks Related to Legal and Regulatory Matters

We are subject to many federal, state and local laws with which compliance can be both costly and complex.
We could be party to litigation that could distract management, increase our expenses or subject us to material monetary damages or other remedies.
We can incur liabilities arising from environmental laws and compliance with environmental laws could increase our operating expenses.
If we fail to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial information or comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 could be impaired, which could have a material adverse effect.


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General Risks

Our management does not have experience managing a public company and our current resources may not be sufficient to fulfill our public company obligations.
Fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rate and realization of our deferred tax assets may result in volatility of our results of operations.
If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.
Our insurance may not provide adequate levels of coverage against claims.
Changes in accounting principles applicable to us could have a material adverse effect.
Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions that may be initiated by our stockholders, and designates the federal district courts of the United States as the sole and exclusive forum for claims arising under the Securities Act, which, in each case could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for certain disputes.
As a public company, we incur significant costs to comply with the laws and regulations affecting public companies which could harm our business and results of operations.
Our annual and quarterly results of operations may fluctuate, and if our operating and financial performance in any given period does not meet the guidance that we have provided to the public or the expectations of our investors and securities analysts, the trading price of our Class A common stock may decline.




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Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Growth Strategies

Our financial condition and results of operations have been and may continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or future pandemics or disease outbreaks.

Covid-19 was officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, and the virus and its variants have caused businesses, including our business, as well as federal, state and local governments to implement significant actions to attempt to mitigate this public health crisis in the United States. Our operations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Future pandemics (or epidemics on a local basis) could have a similar impact on our business.

During 2020 and early 2021, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions, we were required to close or restrict our dining rooms, but were able to continue to operate our drive-thru and delivery channels. The mobility restrictions, fear of contracting COVID-19 and the sharp increase in unemployment caused by the closure of businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have adversely affected and may continue to adversely affect our guest traffic, which in turn adversely impacts our business, financial condition or results of operations. Even as the mobility restrictions were loosened or lifted, some guests remained reluctant to return to in-restaurant dining and the impact of lost wages due to COVID-19 related unemployment has dampened consumer spending. Our restaurant operations have been and could continue to be adversely affected by employees who are unable or unwilling to work, whether because of illness, quarantine, fear of contracting COVID-19 or caring for family members due to COVID-19 disruptions or illness. Restaurant closures, limited service options or modified hours of operation due to staffing shortages could materially adversely affect our business, liquidity, financial condition or results of operations.

To protect the health and safety of our team members and guests, we implemented COVID-19 safety measures. We implemented enhanced safety protocols in all of our locations, temporarily introduced one-time use menus in our restaurants, and developed COVID-19 training covering risks and the protocols implemented to ensure safe operations for our team members and guests. We also launched a new mobile app for self-delivery to supplement our other third-party delivery platforms. Additionally, we increased spending on healthcare and team member bonuses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We temporarily paid 100% of the employer portion of premiums for active team members and team members on voluntary leaves of absence participating in our health insurance program, eliminated the team member payment for a meal provided while working and distributed a $100 Portillo’s gift card to all team members. These investments decreased our operating income by an estimated $4.5 million in 2020.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of our dining rooms, we negotiated with our landlords for rent relief and certain modified obligations under our leases. Due to operating uncertainties, we modified the timing of new restaurant openings and delayed the negotiation and commitments for new locations, as well as delayed plans for remodeling existing restaurants. These changes have impacted our pace of business growth.

The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our operations and financial results depends on future developments and is highly uncertain due to the unknown duration and severity of the outbreak, including the potential impact of future COVID-19 variants. As of the date of this filing, all of our restaurants continue to operate, with dining rooms open. State and local regulations remain in place and new legislation is pending. Businesses that fail to comply with these regulations will be subject to fines of varying amounts. We are actively monitoring the situation and will adopt policies at the appropriate time to ensure we are acting in the best interest of our team members, customers, suppliers and shareholders; however, any failure to comply with, or difficulty maintaining staffing levels due to governmental rules or regulations may have a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The COVID-19 pandemic or other infectious diseases may also have the effect of heightening other risks disclosed in this prospectus, including, but not limited to, those related to our growth strategy, our liquidity and ability to service our debt obligations, comply with debt covenants, access capital markets and other funding sources, changes in consumer spending behaviors, supply chain interruptions and/or commodity price increases.


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We are vulnerable to changes in economic conditions, cost of food and consumer preferences.

The restaurant industry depends on consumer discretionary spending and is often affected by changes in consumer tastes, national, regional and local economic conditions and demographic trends, including changes in behavior caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, factors such as traffic patterns, weather, fuel prices, local demographics, local regulations and the type, number and locations of competing restaurants may adversely affect the performances of individual locations. In addition, economic downturns, inflation or increased food or energy costs could harm the restaurant industry in general and our restaurants in particular. Our profitability also depends, in part, on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in the cost of sales, including, among other things, pork, beef, chicken, potatoes, bread, and produce items. Adverse changes in any of these factors could reduce consumer traffic or impose practical limits on pricing that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Changes in the price or availability of certain food products, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, could affect our profitability and reputation. For example, beef supply shortages during the second quarter of 2020—largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic—resulted in significant inflation in beef prices, and impacted our results of operations. While a portion of other commodities we purchase are subject to contract pricing and therefore have not been fully impacted by price inflation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic thus far, as our contracts expire we may not be able to successfully re-negotiate terms that protect us from price inflation in the future or the portion not covered by contact pricing might increase unexpectedly, creating price inflation we have not planned for. Furthermore, we experienced higher commodity prices in the second half of 2021 and expect that trend to continue into 2022.

In the event of cost increases with respect to one or more of our raw ingredients, we may choose to temporarily suspend or permanently discontinue serving menu items rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients. Any such changes to our available menu could negatively impact our restaurant traffic, business and results of operations during the shortage and thereafter. While future cost increases can be partially offset by increasing menu prices, there can be no assurance that we will be able to offset future cost increases by such menu price increases. If we implement menu price increases, there can be no assurance that increased menu prices will be fully absorbed by our guests without any resulting change to their visit frequencies or purchasing patterns. Competitive conditions may limit our menu pricing flexibility and if we implement menu price increases to protect our margins, restaurant traffic could be materially adversely affected.

Our restaurants are primarily located in high-activity trade areas that often contain retail centers, lifestyle centers, and entertainment centers. We depend on high visitor rates in these trade areas to attract guests to our restaurants. A decline in traffic at these locations for a sustained period could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may be unsuccessful in opening new restaurants or establishing new markets and our new restaurants may not perform as well as anticipated, may not be profitable or may close.

A key part of our growth strategy includes opening new restaurants in existing and new markets and operating those restaurants on a profitable basis. From November 2020 through the end of 2021, we opened seven new restaurants, including new locations in Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Arizona. Over the long term, we plan to increase our number of restaurants by approximately 10% annually. We must identify target markets where we can enter or expand, and we may not be able to open our planned new restaurants within budget or on a timely basis, and our new restaurants may not perform as well as anticipated. Our ability to successfully open new restaurants is affected by several factors, many of which are beyond our control, including our ability to identify and reach agreements on a sufficient number of available, appropriate and attractive sites, construct within a reasonable time frame and appropriate costs

There is no guarantee that a sufficient number of available, appropriate and attractive restaurant sites will be available in desirable areas or on terms that are acceptable to us in order to achieve our growth plan. If we are unable to open new restaurants, or if planned restaurant openings are significantly delayed, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

As part of our long-term growth strategy, we may open restaurants in geographic markets in which we have little or no prior operating experience. Our restaurant base is geographically concentrated in the Midwestern United States, and we may encounter new challenges as we enter new markets. Moreover, consumer recognition of our brand has been important in the success of our restaurants in our existing markets, and we may find that our concept has limited appeal in new markets. Restaurants we open in new markets may take longer to reach expected sales and profit levels on a consistent basis and may have higher construction, occupancy and operating costs than existing restaurants. In addition, if we open new restaurants in or near markets in which we already have restaurants, it could have a material adverse effect on sales at these existing restaurants. Any failure on our part to recognize or respond to these challenges may adversely affect the success of any new restaurants and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Some of our restaurants open with an initial start-up period of higher-than-normal sales volumes, and our Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margins are generally lower through the first 12 months of operation. In new markets, the length of time before average sales for new restaurants stabilize is less predictable as a result of our limited knowledge of these markets and consumers’ limited awareness of our brand. In addition, our AUV and same-restaurant sales may not increase at the rates our existing restaurants have achieved over the past several years. Our ability to operate new restaurants profitably and increase AUV and same-restaurant sales will depend on many factors, some of which are beyond our control.

Although we target specified operating and financial metrics, new restaurants may not meet these targets or may take longer than anticipated to do so. If our new restaurants do not perform as planned or close, or if we are unable to achieve our expected restaurant sales, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Further, our existing restaurant management systems, financial and management controls and information systems may be inadequate to support our planned expansion. Managing our growth effectively will require us to continue to enhance these systems, procedures and controls and to hire, train and retain managers and team members. We may not respond quickly enough to the changing demands that our expansion will impose on our management, restaurant teams and existing infrastructure, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. These demands could cause us to operate our existing business less effectively, which in turn could cause a deterioration in the financial performance of our existing restaurants. If we experience a decline in the financial performance, we may decrease the number of or discontinue restaurant openings, or we may decide to close restaurants that we are unable to operate in a profitable manner.

Our plans to open new restaurants, and the ongoing need for capital expenditures at our existing restaurants, require us to spend capital.

Our growth strategy depends on opening new restaurants, which will require us to use cash flows from operations. We cannot assure you that cash flows from operations will be sufficient to allow us to implement our growth strategy. If this cash is not allocated efficiently among our various projects, or if any of these initiatives prove to be unsuccessful, we may experience reduced profitability and we could be required to delay, significantly curtail or eliminate planned restaurant openings, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and the price of our Class A common stock.

In addition, as our restaurants mature, our business will require capital expenditures for the maintenance, renovation and improvement of existing restaurants to remain competitive and maintain the value of our brand standard. This creates an ongoing need for cash, and, to the extent we cannot fund capital expenditures from cash flows from operations, funds will need to be borrowed or otherwise obtained.

If the costs of funding new restaurants or renovations or enhancements at existing restaurants exceed budgeted amounts, and/or the time for building or renovation is longer than anticipated, our profits could be reduced. If we cannot access the capital we need, we may not be able to execute on our growth strategy, take advantage of future opportunities or respond to competitive pressures.

Our same-restaurant sales may be lower than we expect in future periods.

Same-restaurant sales will continue to be a critical factor affecting our ability to generate profits because the profit margin on same-restaurant sales is generally higher than the profit margin on new restaurant sales. Our ability to increase same-restaurant sales depends in part on our ability to successfully implement our initiatives to build sales. It is possible such initiatives will not be successful, that we will not achieve our target same-restaurant sales or that the change in same-restaurant sales could be negative, which may cause a decrease in sales growth and ability to achieve profitability. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Our marketing programs and any limited time or seasonal offerings may not be successful and could fail to meet expectations, and our new menu items, advertising campaigns, heavy reliance on social media and restaurant designs and remodels may not generate increased sales or profits.

We incur costs and expend other resources in our marketing efforts on new and seasonal menu items, advertising campaigns and restaurant designs and remodels to raise brand awareness and attract and retain guests. In addition, as the number of our restaurants increases, and as we expand into new markets, we expect to increase our investment in advertising and consider additional promotional activities. Accordingly, in the future, we will incur greater marketing expenditures, resulting in greater financial risk. Our limited time or seasonal menu offerings, which we offer as a part of our promotional activities from time to time, may not perform as anticipated, which could have an adverse impact on our results of operations for the related period. If these initiatives are not successful, it could result in us incurring expenses without the benefit of higher revenues, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our marketing efforts rely heavily on the use of social media. Many of our competitors are expanding their use of social media, and new social media platforms are rapidly being developed, potentially making more traditional social media platforms obsolete. As a result, we need to continuously innovate and develop our social media strategies in order to maintain broad appeal with customers and brand relevance, particularly given the rise in digital orders by customers. We also continue to invest in other digital marketing initiatives that allow us to reach our customers across multiple digital channels and build their awareness of, engagement with, and loyalty to our brand. These initiatives may not be successful, resulting in expenses incurred without the benefit of higher sales or increased brand recognition. Additionally, negative commentary regarding our restaurants, our food or our service may be posted on social media platforms and may be adverse to our reputation or business. This harm may be immediate, without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction.

As laws and regulations rapidly evolve to govern the use of these platforms and devices, the failure by us or third parties acting at our direction to abide by applicable laws and regulations in the use of these platforms and devices could subject us to regulatory investigations, class action lawsuits, liability, fines or other penalties and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, an increase in the use of social media for product promotion and marketing may cause an increase in the burden on us to monitor compliance of such materials and increase the risk that such materials could contain problematic product or marketing claims in violation of applicable regulations.

Incidents involving food-borne illness and food safety could have an adverse effect.

Food safety is a top priority, and we dedicate substantial resources to help ensure that our guests enjoy safe, quality food products. However, food-borne illnesses and other food safety issues have occurred in the food industry in the past, and could occur in the future. Incidents or reports of food-borne or water-borne illness or other food safety issues, food contamination or tampering, team member hygiene and cleanliness failures or improper team member conduct, guests entering our restaurants while ill and contaminating food ingredients or surfaces at our restaurants could lead to product liability or other claims. Such incidents or reports could negatively affect our brand and reputation and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Similar incidents or reports occurring at competitors in our industry unrelated to us could likewise create negative publicity, which could negatively impact consumer behavior towards us.

We cannot guarantee to consumers that our food safety controls, procedures and training will be fully effective in preventing all food safety and public health issues at our restaurants, including any occurrences of pathogens, bacteria, parasites or other toxins infecting our food supply. For example, in August 2021, we received a report from the county health department of cases of E. coli that were possibly connected to our Glendale Heights, Illinois restaurant and subsequently one lawsuit was filed in Illinois state court. We have cooperated fully with state and county health authorities, and the DuPage County Health Department in August 2021 stated that the information gathered so far indicates there is no current risk to the public’s health. Although we believe all guest and team member cases have been identified, additional cases may be reported and additional lawsuits or negative publicity may result.


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There is no guarantee that our restaurant locations will maintain the high levels of internal controls and training we require at our restaurants and some food-borne illness incidents could be caused by third-party food suppliers, third party food delivery services, guest take out or catered events. Further, in some cases, the risk may affect multiple restaurant locations. New illnesses resistant to our current precautions may develop in the future, or diseases with long incubation periods could arise, that could give rise to claims or allegations on a retroactive basis. One or more instances of food-borne illness in one of our restaurants could negatively affect sales at all our restaurants if highly publicized, such as on national media outlets or through social media, especially due to the geographic concentration of many of our restaurants. A number of other restaurant chains have experienced incidents related to food-borne illnesses that have had material adverse impacts on their operations, and we cannot assure you that we could avoid a similar impact upon the occurrence of a similar incident at one of our restaurants. Additionally, even if food-borne illnesses were not identified at our restaurants, our restaurant sales could be adversely affected if instances of food-borne illnesses at other restaurant chains were highly publicized.

We face significant competition for guests, and our inability to compete effectively may affect our traffic, our sales and our operating profit margins, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The restaurant industry is intensely competitive with many companies that compete directly and indirectly with us with respect to food quality, brand recognition, service, price and value, convenience, design and location. We compete in the restaurant industry with national, regional and locally-owned and/or operated limited-service restaurants and full-service restaurants. We compete with fast casual restaurants, quick service restaurants and casual dining restaurants. Some of our competitors have significantly greater financial, marketing, personnel and other resources than we do, and many of our competitors are well-established in markets in which we have existing restaurants or intend to locate new restaurants. In addition, many of our competitors have greater name recognition nationally or in some of the local markets in which we have or plan to have restaurants. Competition from food delivery services has also increased in recent years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is expected to continue to increase. Any inability to successfully compete with the restaurants in our existing or new markets will place downward pressure on our guest traffic and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, a significant amount of the delivery from our restaurants is through third-party delivery companies. If these third-party delivery companies cease doing business with us, or cannot make their scheduled deliveries, or do not continue their relationship with us on favorable terms, it may have a negative impact on sales or result in increased third-party delivery fees.
Our continued success also depends in part on the continued popularity of our menu and the experience we offer guests at our restaurants. Consumer tastes, nutritional and dietary trends, traffic patterns and the type, number, and location of competing restaurants often affect the restaurant business, and our competitors may react more efficiently and effectively to changes in those conditions. In addition, some of our competitors in the past have implemented promotional programs that provide price discounts on certain menu offerings, and they may continue to do so in the future. If we are unable to continue to compete effectively, our traffic, restaurant sales and restaurant operating profit margins could decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Additionally, our competitors with greater financial resources can spend significantly more on marketing and advertising and other initiatives than we are able to. Should our competitors increase spending on marketing and advertising and other initiatives or our marketing expenditures decrease for any reason, or should our advertising, promotions, and restaurant designs and locations be less effective than our competitors, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our restaurant base is geographically concentrated in the Midwestern United States, and we could be negatively affected by conditions specific to that region.

Our restaurants in the Midwestern United States represented approximately 87% of our restaurants as of December 26, 2021. Our restaurants in the Chicagoland area represented approximately 54% of our restaurants as of December 26, 2021. Adverse changes in demographic, unemployment, economic, regulatory or weather conditions in the Midwestern United States have had, and may continue to have, material adverse effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations. As a result of our concentration in this market, we have been, and in the future may be, disproportionately affected by conditions in this geographic area compared to other chain restaurants with a national footprint.

In addition, our competitors could open additional restaurants in the Midwestern United States, which could result in reduced market share for us in this key geographic region, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Damage to our reputation and negative publicity could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our reputation and the quality of our brand are critical to our business and success in existing markets, and will be critical to our success as we enter into new markets. Any incident that erodes consumer loyalty for our brand could significantly reduce its value and damage our business. We may be adversely affected by negative publicity relating to food quality, the safety, sanitation and welfare of our restaurant facilities, guest complaints or litigation alleging illness or injury, health inspection scores, integrity of our or our suppliers’ food processing and other policies, practices and procedures, team member relationships and welfare or other matters at one or more of our restaurants. Any publicity relating to health concerns, perceived or specific outbreaks of a food-borne illness attributed to one or more of our restaurants, or non-compliance with food handling and sanitation requirements imposed by federal, state and local governments could result in a significant decrease in guest traffic in all of our restaurants and could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations. Furthermore, similar negative publicity or occurrences with respect to other restaurants or other restaurant chains could also decrease our guest traffic and have a similar material adverse effect on our business. In addition, incidents of restaurant commentary have increased dramatically with the proliferation of social media platforms. Negative publicity may adversely affect us, regardless of whether the allegations are valid or whether we are held responsible. In addition, the negative impact of adverse publicity may extend far beyond the restaurant involved, especially due to the high geographic concentration of many of our restaurants, and affect some or all our other restaurants. For example, we, or other restaurant companies generally, could come under criticism from animal rights and welfare activists for our business practices or those of our suppliers. Such criticisms could impair our brand, our restaurant sales, our hiring, and our expansion plans. If we changed our practices because of concerns about animal welfare, or in response to such criticisms, our costs might increase, or we may have to change our suppliers or our menu. A similar risk exists with respect to food service businesses unrelated to us, if customers mistakenly associate such unrelated businesses with our operations. Team member claims against us based on, among other things, wage and hour violations, discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination may also create not only legal and financial liability but negative publicity that could adversely affect us and divert our financial and management resources that would otherwise be used to benefit the future performance of our operations. A significant increase in the number of these claims or an increase in the number of successful claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The digital and delivery business, and expansion thereof, is uncertain and subject to risk.

We believe digital investments to be a critical differentiator for our business, creating the opportunity to drive greater engagement and frequency with both new and existing customers. As the digital space around us continues to evolve, our technology needs to evolve concurrently to stay competitive with the industry. If we do not maintain and innovate our digital systems that are competitive with the industry, our digital business may be adversely affected and could damage our sales. We rely on third-parties for our ordering and payment platforms. Such services performed by these third-parties could be damaged or interrupted by technological issues, which could then result in a loss of sales for a period of time. Information processed by these third-parties could also be impacted by cyber-attacks, which could not only negatively impact our sales, but also harm our brand image.

Recognizing the rise in delivery services offered throughout the restaurant industry, we understand the importance of providing such services to meet our guests wherever and whenever they want. We have invested in marketing to promote our delivery partnerships, which could negatively impact our profitability if the business does not continue to expand. We rely on third-parties to fulfill delivery orders timely and in a fashion that will satisfy our guests. Errors in providing adequate delivery services may result in guest dissatisfaction, which could also result in loss of guest retention, loss in sales and damage to our brand image. Additionally, as with any third-party handling food, such delivery services increase the risk of food tampering while in transit. We developed sealed packaging to provide some deterrence against such potential food tampering. We are also subject to risk if there is a shortage of delivery drivers, which could result in a failure to meet our guests’ expectations.

Third-party delivery services within the restaurant industry is a competitive environment and includes a number of players competing for market share. If our third-party delivery partners fail to effectively compete with other third-party delivery providers in the sector, our delivery business may suffer resulting in a loss of sales. If any third-party delivery provider we partner with experiences damage to their brand image, we may also see ramifications due to our partnership with them.


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We have a limited number of suppliers and distributors for several of our frequently used ingredients. If our suppliers or distributors are unable to fulfill their obligations under our arrangements with them, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs.

We utilize a combination of direct suppliers and distributors dependent on both the product category as well as geography. These products are purchased through various pricing protocols inclusive of commodity and risk management, fixed pricing agreements and market-based costing measures. Due to the concentration of suppliers and distributors that we utilize, the cancellation of our supply arrangements with these suppliers or the disruption, delay or inability of these suppliers to deliver these products to our restaurants due to problems in production or distribution, inclement weather, natural disasters, unanticipated demand or other conditions may materially and adversely affect our results of operations while we establish alternative distribution channels.

In addition, we do not control the businesses of our suppliers and distributors and our efforts to monitor the standards by which they perform may not be successful. If our suppliers or distributors fail to comply with food safety or other laws and regulations, or face allegations of non-compliance, their operations may be disrupted. If that were to occur, we may not be able to find replacement suppliers on commercially reasonable terms or a timely basis, if at all.

Contingency platforms have been developed to mitigate the risk in various cases including secondary supply, floor stocking arrangements, product diversification and inventory management. While we therefore believe that alternative supply and distribution sources are available, there can be no assurance that we will continue to be able to identify or negotiate with such sources on terms that are commercially reasonable to us or that the quality of the product from an alternative supplier is comparable to existing standards. If our suppliers or distributors are unable to fulfill their obligations under their contracts or we are unable to identify alternative sources, we could encounter supply shortages and incur higher costs, each of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

Any prolonged disruption in the operations of our two commissaries could harm our business.

We operate two commissaries in Illinois. We plan to continue investing in additional supply chain capacity in the future, as necessary, based on our growth in existing and new restaurants. Our commissaries produce all the Italian beef, gravy and sweet peppers used within all of our restaurants. As a result, any prolonged disruption in the operations of any of these facilities, whether due to technical, operational or labor difficulties, product contamination, destruction or damage to the facility, limited capacity or other reasons, could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We face potential liability with our gift cards under the property laws of some states.

Our gift cards, which may be used to purchase food and beverages in our restaurants, may be considered stored value cards by certain states in accordance with their abandoned and unclaimed property laws. These laws could require us to remit cash to such state in an amount equal to all or a designated portion of the unredeemed balance on the gift cards based on certain card attributes and the length of time that the cards are inactive. The Company formed an affiliate in Florida, PHD Card Services, LLC that handles the issuance of Portillo’s gift cards, and the gift card breakage is recorded based on historical data on gift card redemption.

The analysis of the potential application of the abandoned and unclaimed property laws to our gift cards is complex, involving an analysis of constitutional, statutory provisions and factual issues. In the event that one or more states change their existing abandoned and unclaimed property laws or successfully challenge our position on the application of its abandoned and unclaimed property laws to our gift cards, or if the estimates that we use in projecting the likelihood of the cards being redeemed prove to be inaccurate, our liabilities with respect to unredeemed gift cards may be materially higher than the amounts shown in our consolidated financial statements. If we are required to materially increase the estimated liability recorded in our consolidated financial statements with respect to unredeemed gift cards, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.


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We depend on our executive officers and certain other key team members, the loss of whom could have a material adverse effect on our business

We rely upon the accumulated knowledge, skills and experience of our executive officers and certain other key team members. Our chief executive officer has been with us for more than three years and our executive officers have a combined total of over 140 years of experience in the food service industry. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, as we may not be able to find suitable individuals to replace such personnel on a timely basis or without incurring increased costs, or at all. If our executive officers were to leave us or become incapacitated, it might negatively impact our planning and execution of business strategy and operations. We believe that our future success will depend on our continued ability to attract and retain highly skilled and qualified executive personnel. There is a high level of competition for experienced, successful executive personnel in our industry. Our inability to meet our executive staffing requirements in the future could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our inability to identify qualified individuals for our workforce could slow our growth and adversely impact our ability to operate our restaurants.

Our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, motivate and retain a sufficient number of qualified team members to meet the needs of our existing restaurants and to staff new restaurants. A sufficient number of qualified individuals to fill these positions may be in short supply in some communities. Competition in these communities for qualified team members could require us to pay higher wages and provide greater benefits. We place a heavy emphasis on the qualification and training of our personnel and spend a significant amount of time and money on training our team members. Inability to recruit or retain new team members could also delay the planned openings of new restaurants and could adversely impact our existing restaurants. The inability to retain or recruit qualified team members, increased costs of attracting qualified team members or delays in restaurant openings could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated staffing complexities for us and other restaurant operators resulting in a decreased applicant pool for all positions and ongoing staff call-outs and exclusions due to illness. The COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in aggressive competition for talent, wage inflation and pressure to improve benefits and workplace conditions to remain competitive. Our existing wages and benefits programs, combined with the challenging conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the highly competitive wage pressure resulting from the labor shortage, may be insufficient to attract and retain the best talent. Our failure to recruit and retain new team members in a timely manner or higher team member turnover levels all could affect our ability to open new restaurants and grow sales at existing restaurants, increase labor costs, compromise the quality of our service and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Failure to maintain our corporate culture as we grow could have a material adverse effect.

We believe that a critical component to our success has been our corporate culture and values of Family, Greatness, Energy and Fun. We have invested substantial time and resources in building our team. As we continue to grow, we may find it difficult to maintain the innovation, teamwork, passion and focus on execution that we believe are important aspects of our corporate culture. Any failure to preserve our culture could negatively impact our operations, including our ability to retain and recruit personnel and to effectively focus on and pursue our corporate objectives. If we cannot maintain our corporate culture as we grow, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Matters relating to employment and labor law could have a material adverse effect, result in litigation or union activities, add significant costs and divert management attention.

Various federal and state labor laws govern our relationships with our team members and affect our operating costs. Our operations are subject to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Act, which governs worker health and safety, the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs such matters as minimum wages and overtime, and a variety of similar federal, state and local laws that govern these and other employment law matters. These laws include employee classifications as exempt or non-exempt, minimum wage requirements, unemployment tax rates, workers’ compensation rates, overtime, family leave, working conditions, safety standards, immigration status, state and local payroll taxes, federal and state laws which prohibit discrimination, citizenship requirements and other wage and benefit requirements for team members classified as non-exempt. In addition, with the passage in 2010 of the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”), we are required to provide affordable coverage, as defined in the ACA, to eligible team members, or otherwise be subject to a payment per team member based on the affordability criteria in the ACA. Additionally, some states and localities have passed state and local laws mandating the provision of certain levels of health benefits by some employers. Significant additional government regulations and new laws, including mandated increases in minimum wages, changes in exempt and non-exempt status, or increased mandated benefits such as health care and insurance costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, changes in federal or state workplace regulations could adversely affect our ability to meet our financial targets.

Federal law requires that we verify that our workers have the proper documentation and authorization to work in the U.S. Although we require all workers to provide us with government-specified documentation evidencing their employment eligibility, some of our team members may, without our knowledge, be unauthorized workers. We currently participate in the “E-Verify” program, an Internet-based, free program run by the U.S. government to verify employment eligibility, in Arizona, which is the only state in which we operate where participation is required. However, use of the “E-Verify” program does not guarantee that we will properly identify all applicants who are ineligible for employment, and we are not utilizing “E-Verify” in any other states where we operate. Unauthorized workers are subject to deportation and may subject us to fines or penalties, and if any of our workers are found to be unauthorized, we could experience adverse publicity that may negatively impact our brand and may make it more difficult to hire and keep qualified team members. Termination of a significant number of team members who are unauthorized employees may disrupt our operations, cause temporary increases in our labor costs as we train new team members and result in adverse publicity. We could also become subject to fines, penalties and other costs related to claims that we did not fully comply with all recordkeeping obligations of federal and state immigration compliance laws. These factors could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business is subject to the risk of litigation by team members, consumers, suppliers, stockholders or others through private actions, class actions, administrative proceedings, regulatory actions or other litigation. The outcome of litigation, particularly class action and regulatory actions, is difficult to assess or quantify. In recent years, restaurant companies, including us, have been subject to lawsuits alleging violations of federal and state laws regarding workplace and employment conditions, discrimination and similar matters, and some restaurants have been subject to class action lawsuits in respect of such matters. A number of these lawsuits have resulted in the payment of substantial damages by the defendants. Similar lawsuits have been instituted from time to time alleging violations of various federal and state wage and hour laws regarding, among other things, employee meal deductions, overtime eligibility of managers and failure to pay for all hours worked. Regardless of whether any claims against us are valid or whether we are liable, claims may be expensive to defend and may divert time and money away from our operations and result in increases in our insurance premiums. In addition, they may generate negative publicity, which could reduce guest traffic and sales. Although we maintain what we believe to be adequate levels of insurance, insurance may not be available at all or in sufficient amounts to cover any liabilities with respect to these or other matters. A judgment or other liability in excess of our insurance coverage for any claims or any adverse publicity resulting from claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Although none of our team members are currently covered under collective bargaining agreements, our team members may elect to be represented by labor unions in the future. If a significant number of our team members were to become unionized and collective bargaining agreement terms were significantly different from our current compensation arrangements, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, a labor dispute involving some or all our team members may harm our reputation, disrupt our operations and reduce our revenues, and resolution of disputes could increase our costs. Further, if we enter into a new market with unionized construction companies, or the construction companies in our current markets become unionized, construction and build-out costs for new restaurants in such markets could materially increase.


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Labor shortages or increased labor costs could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Labor is a primary component in the cost of operating our restaurants. If we face labor shortages, such as in connection with a pandemic such as COVID-19, or increased labor costs because of increased competition for team members, federal or state unemployment benefits, higher team member-turnover rates, unionization of restaurant workers, or increases in the federally-mandated or state-mandated minimum wage, change in exempt and non-exempt status, or other employee benefits costs (including costs associated with health insurance coverage or workers’ compensation insurance), our operating expenses could increase and our growth could be adversely affected.

As a result of wage pressures, our team members are all paid more than the applicable minimum wage in the area where they work. Increases in federal or state minimum wages or unemployment benefits may also result in increases in the wage rates paid. We may be unable to increase our menu prices in order to pass future increased labor costs on to our guests, in which case our operating margins would be negatively affected. If menu prices are increased by us to cover increased labor costs, the higher prices could adversely affect demand for our menu items, resulting in lower sales.

In addition, our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, motivate and retain a sufficient number of well-qualified restaurant operators, management personnel and other team members. Qualified individuals needed to fill these positions can be in short supply in some geographic areas. Competition for these team members could require us to pay higher wages, which could also result in higher labor costs. In addition, limited service restaurants have traditionally experienced relatively high employee turnover rates. Although we have not yet experienced any significant problems in recruiting team members, our ability to recruit and retain such individuals may delay the planned openings of new restaurants or result in higher team member turnover in existing restaurants, which could increase our labor costs and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are exposed to risks associated with leasing property subject to long-term and non-cancelable leases and may be unable to renew leases at the end of their terms.

Many of our restaurant leases are non-cancelable and typically have initial terms of 10 to 20 years, providing for four renewal options of five years each as well as rent escalations. Generally, our leases are triple-net leases that require us to pay our share of the costs of real estate taxes, utilities, building operating expenses, insurance and other charges in addition to rent. We generally cannot cancel these leases, and additional sites that we lease are likely to be subject to similar long-term non-cancelable leases. Even if we close a restaurant, we may be required to perform our obligations under the applicable lease, which could include, among other things, a payment of the base rent, property taxes, insurance and common area maintenance costs for the balance of the lease term, which would impact our profitability. In addition, as leases expire for restaurants that we will continue to operate, we may, at the end of the lease term and any renewal period for a restaurant, be unable to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all. As a result, we may close or relocate the restaurant, which could subject us to unanticipated construction costs related to leasehold improvements at the new restaurant location that we are unable to control, the delay or failure by the landlord to deliver the new restaurant location to us, and unfavorable anticipated commercial, residential or infrastructure development near our new restaurant location, among other costs and risks. Additionally, the revenues and profit, if any, generated at a relocated restaurant may not equal the revenues and profit generated at the existing restaurant.

Our business is subject to risks related to our sale of alcoholic beverages.

We serve alcoholic beverages at most of our restaurants, and we may introduce alcoholic beverages at additional restaurants in the future. Alcoholic beverage control regulations generally require our restaurants to apply to a state authority and, in certain locations, county or municipal authorities for a license that must be renewed annually and may be revoked or suspended for cause at any time. Alcoholic beverage control regulations relate to numerous aspects of daily operations of our restaurants, including minimum age of team members, advertising, trade practices, wholesale purchasing, other relationships with alcoholic beverages manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors, inventory control and handling, storage and dispensing of alcoholic beverages and training of team members. Any future failure to comply with these regulations and obtain or retain licenses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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We are also subject in certain states to “dram shop” statutes, which generally provide a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. We carry liquor liability coverage as part of our existing comprehensive general liability insurance. Recent litigation against restaurant chains has resulted in significant judgments and settlements under dram shop statutes. Because these cases often seek punitive damages, which may not be covered by insurance, such litigation could have a material effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Regardless of whether any claims against us are valid or whether we are liable, claims may be expensive to defend and may divert time and money away from operations and hurt our financial performance. A judgment significantly in excess of our insurance coverage or not covered by insurance could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

An impairment in the carrying value of our goodwill, indefinite-lived intangible assets or long-lived assets could have a material adverse effect on our business.

As of December 26, 2021, we had approximately $394.3 million of goodwill and $259.8 million of intangible assets, primarily related to the purchase price allocation performed in connection with the Berkshire Acquisition. We test goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment in the fourth quarter of each fiscal year and whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that impairment may have occurred. In fiscal 2021, we performed an impairment test and we did not recognize impairment charges; however, an impairment test in the future may indicate that an impairment has occurred. In the event that the book value of goodwill or other indefinite-lived intangible assets is impaired, any such impairment would be charged to earnings in the period of impairment. We cannot accurately predict the amount and timing of any impairment of assets. Should the value of goodwill or other indefinite-lived intangible assets become impaired in the future, any impairment could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. See "Note 6. Goodwill & Intangible Assets" in the notes to the consolidated financial statements for additional information.

Changes to estimates related to our property, fixtures and equipment and definite-lived intangible assets or operating results that are lower than our current estimates at certain restaurant locations may cause us to incur impairment charges or accelerate the amortization on certain long-lived assets, which may adversely affect our results of operations.

Natural disasters, unusual weather conditions, pandemic outbreaks, political events, war and terrorism could disrupt our business and result in lower sales, increased operating costs and capital expenditures.

Our restaurant support center, restaurant locations, suppliers and distributors, and their respective facilities, as well as certain of our vendors and customers, are located in areas that have been and could be subject to natural disasters such as floods, drought, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires or earthquakes. As a result of the concentration of our restaurants in the Midwestern United States, adverse weather conditions or other extreme changes in short-term weather conditions or long-term changes in weather patterns related to climate change, including those that may result in electrical and technological failures, may disrupt our business and may adversely affect our ability to obtain food and supplies and sell menu items. Such events could result in physical damage to one or more of our properties, the temporary closure of some or all of our restaurants and our suppliers and distributors, the temporary lack of an adequate work force in a market, temporary or long-term disruption in the transport of goods, delay in the delivery of goods and supplies to our restaurants and our suppliers and distributors, disruption of our technology support or information systems, or fuel shortages or dramatic increases in fuel prices, all of which would increase the cost of doing business. These events also could have indirect consequences such as increases in the costs of insurance if they result in significant loss of property or other insurable damage. Any of these factors, or any combination thereof, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The increasing focus on environmental sustainability and social initiatives could increase our costs, harm our reputation, and adversely impact our financial results.

There has been increasing public focus by investors, environmental activists, the media and governmental and nongovernmental organizations on a variety of environmental, social and other sustainability matters. With respect to the restaurant industry, concerns have been expressed regarding energy management, water management, food and packaging waste management, food safety, nutritional content, labor practices and supply chain and management food sourcing. We experience pressure to make commitments relating to sustainability matters that affect companies in our industry, including the design and implementation of specific risk mitigation strategic initiatives relating to sustainability. If we are not effective in addressing environmental, social and other sustainability matters affecting our industry, or setting and meeting relevant sustainability goals, our brand image may suffer. In addition, we may experience increased costs in order to execute upon our sustainability goals and measure achievement of those goals, which could have an adverse impact on our business and financial condition.


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Risks Related to Our Indebtedness

Our level of indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on our business and limit our ability to plan for or respond to changes in our business.

The total principal amount of debt outstanding under our Credit Facilities, excluding finance lease liabilities and financing obligations, as of December 26, 2021 was approximately $325.8 million. Our indebtedness could have significant effects on our business, such as:

limiting our ability to borrow additional amounts to fund capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt service requirements, execution of our growth strategy and other purposes;
limiting our ability to make investments, including acquisitions, loans and advances, and to sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of assets;
requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to pay principal and interest on our borrowings, which would reduce availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, execution of our growth strategy and other general corporate purposes;
making us more vulnerable to adverse changes in general economic, industry and competitive conditions, in government regulation and in our business by limiting our ability to plan for and react to changing conditions;
placing us at a competitive disadvantage compared with our competitors that have less debt; and
exposing us to risks inherent in interest rate fluctuations because our borrowings are at variable rates of interest, which could result in higher interest expense in the event of increases in interest rates.

In addition, we may not be able to generate sufficient cash flow from our operations to repay our indebtedness when it becomes due and to meet our other cash needs. If we are not able to pay our borrowings as they become due, we will be required to pursue one or more alternative strategies, such as selling assets, refinancing or restructuring our indebtedness or selling additional debt or equity securities. We may not be able to refinance our debt or sell additional debt or equity securities or our assets on favorable terms, if at all, and if we must sell our assets, it may negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations.

Pursuant to the First Lien Credit Agreement (as defined herein), if the revolving credit exposure exceeds 35% of the aggregate amount of revolving credit commitments as of the last day of any fiscal quarter (which calculation shall exclude letter of credit obligations that have been cash collateralized or backstopped in full and obligations with respect to other letters of credit in an aggregate amount not to exceed $5.0 million), the Borrower (as defined herein) must maintain a ratio of consolidated first lien net debt to consolidated EBITDA (with certain adjustments as set forth in the First Lien Credit Agreement) of no greater than 6.50 to 1.00, to be tested as of the last day of each fiscal quarter and determined on the basis of the four most recently ended fiscal quarters of the Borrower for which financial statements have been delivered pursuant to the First Lien Credit Agreement. Events beyond our control, including changes in general economic and business conditions, may affect our ability to satisfy the financial covenant. We cannot assure you that we will satisfy the financial covenant in the future, or that our lenders will waive any failure to satisfy the financial covenant.

Further, a portion of our indebtedness bears interest at fluctuating interest rates based on the London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”), and the financial authority that regulates LIBOR has announced that it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2023. If LIBOR ceases to exist, we may need to renegotiate certain loan documents and we cannot predict what alternative index would be negotiated with our lenders. As a result, our interest expense could increase, in which event we may have difficulties making interest payments and funding our other fixed costs, and our available cash flow for general corporate requirements may be adversely affected.

We may be unable to generate sufficient cash flow to satisfy our debt service obligations or experience a downgrade in our credit ratings, which would have a material adverse effect on our business.

Our ability to manage our debt is dependent on our level of positive cash flow from our restaurants. An economic downturn may negatively impact our cash flows. Credit and capital markets can be volatile, which could make it more difficult for us to refinance our existing debt or to obtain additional debt or equity financings in the future. Such constraints could increase our costs of borrowing and could restrict our access to other potential sources of future liquidity. Our failure to comply with the covenants under the Credit Facilities or to have sufficient liquidity to make interest and other payments required by our debt could result in a default of such debt and acceleration of our borrowings, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Our debt is rated by credit rating agencies. These agencies may downgrade their credit ratings for us based on the performance of our business, our capital strategies or their overall view of our industry. There can be no assurance that any rating assigned to our currently outstanding indebtedness will remain in effect for any given period of time or that any such ratings will not be lowered, suspended or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency if, in that agency’s judgment, circumstances so warrant.

A downgrade of our credit ratings could, among other things, increase our cost of borrowing, limit our ability to access capital, result in more restrictive covenants in agreements governing the terms of any future indebtedness that we may incur, including restrictions on our ability to pay dividends or repurchase shares, or require us to provide collateral for future borrowings, and thereby adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Our Organizational Structure

The interests of Berkshire may conflict with our interests or the interests of the holders of our Class A common stock in the future.

Berkshire Private Equity engages in a range of investing activities, including investments in restaurants and other consumer-related companies. In the ordinary course of its business activities, Berkshire may engage in activities where its interests conflict with our interests or those of our stockholders. Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that our directors and stockholders, including Berkshire, do not have any obligation to offer us an opportunity to participate in business opportunities presented to them even if the opportunity is one that we might reasonably have pursued (and therefore may be free to compete with us in the same business or similar businesses) and that, to the extent permitted by law, such directors and stockholders will not be liable to us or our stockholders for breach of any duty by reason of any such activities. Accordingly, the interests of Berkshire may supersede ours, causing them or their affiliates to compete against us or to pursue opportunities instead of us, for which we have no recourse. Such actions on the part of Berkshire and inaction on our part could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, Berkshire may have an interest in pursuing acquisitions, divestitures and other transactions that, in its judgment, could enhance its investment in us, even though such transactions might involve risks to you, such as debt-financed acquisitions.

Delaware law and our organizational documents, as well as our existing and future debt agreements, may impede or discourage a takeover, which could deprive our investors of the opportunity to receive a premium for their shares.

We are a Delaware corporation, and the anti-takeover provisions of Delaware law impose various impediments to the ability of a third party to acquire control of us, even if a change of control would be beneficial to our existing stockholders. In addition, provisions of our amended and restated certificate of incorporation and bylaws may make it more difficult for, or prevent a third party from, acquiring control of us without the approval of our Board. Among other things, these provisions:

do not permit cumulative voting in the election of directors, which would otherwise allow less than a majority of stockholders to elect director candidates;
delegate the sole power of a majority of the Board to fix the number of directors;
provide the power of our Board to fill any vacancy on our Board, whether such vacancy occurs as a result of an increase in the number of directors or otherwise;
authorize the issuance of “blank check” preferred stock without any need for action by stockholders;
eliminate the ability of stockholders to call special meetings of stockholders;
establish advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our Board or for proposing matters that can be acted on by stockholders at stockholder meetings; and
limit the ability of stockholders to act by written consent after Berkshire no longer holds 50% of our common stock.

In addition, our Credit Facilities impose, and we anticipate that documents governing our future indebtedness may impose, limitations on our ability to enter into change of control transactions. Thereunder, the occurrence of a change of control transaction could constitute an event of default permitting acceleration of the indebtedness, thereby impeding our ability to enter into certain transactions.

The foregoing factors, as well as the significant Class A common stock ownership by Berkshire, could impede a merger, takeover, or other business combination, or discourage a potential investor from making a tender offer for our Class A common stock, which, under certain circumstances, could reduce the market value of our Class A common stock.


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We are a holding company and our principal asset is our ownership of 35,807,171 LLC Units in Portillo’s OpCo, and we are accordingly dependent upon distributions from Portillo’s OpCo to pay dividends, if any, and taxes, make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement and pay other expenses.

We are a holding company and our principal asset is our ownership of 35,807,171 LLC Units. We have no independent means of generating revenue. Portillo’s OpCo is, and will continue to be, treated as a partnership for U.S. federal and applicable state and local income tax purposes and, as such, will generally not be subject to entity-level U.S. federal and applicable state and local income tax. Instead, the taxable income of Portillo’s OpCo will be allocated to holders of LLC Units, including us. Accordingly, we will incur income taxes on our allocable share of any taxable income of Portillo’s OpCo. We will also incur expenses related to our operations, and will have obligations to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement. As the sole managing member of Portillo’s OpCo, we intend to cause Portillo’s OpCo to make distributions to the holders of LLC Units (including us) in amounts sufficient to (i) cover all of the income taxes payable on our and the other LLC Unit holders’ respective allocable shares of the taxable income of Portillo’s OpCo, (ii) allow us to make any payments required under the Tax Receivable Agreement we entered into as part of the Transactions in connection with our IPO, (iii) fund dividends to our stockholders in accordance with our dividend policy, to the extent that our Board declares such dividends and (iv) pay our expenses.

Deterioration in the financial condition, earnings or cash flow of Portillo’s OpCo and its subsidiaries for any reason could limit or impair their ability to pay such distributions. Additionally, to the extent that we need funds and Portillo’s OpCo is restricted from making such distributions to us under applicable law or regulation, as a result of covenants in its debt agreements or otherwise, we may not be able to obtain such funds on terms acceptable to us, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition.

In certain circumstances, Portillo’s OpCo will be required to make distributions to us and the other holders of LLC Units, and the distributions that Portillo’s OpCo will be required to make may be substantial.

Under the Amended LLC Agreement, Portillo’s OpCo will generally be required from time to time to make pro rata distributions in cash to us and the other holders of LLC Units at certain assumed tax rates in amounts that are intended to be sufficient to cover the income taxes payable on our and the other LLC Unit holders’ respective allocable shares of the taxable income of Portillo’s OpCo. As a result of (i) potential differences in the amount of taxable income allocable to us and the other LLC Unit holders, (ii) the lower tax rate applicable to corporations than individuals and (iii) the use of an assumed tax rate (based on the tax rate applicable to individuals) in calculating Portillo’s OpCo distribution obligations, we may receive tax distributions significantly in excess of our tax liabilities and obligations to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement. Our Board, in its sole discretion, will make any determination from time to time with respect to the use of any such excess cash so accumulated, which may include, among other uses, funding repurchases of shares of our Class A common stock; acquiring additional newly issued LLC Units from Portillo’s OpCo at a per unit price determined by reference to the market value of the Class A common stock; paying dividends, which may include special dividends, on its Class A common stock; or any combination of the foregoing. We will have no obligation to distribute such cash (or other available cash other than any declared dividend) to our stockholders. To the extent that we do not distribute such excess cash as dividends on our Class A common stock or otherwise undertake ameliorative actions between LLC Units and shares of Class A common stock and instead, for example, hold such cash balances, holders of our LLC Units (other than Portillo’s Inc.) may benefit from any value attributable to such cash balances as a result of their ownership of Class A common stock following a redemption or exchange of their LLC Units, notwithstanding that such holders of our LLC Units (other than Portillo’s Inc.) may previously have participated as holders of LLC Units in distributions by Portillo’s OpCo that resulted in such excess cash balances at Portillo’s Inc.

The Tax Receivable Agreement with the TRA Parties requires us to make cash payments to them in respect of certain tax benefits to which we may become entitled, and we expect that the payments we are required to make will be substantial.

Under the Tax Receivable Agreement, we are required to make cash payments to certain of our pre-IPO LLC Members (the "TRA Parties") equal to 85% of the tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in certain circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) our allocable share of existing tax basis in depreciable or amortizable assets related to LLC Units acquired in our IPO, (ii) certain favorable tax attributes we acquired from entities treated as corporations for U.S. tax purposes that held LLC Units prior to the Transactions ("Blocker Companies") (including net operating losses and the Blocker Companies’ allocable share of existing tax basis), (iii) increases in our then allocable share of existing tax basis in depreciable or amortizable assets, and adjustments to the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets, of Portillo’s OpCo and its subsidiaries, as a result of (x) sales or exchanges of interests in Portillo’s OpCo (including repayment of the redeemable preferred units) in connection with our IPO and (y) future exchanges of LLC Units by pre-IPO LLC Members for Class A common stock and (iv) certain other tax benefits related to entering into the Tax Receivable Agreement, including payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreement.


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The payment obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement are obligations of the Company and we expect that the amount of the cash payments that we are required to make under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be significant. Any payments made by us to the TRA Parties under the Tax Receivable Agreement will not be available for reinvestment in our business and will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us. The payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement are not conditioned upon continued ownership of us by the exchanging TRA Parties. Furthermore, our future obligation to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement could make us a less attractive target for an acquisition, particularly in the case of an acquirer that cannot use some or all of the tax benefits that are the subject of the Tax Receivable Agreement. The amount of existing tax basis and anticipated tax basis adjustments and utilization of tax attributes, as well as the amount and timing of any payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, will vary depending upon a number of factors, including the timing of redemptions or exchanges by the pre-IPO LLC Members, the price of shares of our Class A common stock at the time of the redemptions or exchanges, the extent to which such redemptions or exchanges are taxable, the amount of gain recognized by such holders of LLC Units, the amount and timing of the taxable income allocated to us or otherwise generated by us in the future, the portion of our payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement constituting imputed interest and the federal and state tax rates then applicable.

Our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreement, confers certain benefits upon the TRA Parties that will not benefit holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent that it will benefit the TRA Parties.

Our organizational structure, including the Tax Receivable Agreement, confers certain benefits upon the TRA Parties that will not benefit the holders of our Class A common stock to the same extent that it will benefit the TRA Parties. We entered into the Tax Receivable Agreement with Portillo’s OpCo and the TRA Parties in connection with the completion of our IPO, which provides for the payment by us to the TRA Parties of 85% of the amount of tax benefits, if any, that we actually realize, or in certain circumstances are deemed to realize, as a result of (i) our allocable share of existing tax basis in depreciable or amortizable assets relating to LLC Units acquired in our IPO, (ii) certain favorable tax attributes we acquired from the Blocker Companies (including net operating losses and the Blocker Companies’ allocable share of existing tax basis), (iii) increases in our allocable share of then existing tax basis in depreciable or amortizable assets, and adjustments to the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets, of Portillo’s OpCo and its subsidiaries, as a result of (x) sales or exchanges of interests in Portillo’s OpCo (including the repayment of the redeemable preferred units) in connection with our IPO and (y) future exchanges of LLC Units by pre-IPO LLC Members for Class A common stock and (iv) certain other tax benefits related to entering into the Tax Receivable Agreement, including payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreement.

Although we will retain 15% of the amount of such tax benefits, this and other aspects of our organizational structure may adversely impact the future trading market for our Class A common stock.

In certain cases, payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement to the TRA Parties may be accelerated or significantly exceed any actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement may impair our ability to consummate change of control transactions or negatively impact the value received by owners of our Class A common stock.

The Tax Receivable Agreement provides that upon a “Change of Control” under the Tax Receivable Agreement (which is defined to include, among other things, a 50% change in control of Portillo’s Inc., the approval of a complete plan of liquidation or dissolution of Portillo’s Inc., the disposition of all or substantially all of Portillo’s Inc.’s direct or indirect assets or a change of a majority of the Board of Directors without approval of at least two-thirds majority of the then-existing Board members), upon a breach of any of our material obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement or if, at any time, we elect an early termination of the Tax Receivable Agreement, then our obligations, or our successor’s obligations, under the Tax Receivable Agreement to make payments will accelerate. The accelerated payments required in such circumstances will be calculated by reference to the present value (at a discount rate equal to the lesser of (i) 6.5% per annum and (ii) one year LIBOR (or its successor rate) plus 100 basis points) of all future payments that holders of LLC Units or other recipients would have been entitled to receive under the Tax Receivable Agreement, and such accelerated payments and any other future payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement will utilize certain valuation assumptions, including an assumption that we would have sufficient taxable income to fully utilize all potential future tax benefits that are subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement.

As a result of the foregoing, we could be required to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement that are greater than the specified percentage of any actual benefits we ultimately realize in respect of the tax benefits that are subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement and we could be required to make payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement significantly in advance of the actual realization, if any, of such future tax benefits. In these situations, our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement could have a substantial negative impact on our liquidity and could have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing certain mergers, asset sales, other forms of business combinations or other changes of control. There can be no assurance that we will be able to fund or finance our obligations under the Tax Receivable Agreement.


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In the case of certain changes of control (as described above), payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be accelerated and may significantly exceed the actual benefits we realize in respect of the tax attributes subject to the Tax Receivable Agreement. We expect that the payments that we may make under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event of a change of control will be substantial. As a result, our accelerated payment obligations and/or the assumptions adopted under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the case of a change of control may impair our ability to consummate change of control transactions or negatively impact the value received by owners of our Class A common stock in a change of control transaction.

We will not be reimbursed for any payments made to the TRA Parties under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event that any tax benefits are disallowed.

Payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement will be based on the tax reporting positions that we determine, and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, or another taxing authority may challenge all or part of the amount of existing tax basis, tax basis increases or other tax benefits we claim, as well as other related tax positions we take, and a court could sustain such challenge. If the outcome of any such challenge would reasonably be expected to materially affect a recipient’s payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement, then we will not be permitted to settle or fail to contest such challenge without the consent (not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed) of certain TRA Parties. The interests of the TRA Parties in any such challenge may differ from or conflict with our interests and your interests, and the TRA Parties may exercise their consent rights relating to any such challenge in a manner adverse to our interests and your interests. We will not be reimbursed for any cash payments previously made to the TRA Parties under the Tax Receivable Agreement in the event that any tax benefits initially claimed by us and for which payment has been made to a TRA Party are subsequently challenged by a taxing authority and are ultimately disallowed. Instead, any excess cash payments made by us to a TRA Party will be netted against any future cash payments that we might otherwise be required to make to such TRA Party, as applicable, under the terms of the Tax Receivable Agreement. However, we might not determine that we have effectively made an excess cash payment to a TRA Party for a number of years following the initial time of such payment and, if any of our tax reporting positions are challenged by a taxing authority, we will not be permitted to reduce any future cash payments under the Tax Receivable Agreement until any such challenge is finally settled or determined. Moreover, the excess cash payments we previously made under the Tax Receivable Agreement could be greater than the amount of future cash payments against which we would otherwise be permitted to net such excess. As a result, payments made under the Tax Receivable Agreement could be significantly in excess of any tax savings that we realize from the tax attributes that are the subject of the Tax Receivable Agreement.

If we were deemed to be an investment company under the 1940 Act, as a result of our ownership of Portillo’s OpCo, applicable restrictions could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Under Sections 3(a)(1)(A) and (C) of the 1940 Act, a company generally will be deemed to be an “investment company” for purposes of the 1940 Act if (i) it is, or holds itself out as being, engaged primarily, or proposes to engage primarily, in the business of investing, reinvesting, or trading in securities or (ii) it engages, or proposes to engage, in the business of investing, reinvesting, owning, holding, or trading in securities and it owns or proposes to acquire investment securities having a value exceeding 40% of the value of its total assets (exclusive of U.S. government securities and cash items) on an unconsolidated basis. We do not believe that we are an “investment company,” as such term is defined in either of those sections of the 1940 Act.

As a result of the Transactions in connection with our IPO, we obtained control over Portillo’s OpCo. As the sole managing member of Portillo’s OpCo, we control and operate Portillo’s OpCo. On that basis, we believe that our interest in Portillo’s OpCo is not an “investment security” as that term is used in the 1940 Act. However, if we were to cease participation in the management of Portillo’s OpCo, or if Portillo’s OpCo itself becomes an investment company, our interest in Portillo’s OpCo, could be deemed an “investment security” for purposes of the 1940 Act.

We, and Portillo’s OpCo intend to conduct our operations so that we will not be deemed an investment company. If it were established that we were an unregistered investment company, there would be a risk that we would be subject to monetary penalties and injunctive relief in an action brought by the SEC, that we would be unable to enforce contracts with third parties, and that third parties could seek to obtain rescission of transactions undertaken during the period it was established that we were an unregistered investment company. If we were required to register as an investment company, restrictions imposed by the 1940 Act, including limitations on our capital structure and our ability to transact with affiliates, could make it impractical for us to continue our business as contemplated and could have a material adverse effect on our business.


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Risks Related to Intellectual Property, Information Technology, and Data Security

The failure to protect and maintain our intellectual property, including our trademarks, could have a material adverse effect.

Our intellectual property includes our trademarks and service marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (including Portillo’s® and other names used by our restaurants), the trade dress of our restaurants, our websites and domain names (including our website at portillos.com and other websites and domain names used by our restaurants) and other unregistered intellectual property. The success of our business strategy depends on our continued ability to use such intellectual property that we own, in addition to intellectual property we license from third parties. We require continued use of our existing trademarks and service marks in order to increase brand awareness and develop our branded products. If our efforts to maintain and protect our intellectual property are not adequate (including by way of confidentiality or other contractual restrictions we impose on third parties), or if any third-party misappropriates, infringes, dilutes or otherwise violates our intellectual property, the value of our intellectual property may be harmed. For example, failure to protect or enforce or trademarks, whether in print, on the Internet or through social media or other media, could prevent us from challenging third parties who use trademarks similar to our trademarks and who, as a result, could cause consumer confusion, harm the public perception of our brands, prevent our brands and branded products from achieving and maintaining market acceptance and cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. There can be no assurance that all the steps we have taken to maintain and protect our intellectual property in the United States will be adequate or will permit us to obtain or maintain any competitive advantage.

Security breaches, system interruptions or a material failure of our system could negatively impact our business by causing disruption to our operations, a compromise of confidential guest information, or confidential team member information, and could subject us to loss and harm our business.

Our business requires the collection, transmission and retention of large volumes of guest and team member data, including credit and debit card numbers and other personally identifiable information, in various information technology systems that we maintain and in those maintained by third parties with whom we contract to provide services. The integrity and protection of that guest and team member data is critical to us. Further, our guests and team members have a high expectation that we and our service providers will adequately protect their personal information.

Like many other retail and restaurant companies, we have experienced, and will likely continue to experience, attempts to compromise our information technology systems. Additionally, the techniques and sophistication used to conduct cyber-attacks and breaches of information technology systems, as well as the sources and targets of these attacks, change frequently and are often not recognized until such attacks are launched or have been in place for a period of time. While we continue to make significant investment in physical and technological security measures, team member training, and third party services, designed to anticipate cyber-attacks and prevent breaches, our information technology networks and infrastructure or those of our third party vendors and other service providers could be vulnerable to damage, disruptions, shutdowns, data loss, or breaches due to criminal conduct, team member error, negligence or malfeasance, utility failures, natural disasters or other catastrophic events. Due to these scenarios we cannot provide assurance that we will be successful in preventing such cyber-attacks, breaches or data loss.

Additionally, the information security and privacy requirements imposed by governmental regulation are evolving and we are expected to fulfill such requirements. Our systems may not be able to satisfy these requirements and expectations or may require significant additional investments or time in order to do so. Efforts to hack or breach security measures, failures of systems or software to operate as designed or intended, viruses, operator error or inadvertent releases of data all threaten our and our service providers’ information systems and records. A breach in the security of our information technology systems or those of our service providers could lead to an interruption in the operation of our systems, resulting in operational inefficiencies and a loss of profits. Additionally, a significant theft, loss or misappropriation of, or unauthorized access to, our guests’ data or other proprietary data or other breach of our information technology systems could result in fines, legal claims or proceedings, regulatory investigations and actions, or liability for failure to comply with privacy and information security laws, which could disrupt our operations, damage our reputation and expose us to claims from guests and team members, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our omni-channel approach will in large part rely on our information technology systems to operate successfully, including the implementation of our delivery strategy. As we expand our delivery business channels, our exposure to such risks will increase.


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Our systems, which in some cases rely on third-party providers, may experience service interruptions, degradation or other performance problems because of hardware and software defects or malfunctions, distributed denial-of-service and other cyber-attacks, infrastructure changes, human error, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fires, natural disasters, power losses, disruptions in telecommunications services, fraud, military or political conflicts, terrorist attacks, computer viruses, ransomware, malware, or other events. Our systems also may be subject to break-ins, sabotage, theft, and intentional acts of vandalism as a result of criminal third parties (including state-sponsored organizations with significant financial and technological resources), third parties we do business with and team members. Our reliance on third parties increases our exposure to such risks as we exercise a lesser degree of control over such persons. Our cyber insurance and business interruption insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of our losses that may result from interruptions in our service as a result of systems failures and similar events. As a result, if we experience any outsized material impacts from a failure of our systems, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely effected.

While we endeavor to keep all systems current, there can be no guarantee that we can reliably update and maintain our systems. In instances where we are unable to do so, the mitigating controls we put in place to reduce the risk may fail. Any such failure could lead to website downtime, disruptions to our information technology systems and systems vulnerability exposure to cyber-criminals.

Failure to comply with existing and new federal and state laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, advertising and consumer protection, could have a material adverse effect.

We rely on a variety of marketing and advertising techniques, including email communications, affiliate partnerships, social media interactions, digital marketing, direct mailers, public relations initiatives and local community sponsorships, promotions and partnerships, and we are subject to various laws and regulations that govern such marketing and advertising practices.

Laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection, marketing and advertising, and consumer protection are evolving and subject to potentially differing interpretations. These requirements may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent from one jurisdiction to another or may conflict with other rules or our practices. As a result, our practices may not have complied or may not comply in the future with all such laws, regulations, requirements and obligations. Any failure, or perceived failure, by us to comply with our privacy policies, our contractual commitments or any federal or state privacy or consumer protection-related laws, regulations, industry self-regulatory principles, industry standards or codes of conduct, regulatory guidance, orders to which we may be subject or other legal obligations relating to privacy or consumer protection could adversely affect our reputation, brand and business, and may result in claims, proceedings or actions against us by governmental entities, customers, suppliers or others or other liabilities or may require us to change our operations and/or cease using certain data sets. We may also be contractually required to indemnify and hold harmless third parties from the costs or consequences of non-compliance with any laws, regulations or other legal obligations relating to privacy or consumer protection or any inadvertent or unauthorized use or disclosure of data that we store or handle as part of operating our business.

Federal and state governmental authorities continue to evaluate the privacy implications inherent in the use of third-party “cookies” and other methods of online tracking for behavioral advertising and other purposes. The U.S. government has enacted, has considered or is considering legislation or regulations that could significantly restrict the ability of companies and individuals to engage in these activities. Additionally, some providers of consumer devices and web browsers have implemented, or announced plans to implement, means to make it easier for Internet users to prevent the placement of cookies or to block other tracking technologies, which could if widely adopted result in the use of third-party cookies and other methods of online tracking becoming significantly less effective. The regulation of the use of these cookies and other current online tracking and advertising practices or a loss in our ability to make effective use of services that employ such technologies could increase our costs of operations and limit our ability to acquire new customers on cost-effective terms and, consequently, have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, various federal and state legislative and regulatory bodies, or self-regulatory organizations, may expand current laws or regulations, enact new laws or regulations or issue revised rules or guidance regarding privacy, data protection, consumer protection, and advertising. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) and many state attorneys general are interpreting federal and state consumer protection laws to impose standards for the online collection, use, dissemination and security of data. Each of these privacy, security, and data protection laws and regulations, and any other such changes or new laws or regulations, could impose significant limitations, require changes to our business, or restrict our use or storage of personal information, which may increase our compliance expenses and make our business more costly or less efficient to conduct. In addition, any such changes could compromise our ability to develop an adequate marketing strategy and pursue our growth strategy effectively, which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Litigation with respect to intellectual property, if decided against us, may result in competing uses or require adoption of new, non-infringing intellectual property, which may in turn adversely affect sales and revenues.

There can be no assurance that third parties will not assert claims of infringement, misappropriation or other violation of intellectual property against us, or assert claims that our trademarks, service marks, trade names and other intellectual property are invalid or unenforceable. In addition, our trademarks may be narrowed. Any such claims decided against us could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, if any of our intellectual property is invalidated or deemed unenforceable, competing uses of such intellectual property would be permitted and could lead to a decline in our results of operations. Additionally any infringement or misappropriation claims decided against us could result in our being required to pay damages, to cease using our intellectual property, to develop or adopt non-infringing intellectual property or to acquire a license to the third party intellectual property that is the subject of the asserted claim. There could be significant expenses associated with the defense of any claims of infringement, misappropriation, or other violation of third party intellectual property. We may also from time to time have to assert claims against third parties and initiate litigation in order to enforce our trademarks, service marks and other intellectual property. Any such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources, could be protracted with no certain of success, or could fail to achieve an adequate remedy. Any of these occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Risks Related to Legal and Regulatory Matters

We are subject to many federal, state and local laws with which compliance can be both costly and complex.

The restaurant industry is subject to extensive federal, state and local laws and regulations, including those relating to building and zoning requirements and those relating to the preparation and sale of food. Such laws and regulations are subject to change from time to time. The failure to comply with these laws and regulations could adversely affect our results of operations. Typically, licenses, permits and approvals under such laws and regulations must be renewed annually and may be revoked, suspended or denied renewal for cause at any time if governmental authorities determine that our conduct violates applicable regulations. Difficulties or failure to maintain or obtain the required licenses, permits and approvals could adversely affect our existing restaurants and delay or result in our decision to cancel the opening of new restaurants, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

The development and operation of our restaurants depend, to a significant extent, on the selection of suitable sites, which are subject to zoning, land use, environmental, traffic and other regulations and requirements. We are also subject to licensing and regulation by state and local authorities relating to health, sanitation, safety and fire standards.

There is also a potential for increased regulation of certain food establishments in the United States, where compliance with a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (“HACCP”) approach would be required. HACCP refers to a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of potential hazards from production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. Many states have required restaurants to develop and implement HACCP Systems, and the United States government continues to expand the sectors of the food industry that must adopt and implement HACCP programs. For example, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”), signed into law in January 2011, granted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration new authority regarding the safety of the entire food system, including through increased inspections and mandatory food recalls. Although restaurants are specifically exempted from or not directly implicated by some of these requirements, we anticipate that the requirements may impact our industry. Additionally, our suppliers may initiate or otherwise be subject to food recalls that may impact the availability of certain products, result in adverse publicity or require us to take actions that could be costly for us or otherwise impact our business. We may be required to incur additional time and resources to comply with new food safety requirements made under the FSMA or other federal or state food safety regulations. Failure to comply with the laws and regulatory requirements of federal, state and local authorities could result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil and criminal liability. In addition, many applicable laws could require us to expend significant funds to make modifications to our restaurants or operations to comply with such laws. Compliance with these laws can be costly and may increase our exposure to litigation or governmental investigations or proceedings.

Additionally, government regulation may impact our business as a result of changes in attitudes regarding diet and health or new information regarding the adverse health effects of consuming certain menu offerings. These changes have resulted in, and may continue to result in, laws and regulations requiring us to disclose the nutritional and allergen content of our food offerings and laws and regulations affecting permissible or limitations on ingredients and menu items. A number of counties, cities and states have enacted menu labeling laws requiring multi-unit restaurant operators to disclose to consumers certain nutritional and allergen information, or have enacted legislation restricting the use of certain types of ingredients in restaurants. An unfavorable report on, or reaction to, our menu ingredients, the size of our portions or the nutritional content of our menu items could negatively influence the demand for our menu offerings.

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Compliance with current and future laws and regulations regarding the ingredients, nutritional and allergen content of our menu items may be costly and time-consuming. If we fail to comply with existing or future laws and regulations, we may be subject to governmental or judicial fines or sanctions. The risks and costs associated with nutritional disclosures on our menus could also impact our operations, particularly given differences among applicable legal requirements and practices within the restaurant industry with respect to testing and disclosure, ordinary variations in food preparation among our own restaurants and the need to rely on the accuracy and completeness of nutritional information obtained from third-party suppliers. We may not be able to effectively respond to changes in consumer health perceptions, comply with further nutrient content disclosure requirements or adapt our menu offerings to trends in eating habits, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to the ADA, which, among other things, requires our restaurants to meet federally mandated requirements for the disabled. The ADA prohibits discrimination in employment and public accommodations on the basis of disability. Under the ADA, we could be required to expend funds to modify our restaurants to provide service to, or make reasonable accommodations for the employment of, disabled persons. In addition, our employment practices are subject to the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Service relating to citizenship and residency.

Further, a new presidential and legislative administration recently took office, and it is not yet known what changes the new administration will make to economic or tax policies and how those policies will impact the economy or consumer discretionary spending.

The impact of current laws and regulations, the effect of future changes in laws or regulations that impose additional requirements and the consequences of litigation relating to current or future laws and regulations, or our inability to respond effectively to significant regulatory or public policy issues, could increase our compliance and other costs of doing business and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Failure to comply with the laws and regulatory requirements of federal, state and local authorities could result in, among other things, revocation of required licenses, administrative enforcement actions, fines and civil and criminal liability. In addition, certain laws, including the ADA, could require us to expend significant funds to make modifications to our restaurants if we failed to comply with applicable standards. Compliance with all these laws and regulations can be costly and can increase our exposure to litigation or governmental investigations or proceedings.

We could be party to litigation that could distract management, increase our expenses or subject us to material monetary damages or other remedies.

Our guests occasionally file complaints or lawsuits against us alleging we caused an illness or injury they suffered at or after a visit to our restaurants, or that we have problems with food quality or operations. We are also subject to a variety of other claims arising in the ordinary course of our business, including personal injury claims, contract claims and claims alleging violations of federal and state law regarding workplace and employment matters, equal opportunity, harassment, discrimination and similar matters, and we could encounter class action or other lawsuits related to these or different matters in the future. In recent years, a number of restaurant companies have been subject to such claims, and some of these lawsuits have resulted in the payment of substantial damages by the defendants. Regardless of whether any claims against us are valid, or whether we are ultimately held liable, claims may be expensive to defend and may divert time and money away from our operations and hurt our performance. A judgment in excess of our insurance coverage for any claims could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, such allegations could result in adverse publicity and negatively impact our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In addition, the restaurant industry has been subject to a growing number of claims based on the nutritional content of food products sold and disclosure and advertising practices. We may also be subject to this type of proceeding in the future and, even if we are not, publicity about these matters (particularly directed at the fast casual or traditional fast food segments of the industry) may harm our reputation and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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We can incur liabilities arising from environmental laws and compliance with environmental laws could increase our operating expenses.

We are subject to federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances that govern activities or operations that may have adverse environmental effects, such as waste handling and disposal practices for solid and hazardous wastes, discharges to water and air and odor control and also impose liability for the costs of cleaning up, and damage resulting from, sites of past spills, disposals or other releases of hazardous materials. In particular, under applicable environmental laws, we may be responsible for remediation of environmental conditions and may be subject to associated liabilities, including liabilities for clean-up costs and personal injury or property damage, relating to our restaurants and the land on which our restaurants are located, regardless of whether such environmental conditions were created by us or by a prior owner or tenant. Third parties also may make claims against owners or operators of properties for personal injuries and property damage associated with releases of, or actual or alleged exposure to, such hazardous or toxic substances at, on or from our restaurants. Some of our leases provide for indemnification of our landlords for environmental contamination, clean-up or owner liability.

If we fail to maintain effective internal controls over financial reporting, or if our internal controls are not effective, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial information or comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 could be impaired, which could have a material adverse effect.

We are required to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“Section 404”), which will require management to certify financial and other information in our quarterly and annual reports and provide an annual management report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with our second annual report after our IPO. In addition, under Section 404 our independent registered public accounting firm will also need to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial in the future to the extent that we are no longer an emerging growth company or a smaller reporting company. To achieve compliance with Section 404 within the prescribed period, we will need to continue to dedicate internal resources, engage outside consultants and continue to execute on a detailed work plan to assess and document the adequacy of our internal control over financial reporting, continue taking steps to improve control processes, as appropriate, validate through testing that controls are functioning as documented and implement a continuous reporting and improvement process for internal control over financial reporting. Despite our efforts, there is a risk that we will not be able to conclude, within the prescribed timeframe or at all, that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as required by Section 404.

The failure to achieve and maintain an effective internal control environment could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In the event that we are not able to demonstrate compliance with Section 404, or if our internal control over financial reporting is perceived as inadequate or it is perceived that we are unable to produce timely or accurate consolidated financial statements, investors may lose confidence in our results of operations, the price of our Class A common stock could decline, we could become subject to investigations by the stock exchange on which our Class A common stock is listed, the SEC or other regulatory agencies, which could require addition financial and management resources, or our Class A common stock may not be able to remain listed on such exchange.

We designed our disclosure controls and procedures to provide reasonable assurance that information we must disclose in reports we file or submit under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to management, and recorded, processed, summarized and reported within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the SEC. We believe that any disclosure controls and procedures, no matter how well-conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. These inherent limitations include the realities that judgments in decision-making can be faulty, and that breakdowns can occur because of simple error or mistake. Additionally, controls can be circumvented by the individual acts of some persons, by collusion of two or more people or by an unauthorized override of the controls. Accordingly, because of the inherent limitations in our control system, misstatements due to error or fraud may occur and not be detected and could materially adversely affect our business, liquidity, financial condition or results of operations.

As a public company, we are subject to additional reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the listing standards of the Nasdaq.


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General Risks

Our management does not have experience managing a public company and our current resources may not be sufficient to fulfill our public company obligations.

We are subject to various regulatory requirements, including those of the SEC and Nasdaq. These requirements include record keeping, financial reporting and corporate governance rules and regulations. Our management team does not have experience in managing a public company and, historically, has not had the resources typically found in a public company. Our internal infrastructure may not be adequate to support our increased reporting obligations and we may be unable to hire, train or retain necessary staff and may be reliant on engaging outside consultants or professionals to overcome our lack of experience or team members. If our internal infrastructure is inadequate, we are unable to engage outside consultants at a reasonable rate or attract talented team members to perform these functions or are otherwise unable to fulfill our public company obligations, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Fluctuations in our tax obligations, and effective tax rate and realization of our deferred tax assets may result in volatility of our results of operations.

We are subject to income taxes in various U.S. jurisdictions. We record tax expense based on our estimates of future payments, which may in the future include reserves for uncertain tax positions in multiple tax jurisdictions, and valuation allowances related to certain net deferred tax assets. At any one time, many tax years may be subject to audit by various taxing jurisdictions. The results of these audits and negotiations with taxing authorities may affect the ultimate settlement of these issues. We expect that throughout the year there could be ongoing variability in our quarterly tax rates as events occur and exposures are evaluated.

In addition, our effective tax rate in a given financial reporting period may be materially impacted by a variety of factors including, but not limited to, changes in the mix and level of earnings, varying tax rates in the different jurisdictions in which we operate, fluctuations in the valuation allowance or by changes to existing accounting rules or regulations. Further, new or revised tax legislation may be enacted in the future, which could negatively impact our current or future tax structure and effective tax rates. For example, President Joe Biden and Congress have set forth tax proposals that would, if enacted, make significant changes to U.S. tax laws. Such proposals include, but are not limited to, (i) an increase in the U.S. income tax rate applicable to corporations, (ii) an increase in the maximum U.S. federal income tax rate applicable to individuals, (iii) a minimum book income tax on certain large corporations, (iv) the modification or replacement of the minimum tax on global intangible low-taxed income and base erosion and anti-abuse tax and (v) an increase in the U.S. federal income tax rate for long-term capital gain for certain taxpayers with income in excess of a threshold amount. It is unclear whether these or similar changes will be enacted and, if enacted, how soon any such changes could take effect. The passage of any legislation as a result of these proposals and other similar changes in U.S. federal income tax laws could adversely affect our or Portillo’s OpCo’s business and future profitability.

If securities or industry analysts do not publish research or publish inaccurate or unfavorable research about our business, our stock price and trading volume could decline.

The trading market for our Class A common stock will be influenced by the research and reports that industry or securities analysts publish about us or our business. If no securities or industry analysts commence coverage of us, the trading price for our Class A common stock would be negatively impacted. If we obtain securities or industry analyst coverage and if one or more of these analysts ceases coverage of our company or fails to publish reports on us regularly, we could lose visibility in the financial markets, which in turn could cause our stock price or trading volume to decline. Moreover, if our results of operations do not meet the expectations of the investor community, or one or more of the analysts who cover our company downgrade our stock, our stock price could decline. As a result, you may not be able to sell shares of our Class A common stock at prices equal to or greater than the IPO price.

Our insurance may not provide adequate levels of coverage against claims.

We believe that we maintain insurance customary for businesses of our size and type. However, there are types of losses we may incur that cannot be insured against or that we believe are not economically reasonable to insure. Such losses could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.


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Changes in accounting principles applicable to us could have a material adverse effect.

Generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("GAAP") are subject to interpretation by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the SEC and various bodies formed to promulgate and interpret appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles or interpretations could have a significant effect on our financial condition and results of operations, and could affect the reporting of transactions completed before the announcement of a change.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation designates the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions that may be initiated by our stockholders, and designates the federal district courts of the United States as the sole and exclusive forum for claims arising under the Securities Act, which, in each case could limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for certain disputes.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware (or if the Court of Chancery lacks jurisdiction, a state court located within the State of Delaware or the federal district court for the District of Delaware) shall, to the fullest extent permitted by law, be the sole and exclusive forum for any (a) derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; (b) action asserting a claim of breach of a fiduciary duty owed by or other wrongdoing by any current or former director, officer, employee, agent or stockholder to us or our stockholders; (c) action asserting a claim arising under any provision of the DGCL or our amended and restated certificate of incorporation or amended and restated bylaws (as either may be amended from time to time), or as to which the DGCL confers jurisdiction on the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware; or (d) action asserting a claim governed by the internal affairs doctrine. For the avoidance of doubt, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation also provides that the foregoing exclusive forum provision does not apply to actions brought to enforce any liability or duty created by the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, or any rules or regulations promulgated thereunder, or any other claim or cause of action for which the federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction.

Our amended and restated certificate of incorporation provides that, unless we consent in writing to an alternative forum, the federal district courts of the United States of America shall be the sole and exclusive forum for the resolution of any action asserting a claim arising under the Securities Act or the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder. Pursuant to the Exchange Act, claims arising thereunder must be brought in federal district courts of the United States.

To the fullest extent permitted by law, any person or entity purchasing or otherwise acquiring or holding any interest in any shares of our capital stock shall be deemed to have notice of and consented to the forum provision in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation. This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a different judicial forum, including one that it may find favorable or convenient for a specified class of disputes with us or our directors, officers, other stockholders or employees, which may discourage such lawsuits, make them more difficult or expensive to pursue and result in outcomes that are less favorable to such stockholders than outcomes that may have been attainable in other jurisdictions. By agreeing to this provision, however, stockholders will not be deemed to have waived our compliance with the federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. The enforceability of similar choice of forum provisions in other companies’ certificates of incorporation has been challenged in legal proceedings, and it is possible that a court could find these types of provisions to be inapplicable or unenforceable. If a court were to find the choice of forum provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

As a public company, we incur significant costs to comply with the laws and regulations affecting public companies which could harm our business and results of operations.

As a public company, we are subject to the reporting requirements of the Exchange Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the listing requirements of the Nasdaq, and other applicable securities rules and regulations. These rules and regulations have increased and will continue to increase our legal, accounting and financial compliance costs and have made and will continue to make some activities more time-consuming and costly, particularly after we cease to be an emerging growth company as defined in Section 2(a) of the Securities Act, as modified by the JOBS Act. For example, these rules and regulations could make it more difficult and more costly for us to obtain director and officer liability insurance, and we may be required to accept reduced policy limits and coverage or to incur substantial costs to maintain the same or similar coverage. These rules and regulations could also make it more difficult for us to attract and retain qualified persons to serve on our Board or our Board committees or as executive officers. Our management and other personnel devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. As a result, management’s attention may be diverted from other business concerns, which could harm our business and results of operations. We may need to hire more team members in the future to comply with these requirements, which will increase our costs and expenses.


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Our management team and other personnel devote a substantial amount of time to compliance initiatives and we may not successfully or efficiently manage our transition to a public company. To comply with the requirements of being a public company, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we will need to undertake various actions, such as implementing new internal controls and procedures and hiring accounting or internal audit staff or outsourcing certain functions to third parties, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our annual and quarterly results of operations may fluctuate, and if our operating and financial performance in any given period does not meet the guidance that we have provided to the public or the expectations of our investors and securities analysts, the trading price of our Class A common stock may decline.

Our annual and quarterly results of operations may fluctuate for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond our control. These reasons include those described in these risk factors as well as the following:

variations in the timing and volume of our sales;
the timing of expenditures in anticipation of future sales;
planned or actual changes to our capital or debt structure;
strategic actions by us or our competitors, such as sales promotions, acquisitions or restructurings;
significant litigation;
legislation or other regulatory developments affecting us or our industry;
changes in competitive and economic conditions generally;
general market conditions; and
changes in the cost or availability of our ingredients or labor.

Fluctuations in our annual and quarterly results of operations may cause those results to fall below the guidance that we have provided to the public or the expectations of our investors and securities analysts, which could cause the trading price of our Class A common stock to decline. Fluctuations in our results could also cause a number of other problems. For example, analysts or investors might change their models for valuing our Class A common stock, we could experience short-term liquidity issues, our ability to retain or attract key personnel may diminish and other unanticipated issues may arise.

In addition, we believe that our quarterly results of operations may vary in the future and that period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations may not be meaningful. You should not rely on the results of one quarter as an indication of future performance.

ITEM 1B.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

ITEM 2.    PROPERTIES

Our home office is located at 2001 Spring Road, Suite 400, Oak Brook, IL 60523. We lease our home office.

Our restaurant footprint consists of 69 Portillo’s restaurants across nine states, including a restaurant owned by C&O, of which Portillo’s owns 50% of the equity. We operate two food production commissaries in Illinois. We do not own any real property and lease all of our properties on which we operate restaurants and commissaries. We also have three non-traditional locations in operation including a food truck, a ghost kitchen in Chicago (small kitchen with no store-front presence, used to fill online orders), and a concessions partnership.


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As of December 26, 2021, we operated 69 restaurants located in the following states:
StateNumber of Restaurants
Arizona4
California2
Florida3
Illinois44
Indiana7
Iowa1
Michigan1
Minnesota3
Wisconsin4
Total69

ITEM 3.    LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

The disclosure provided in Part II, Item 8 "Financial Statements And Supplementary Data, Note 18. Contingencies" is incorporated herein by reference.

ITEM 4.    MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

Not applicable.



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PART II

ITEM 5.     MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Market Information

Our Class A common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market ("Nasdaq") under the symbol "PTLO" on October 21, 2021, prior to that date, there was no public market for our Class A common stock.

Our Class B common stock is neither listed nor traded on any stock exchange.

Holders of Record

As of March 3, 2022, there were approximately 17 shareholders of record of our Class A common stock. The number of record holders does not include persons who held shares of our Class A common stock in nominee or "street name" accounts through brokers. As of March 3, 2022, there were 14 shareholders of record of our Class B common stock.

Dividend Policy

No dividends have been declared or paid on our shares of common stock. We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on any of our shares of common stock in the foreseeable future. Any determination to pay dividends in the future will be at the discretion of our Board and will depend upon our results of operations, cash requirements, financial condition, contractual restrictions, restrictions imposed by applicable laws and other factors that our Board may deem relevant.

Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Incentive Plans

See Part III, Item 12 "Securities Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management Related Stockholder Matters" below.



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Stock Performance Graph

The following graph and table illustrate the total return from October 21, 2021 through December 26, 2021 for (i) our Class A common stock, (ii) the Standard and Poor's 500 Index, and (iii) the Standard and Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index, assuming an investment of $100 on October 21, 2021 of Portillo's Inc. stock or on September 30, 2021 in the indices, including the reinvestment of dividends.

https://cdn.kscope.io/ce2df3e79f56c6ef9ea1794372f10bb7-ptlo-20211226_g4.jpg

10/21/202111/1/202112/1/202112/26/2021
Portillo's Inc.$100.00$143.51$127.94$131.75
S&P 500100.00107.01106.26111.03
S&P 500 Restaurants100.0099.4699.75108.31

*$100 invested on 10/21/21 in Portillo's Inc. stock or 9/30/21 in indices, including reinvestment of dividends.
Indices calculated on month-end basis.
Source Data: Research Data Group, Inc.



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Recent Sale of Unregistered Securities

Simultaneously with the consummation of our initial public offering ("IPO") on October 25, 2021, we issued 35,673,321 shares of Class B common stock and an equal amount of LLC Units to the pre-IPO LLC Members (both as defined in the Registration Statement, discussed below). Subsequent to the IPO, we acquired certain affiliates of the pre-IPO LLC Members, by merger, for which we issued 12,496,361 shares of our Class A common stock and canceled 12,496,361 shares of Class B common stock held by those entities. The issuances of the Class B common stock and the Class A common stock described in this paragraph were made in reliance on Section 4(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Rule 506 promulgated thereunder.

The pre-IPO LLC Members, from time to time following the IPO, may require PHD Group Holdings LLC and its subsidiaries ("Portillo's OpCo") to redeem or exchange all or a portion of their LLC Units for newly-issued shares of Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis (and their shares of Class B common stock will be canceled on a one-for-one basis upon any such issuance).

Use of Proceeds from Registered Securities

On October 20, 2021, the Company's registration statement on Form S-1, as amended (Registration No. 333-259810) (the "Registration Statement"), was declared effective by the SEC for the IPO of our Class A common stock. We registered the offering and sale of 23,310,810 shares of the Class A common stock (including 3,040,540 shares sold to the underwriters pursuant to their overallotment option). On October 25, 2021, the Company completed its IPO of 23,310,810 shares of Class A common Stock, for an aggregate offering price of $466.2 million. The underwriters were Jefferies LLC, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, BofA Securities, Inc., Piper Sandler & Co., Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, UBS Securities LLC, William Blair & Company, L.L.C, Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Loop Capital Markets LLC and Samuel A. Ramirez & Company Inc..

At the closing, we received net proceeds of approximately $430.0 million, after deducting the underwriting discount of approximately $29.1 million and related fees and expense of approximately $7.1 million. The net proceeds and cash on hand were used as follows:

to repay the redeemable preferred units in full (including the redemption premium) of $221.7 million;
to repay all of the borrowings outstanding under the Second Lien Credit Agreement (including any prepayment penalties) of $158.1 million; and
to purchase LLC Units or shares of Class A common stock from certain pre-IPO LLC members of $57.0 million.

There has been no material change to the use of proceeds as described in the final prospectus filed on October 22, 2021.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

None.

ITEM 6.     SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

Not Applicable

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ITEM 7.     MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

This section and other parts of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Form 10-K”) contain forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PSLRA"), which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from the statements made herein. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements discuss our current expectations and projections relating to our financial position, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as "aim," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "future," "intend," "outlook," "potential," "project," "projection," "plan," "seek," "may," "could," "would," "will," "should," "can," "can have," "likely," the negatives thereof and other similar expressions.

All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. You should evaluate all forward-looking statements made in this Form 10-K in the context of the risks and uncertainties disclosed in Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors" and in Item 7 "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations."

The forward-looking statements included in this Form 10-K are made only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. If we do update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be made that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.

For a comparison of results of operations and financial condition for fiscal years 2020 and 2019, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our Prospectus filed with the SEC on October 22, 2021.

We use a 52- or 53-week fiscal year ending on the Sunday prior to December 31. In a 52-week fiscal year, each quarterly period is comprised of 13 weeks. The additional week in a 53-week fiscal year is added to the fourth quarter. We believe the difference in reporting periods does not have a material impact on comparability. Fiscal 2021 and 2020 each consisted of 52 weeks.

Overview

Portillo’s serves iconic Chicago street food through high-energy, multichannel restaurants designed to ignite the senses and create a memorable dining experience. Since our founding in 1963 in a small trailer which Dick Portillo called “The Dog House,” we have grown to become a treasured brand with a passionate (some might say obsessed) nationwide following. We create a consumer experience like no other by combining the best attributes of fast casual and quick service concepts with an exciting energy-filled atmosphere and restaurant model capable of generating tremendous volumes. Nearly all of our restaurants were built with double lane drive-thrus and have been thoughtfully designed with a layout that accommodates a variety of access modes including dine-in, carryout, delivery and catering in order to quickly and efficiently serve our guests. No matter how our guests order from us, our highly productive kitchens and team members consistently serve high-quality food and deliver a memorable guest experience. We believe the combination of our craveable food, multichannel sales model, dedication to operational excellence, and a distinctive culture driven by our team members gives us a competitive advantage.

As of December 26, 2021, we owned and operated 69 Portillo’s restaurants across nine states, including a restaurant owned by C&O Chicago, L.L.C. ("C&O") of which Portillo’s owns 50% of the equity.




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Recent Developments and Trends

Fiscal 2021 Highlights

Our fiscal 2021 financial highlights include:

Total revenue increased 17.5% or $79.5 million to $535.0 million;
Same-restaurant sales increased 10.5%;
Operating income decreased $27.3 million to $30.0 million;
Net income decreased $25.7 million to a net loss of $13.4 million;
Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA* increased $20.1 million to $142.1 million; and
Adjusted EBITDA* increased $10.7 million to $98.5 million.

* Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP measures. Definitions and reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA to net (loss) income and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA to operating income, the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP, are set forth under the section "Key Performance Indicators and Non-GAAP Financial Measures".

In addition, we completed an initial public offering ("IPO") of 23,310,810 shares of the Company's Class A common stock (including 3,040,540 shares sold to the underwriters pursuant to their overallotment option) at an offering price of $20.00 per share. The Company received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $430.0 million (after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses). The net proceeds and cash on hand were used as follows:

to repay the redeemable preferred units in full (including the redemption premium) of $221.7 million;
to repay all of the borrowings outstanding under the Second Lien Credit Agreement (including any prepayment penalties) of $158.1 million; and
to purchase LLC Units or shares of Class A common stock from certain pre-IPO LLC members of $57.0 million.

COVID-19 Developments

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and new variants emerge, such as Omicron in late 2021, our priority has been ensuring the health and safety of our team members and guests, and compliance with the applicable safety regulations. We first began to experience impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic during the second half of March 2020, as federal, state and local governments began to react to the public health crisis by encouraging or requiring social distancing, instituting stay-at-home orders, and requiring, in varying degrees, restaurant dine-in limitations, capacity limitations or other restrictions that largely limited restaurants to take-out, drive-thru and delivery sales.

We experienced a steady recovery during the year ended December 26, 2021, all while continuing to support our team members, guests and the communities in which we operate during the pandemic. Same-restaurant sales increased 0.8% in the first quarter ended March 28, 2021, increased 25.0% in the second quarter ended June 27, 2021, increased 6.8% in the third quarter ended September 26, 2021 and increased 10.3% in the fourth quarter ended December 26, 2021 versus the comparable periods in 2020. The Omicron variant began quickly spreading during the end of the fourth quarter 2021 and our sales, particularly our seasonal catering sales, were negatively impacted during the last few weeks of the fourth quarter. Impacts also included staffing shortages that carried into the first several weeks of fiscal 2022. However, the Company did see improvements in sales trends and staffing levels beginning in mid-January 2022.

During fiscal 2021, we also experienced certain supply shortages and transportation delays largely attributable to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as changes in customer demand and behaviors. While we expect these shortages and delays may continue into fiscal 2022, we view them to be temporary and do not believe they will have a material impact to our long-term growth and profitability. Absent significant and prolonged COVID-19 relapses or global economic disruptions, and based on the current trend of our business operations and our focused efforts to elevate customer experiences and enhance digital capabilities, we are confident in the strength of our brand to deliver consistent growth. We anticipate additional wage investments, along with increased supply chain and commodity costs, will have an impact to Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin in fiscal 2022. We plan to partially offset these expense increases through menu price increases and operational efficiencies. During the fourth quarter of 2021, we increased certain menu prices by approximately 3.0%, and during the first quarter of 2022, we increased certain prices to reflect an approximate 1.5% increase to menu prices, both actions to counter increases in labor and commodity expenses.



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Development Highlights

In fiscal 2021, we opened five new restaurants, successfully executing on our targeted growth plan for the year. We entered new markets this year in Detroit, Michigan and Orlando, Florida. We also opened additional restaurants in our current markets, opening restaurants in Arizona, Indiana and Wisconsin. Below are the restaurants opened during fiscal 2021:

Location Opening Date
Sterling Heights, MichiganMarch 2021
Orlando, FloridaApril 2021
Glendale, ArizonaMay 2021
Westfield, IndianaNovember 2021
Madison, WisconsinNovember 2021

Going forward, we plan to increase our number of restaurants by approximately 10% annually. Our near-term restaurant growth strategy is focused on leveraging our proven unit economic model primarily in adjacent and national markets outside Chicagoland with favorable macro-economic tailwinds where we already have a presence and brand awareness. We will also add select new restaurants in the Chicagoland market. For fiscal 2022, we are targeting opening seven new restaurants. Our development strategy for 2022 will focus on adding at least one restaurant in the Chicagoland market, as well as the expected opening of our first restaurant in Texas, and the remaining restaurants in adjacent and national markets outside Chicagoland. In February 2022, we opened our first off-premise only restaurant, located in Joliet, Illinois featuring three drive-thru lanes and a pick-up area at the restaurant.

Menu Innovation

Our primary strategy for menu innovation is to drive traffic through truly craveable foods that can be made with a Portillo's spin. New menu items are introduced when we believe they will offer superior guest satisfaction and typically coincide with the removal of an existing menu item to ensure a manageable menu size, so that our team members can maintain the operational efficiency that enables our high volumes and consistently high quality offerings. Fiscal 2021 marked a year of great achievements in menu innovation for us. We began offering a Spicy Chicken sandwich which features a spicy giardiniera sauce, a new signature sauce that can be used across multiple offerings. We also offer seasonal shakes and specialty cakes to compliment our existing menu.

Heart of Portillo's Foundation

We care deeply about our people and believe that by taking care of our team members, they will in turn take care of our guests. In June 2020 in response to the difficulties faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we started the “Heart of Portillo’s Fund,” a 501(c)(3) charitable fund within the Portillo’s organization that raised over $250,000 from members of the Portillo’s family to provide emergency assistance to other team members in need in 2021. In 2021, the fund awarded over 40 grants and has provided support for expenses following illness or injury, the unexpected death of a family member and other financial hardships.



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Consolidated Results of Operations

The following table summarizes our results of operations for the fiscal years ended December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020 (in thousands):
Fiscal Years Ended
December 26, 2021December 27, 2020
REVENUES, NET$534,952 100.0 %$455,471 100.0 %
COST AND EXPENSES:
Restaurant operating expenses:
Cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization166,764 31.2 %142,446 31.3 %
Labor138,788 25.9 %115,991 25.5 %
Occupancy28,060 5.2 %24,920 5.5 %
Other operating expenses59,258 11.1 %50,169 11.0 %
Total restaurant operating expenses392,870 73.4 %333,526 73.2 %
General and administrative expenses87,089 16.3 %39,854 8.8 %
Pre-opening expenses3,565 0.7 %2,209 0.5 %
Depreciation and amortization23,312 4.4 %24,584 5.4 %
Net income attributable to equity method investment(797)(0.1)%(459)(0.1)%
Other income, net(1,099)(0.2)%(1,537)(0.3)%
OPERATING INCOME30,012 5.6 %57,294 12.6 %
Interest expense39,694 7.4 %45,031 9.9 %
Loss on debt extinguishment7,265 1.4 %— — %
(LOSS) INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES(16,947)(3.2)%12,263 2.7 %
Income tax benefit(3,531)(0.7)%— — %
NET (LOSS) INCOME(13,416)(2.5)%12,263 2.7 %
Less: Redeemable preferred units accretion(21,176)(4.0)%(20,524)(4.5)%
NET LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON HOLDERS(34,592)(6.5)%(8,261)(1.8)%
Net loss attributable to non-controlling interests(19,408)(3.6)%— — %
NET LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO PORTILLO'S INC.$(15,184)(2.8)%$(8,261)(1.8)%
Revenues, Net

Revenues primarily represent the aggregate sales of food and beverages, net of discounts. Sales taxes collected from customers are excluded from revenues. Revenues in any period are directly influenced by the number of operating weeks in the period, the number of open restaurants, restaurant traffic, our menu prices, third-party delivery platform prices and product mix.

Revenues for the year ended December 26, 2021 were $535.0 million compared to $455.5 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $79.5 million or 17.5%. The increase in revenues was primarily attributed to an increase in our average check, increase in transactions and the opening of new restaurants. Two restaurants opened in the fourth quarter of 2020 and five new restaurants opened in the year ended December 26, 2021 positively impacted revenues in the year ended December 26, 2021 by approximately $33.0 million. Same-restaurant sales increased 10.5% during the year ended December 26, 2021, which was attributable to a 7.8% increase in average check and 2.7% increase in transactions. The higher average check was driven by an increase in menu prices and mix of items sold. For the purpose of calculating same-restaurant sales for December 26, 2021, sales for 61 restaurants were included in the Comparable Restaurant Base (as defined in "Key Performance Indicators and Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below) as of the end of fiscal 2021.


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At the end of 2021, the Company began to record the difference in higher third-party delivery menu prices, versus regular menu prices, in revenues. This markup was previously recorded in cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization. As a result, we anticipate this change to positively impact our same-restaurant sales growth by 2%-3% in each quarter in 2022 and for the full fiscal year 2022, with a corresponding increase to costs of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization. There is no anticipated or actual impact on operating income for any period.

Cost of Goods Sold, Excluding Depreciation and Amortization

Cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization includes the direct costs associated with food and beverages, including paper products and third-party delivery commissions. The components of cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization are variable by nature, change with sales volume, are impacted by product mix and are subject to increases or decreases in commodity costs. We anticipate the comparability of cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization, to be impacted in 2022 versus 2021 due to the aforementioned change in how the Company records third-party delivery menu prices. There is no anticipated or actual impact on operating income for any period.

Cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization for the year ended December 26, 2021 was $166.8 million compared to $142.4 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $24.3 million or 17.1%. This increase was primarily driven by the opening of two new restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2020, five new restaurants in 2021, an increase in commodity prices, primarily beef, chicken and pork. As a percentage of revenues, cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization, decreased 0.1% during the year ended December 26, 2021. This decrease was primarily due to an increase in our average check, partially offset by higher commodity prices.

Labor Expenses

Labor expenses include hourly and management wages, bonuses, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation expense, equity-based compensation expense and team member benefits. Factors that influence labor costs include minimum wage and payroll tax legislation, health care costs and the performance of our restaurants.

Labor expenses for the year ended December 26, 2021 were $138.8 million compared to $116.0 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $22.8 million or 19.7%. This increase was primarily driven by incremental investments to support our team members, including hourly rate increases, training costs and discretionary bonuses and the opening of two new restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2020 and five new restaurants in 2021, partially offset by lower staffing levels and increased productivity in our restaurants. As a percentage of revenues, labor expenses increased 0.5% during the year ended December 26, 2021 primarily due to the aforementioned incremental investments to support our team members, including hourly rate increases, training costs and discretionary bonuses, partially offset by an increase in our average check and lower staffing levels and increased productivity in our restaurants.

Occupancy Expenses

Occupancy expenses primarily consist of rent, property insurance, common area expenses and property taxes.

Occupancy expenses for the year ended December 26, 2021 were $28.1 million compared to $24.9 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $3.1 million or 12.6%, primarily driven by the opening of two new restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2020 and five new restaurants opened during in 2021. As a percentage of revenues, occupancy expenses decreased 0.2% during the year ended December 26, 2021 due primarily to the leveraging of higher same-restaurant sales.

Other Operating Expenses

Other operating expenses consist of direct marketing expenses, utilities and other operating expenses incidental to operating our restaurants, such as credit card fees and repairs and maintenance.

Other operating expenses for the year ended December 26, 2021 were $59.3 million compared to $50.2 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $9.1 million or 18.1%, primarily driven by the opening of two new restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2020, five new restaurants opened in 2021 and incremental costs associated with cleaning and utilities as a result of continued expansion of our dine-in capacity due to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as an increase in repair and maintenance, variable credit card fees and operating supplies.

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General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses primarily consist of costs associated with our corporate and administrative functions that support restaurant development and operations, including marketing and advertising costs incurred as well as legal and professional fees. General and administrative expenses also include equity-based compensation expense. General and administrative expenses are impacted by changes in our team member count and costs related to strategic and growth initiatives.

General and administrative expenses for the year ended December 26, 2021 were $87.1 million compared to $39.9 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $47.2 million or 118.5%. This increase was primarily driven by an increase in equity-based stock compensation of $29.2 million. In connection with the IPO, as a result of the waiver and the resultant modification in the terms of certain performance-vesting awards, we recognized cash stock-compensation expense of approximately $1.3 million and non-cash stock-compensation expense of approximately $27.3 million for the quarter. The remainder of equity-based compensation expense is related to awards under the 2014 Equity Incentive Plan and 2021 Equity Incentive Plan as described in Note 15. "Equity-Based Compensation" to our consolidated financial statements. The remainder of the increase in general and administrative expenses was driven by an option holder payment in connection with the IPO of $6.6 million, an increase in costs associated with being a public company of $3.2 million, including costs related to the preparation for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and other transaction-related fees and expenses, and an increase in salaries and wages attributable to annual rate increases, filling open positions, and training program costs for future restaurant managers. In 2020, the lower costs were driven by a disciplined cost reduction strategy across the majority of discretionary spend categories including travel and advertising.

Pre-Opening Expenses

Pre-opening expenses consist primarily of occupancy expenses, which represent rent expense recognized during the period between the date of possession of the restaurant facility and the restaurant opening date, wages, travel for the opening team, food, beverage, and the initial stocking of operating supplies. All such costs incurred prior to the opening are expensed in the period in which the expense was incurred. Pre-opening expenses can fluctuate significantly from period to period, based on the number and timing of openings and the specific pre-opening expenses incurred for each restaurant. Additionally, restaurant openings in new geographic market areas will initially experience higher pre-opening expenses than our established geographic market areas, such as the Chicagoland area, where we have greater economies of scale and incur lower travel and lodging costs for our training team.

Pre-opening expenses for the year ended December 26, 2021 were $3.6 million compared to $2.2 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $1.4 million or 61.4%. This increase was due to five new restaurants opened in 2021 compared to two new restaurants opened in 2020.

Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization expenses consist of the depreciation of fixed assets, including leasehold improvements, fixtures and equipment and the amortization of definite-lived intangible assets, which are primarily comprised of recipes, non-compete agreements and favorable leasehold positions.

Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 26, 2021 was $23.3 million compared to $24.6 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, a decrease of $1.3 million or 5.2%. This decrease was primarily attributable to an expiring non-compete intangible asset, partially offset by incremental depreciation of capital expenditures related to the opening of two new restaurants in 2020 and five new restaurants in 2021.

Net Income Attributable to Equity Method Investment

Net income attributable to equity method investment consists of a 50% interest in C&O, which runs a single restaurant located within the Chicagoland market. We account for the investment and financial results in the consolidated financial statements under the equity method of accounting as we have significant influence but do not have control.

Net income attributable to equity method investment for the year ended December 26, 2021 was $0.8 million compared to $0.5 million for the year ended December 27, 2020. This increase was primarily driven by increased revenues due to an increase in guest traffic as a result of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Other Income, Net

Other income, net includes among other items, income resulting from discounts received for timely filing of sales tax returns, management fee income associated with our investment in C&O, trading gains or losses on our deferred compensation plan and gains or losses on asset disposals.

Other income, net for the year ended December 26, 2021 was $1.1 million compared to $1.5 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, a decrease of $0.4 million or 28.5%. Other income, net decreased primarily due to a decrease in trading gains in our deferred compensation plan and an increase in losses on asset disposals.

Interest Expense

Interest expense primarily consists of interest and fees on our Credit Facilities and the amortization expense for debt discount and deferred issuance costs.

Interest expense for year ended December 26, 2021 was $39.7 million compared to $45.0 million for year ended December 27, 2020, a decrease of $5.3 million or 11.9%. This decrease was primarily driven by decreased borrowings on the First Lien Term B-3 Loans and the payoff of the Second Term B-3 Loans with the use of IPO proceeds during the year ended December 26, 2021. There were no outstanding borrowings or repayments under the Revolving Facility during the year ended December 26, 2021.

Loss on Debt Extinguishment

Loss on debt extinguishment for year ended December 26, 2021 was $7.3 million due to prepayment penalties of $3.1 million and the write-off of debt discount and deferred issuance costs of $4.2 million associated with the payoff of the Second Term B-3 Loans. There was no such loss for year ended December 27, 2020.

Income Tax Expense

Portillo's OpCo is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal, as well as state and local income tax purposes and is not subject to taxes. Rather, any taxable income or loss generated by Portillo's OpCo is passed through to and included in the taxable income or loss of its members on a pro rata basis. As of the IPO, we are subject to U.S. federal, as well as state and local income taxes with respect to our allocable share of any taxable income or loss of Portillo's OpCo, as well as any stand-alone income or loss generated by Portillo's Inc.

Income tax benefit for year ended December 26, 2021 was $3.5 million. Our effective income tax rate for year ended December 26, 2021 was 20.9%. There was no income tax expense for year ended December 27, 2020.

Net Loss Attributable to Non-controlling Interests

In connection with the IPO, we became the sole managing member of Portillo's OpCo. We manage and operate the business and control the strategic decisions and day-to-day operations of Portillo’s OpCo and we also have a substantial financial interest in Portillo’s OpCo. Accordingly, we consolidate the financial results of Portillo’s OpCo, and a portion of our net income is allocated to non-controlling interests to reflect the entitlement of the pre-IPO LLC Members who retained their equity ownership in Portillo's OpCo (the "pre-IPO LLC Members"). The weighted average ownership percentages for the applicable reporting periods are used to attribute net income (loss) to Portillo's Inc. and the non-controlling interest holders.

Net loss attributable to non-controlling interests for year ended December 26, 2021 was $19.4 million. There was no such loss for year ended December 27, 2020.



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Key Performance Indicators and Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In addition to the GAAP measures presented in our financial statements, we use the following key performance indicators and non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate our business, measure our performance, develop financial forecasts and make strategic decisions. These key measures include same-restaurant sales, new restaurant openings, average unit volume ("AUV"), Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA Margin, Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin. The Company includes these measures because management believes that they are important to day-to-day operations and overall strategy and are useful to investors in that they provide for greater transparency with respect to supplemental information used by management in its financial and operational decision-making.

Fiscal Years Ended
December 26, 2021December 27, 2020
Total Restaurants (a)6964
AUV (in millions) (a)$8.2 $7.7 
Change in same-restaurant sales (b)10.5 %(7.7)%
Adjusted EBITDA (in thousands)$98,497 $87,804 
Adjusted EBITDA Margin18.4 %19.3 %
Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA (in thousands)$142,082 $121,945 
Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin26.6 %26.8 %

(a) Includes a restaurant that is owned by C&O of which Portillo’s owns 50% of the equity, as described in Note 7. "Equity Method Investment" in our consolidated financial statements.
(b) Excludes a restaurant that is owned by C&O of which Portillo’s owns 50% of the equity.

Change in Same-Restaurant Sales

The change in same-restaurant sales is the percentage change in year-over-year revenue (excluding gift card breakage) for the comparable restaurant base, which is defined as the number of restaurants open for at least 24 full fiscal periods (the “Comparable Restaurant Base”). For the years ended December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020, there were 61 and 56 restaurants in our Comparable Restaurant Base, respectively. The Comparable Restaurant Base excludes a restaurant that is owned by C&O, of which Portillo’s owns 50% of the equity, as described in Note 7. "Equity Method Investment" in our consolidated financial statements.

Average Unit Volume

AUV is the total revenue (excluding gift card breakage) recognized in the Comparable Restaurant Base, divided by the number of restaurants in the Comparable Restaurant Base by period.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

To supplement the consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP, we use the following non-GAAP financial measures: Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin, and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin. Accordingly, these measures are not required by, nor presented in accordance with GAAP, but rather are supplemental measures of operating performance of our restaurants. You should be aware that these measures are not indicative of overall results for the Company and that Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin do not accrue directly to the benefit of stockholders because of corporate-level expenses excluded from such measures. These measures are supplemental measures of operating performance and our calculations thereof may not be comparable to similar measures reported by other companies. These measures are important measures to evaluate the performance and profitability of our restaurants, individually and in the aggregate, but also have important limitations as analytical tools and should not be considered in isolation as substitutes for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP.


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Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin

Adjusted EBITDA represents net income (loss) before depreciation and amortization, interest expense and income taxes, adjusted for the impact of certain non-cash and other items that we do not consider in our evaluation of ongoing core operating performance as identified in the reconciliation of net income (loss), the most directly comparable GAAP measure to Adjusted EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA Margin represents Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of total revenues.

We use Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin (i) to evaluate our operating results and the effectiveness of our business strategies, (ii) internally as benchmarks to compare our performance to that of our competitors and (iii) as factors in evaluating management’s performance when determining incentive compensation.

We believe that Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA Margin are important measures of operating performance because they eliminate the impact of expenses that do not relate to our core operating performance.

The following table reconciles net (loss) income to Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA margin (in thousands):
Fiscal Years Ended
December 26, 2021December 27, 2020
Net (loss) income$(13,416)$12,263 
Depreciation and amortization23,312 24,584 
Interest expense39,694 45,031 
Loss on debt extinguishment7,265 — 
Income tax benefit(3,531)— 
EBITDA53,324 81,878 
Deferred rent (1)3,161 2,771 
Equity-based compensation30,708 960 
Option holder payment and consulting fees (2)7,744 2,000 
Other income (3)292 130 
Transaction-related fees & expenses (4)3,268 65 
Adjusted EBITDA$98,497 $87,804 
Adjusted EBITDA Margin18.4 %19.3 %

(1) Represents the difference between cash rent payments and the recognition of straight-line rent expense recognized over the lease term.
(2) Represents an option holder payment in connection with the IPO and consulting fees related to our former owner.
(3) Represents loss on disposal of property and equipment.
(4) Represents fees and expenses associated with public company readiness.

Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin
Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA is defined as revenue, less restaurant operating expenses, which include cost of goods sold (excluding depreciation and amortization), labor expenses, occupancy expenses and other operating expenses. Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA excludes corporate level expenses and depreciation and amortization on restaurant property and equipment. Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin represents Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue.

We believe that Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin are important measures to evaluate the performance and profitability of our restaurants, individually and in the aggregate.

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The following table reconciles operating income to Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA and Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin (in thousands):

Fiscal Years Ended
December 26, 2021December 27, 2020
Operating income$30,012 $57,294 
Plus:
General and administrative expenses87,089 39,854 
Pre-opening expenses3,565 2,209 
Depreciation and amortization23,312 24,584 
Net income attributable to equity method investment(797)(459)
Other income, net(1,099)(1,537)
Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA$142,082 $121,945 
Restaurant-Level Adjusted EBITDA Margin26.6 %26.8 %

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Our primary sources of liquidity are cash from operations, cash and cash equivalents on hand, and availability under our Revolving Facility. As of December 26, 2021, we maintained cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash balance of $39.3 million and had $45.0 million of availability under our Revolver.

Our primary requirements for liquidity are to fund our working capital needs, operating lease obligations, capital expenditures, and general restaurant support center needs. Our requirements for working capital are not significant because our guests pay for their food and beverage purchases in cash or on debit or credit cards at the time of the sale and we are able to sell many of our inventory items before payment is due to the supplier of such items. Our ongoing capital expenditures are principally related to opening of new restaurants, existing capital investments (both for remodels and maintenance), as well as investments in our restaurant support center infrastructure.

Based upon current levels of operations and anticipated growth, we expect that cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our needs for at least the next twelve months and the foreseeable future.

Liquidity Upon IPO

On October 25, 2021, we completed an IPO of 23,310,810 shares of the Class A common stock (including 3,040,540 shares sold to the underwriters pursuant to their overallotment option). We received net proceeds from the offering of approximately $430.0 million (after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses). The net proceeds and cash on hand were used as follows:

to repay the redeemable preferred units in full (including the redemption premium) of $221.7 million;
to repay all of the borrowings outstanding under the Second Lien Credit Agreement (including prepayment penalties) of $158.1 million; and
to purchase LLC Units or shares of Class A common stock from certain pre-IPO LLC Members of $57.0 million.


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In connection with the IPO, we entered into a Tax Receivable Agreement ("TRA") with certain of our pre-IPO LLC Members, in which we will generally be required to pay 85% of the amount of cash savings, if any, in U.S. federal, state, and local income tax that we actually realize or be deemed to realize, as a result of (i) our allocable share of existing tax basis in depreciable or amortizable assets relating to LLC Units acquired in the IPO, (ii) certain favorable tax attributes acquired by the Company from entities treated as corporations for U.S. tax purposes that held LLC Units prior to the Transactions ("Blocker Companies") (including net operating losses and the Blocker Companies' allocable share of existing tax basis), (iii) increases in our allocable share of then existing tax basis in depreciable or amortizable assets, and adjustments to the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets, of Portillo’s OpCo and its subsidiaries, as a result of (x) sales or exchanges of interests in Portillo’s OpCo (including the repayment of the redeemable preferred units) in connection with the IPO and (y) future exchanges of LLC Units by pre-IPO LLC Members for Class A common stock and (iv) certain other tax benefits related to entering into the TRA, including payments made under the TRA.

As of December 26, 2021, such TRA obligations totaled $156.6 million. Amounts payable under the TRA are contingent upon, among other things, (i) generation of future taxable income over the term of the TRA and (ii) future changes in tax laws. If we do not generate sufficient taxable income in the aggregate over the term of the TRA to utilize the tax benefits, then we would not be required to make the related TRA payments. The payments that we are required to make will generally reduce the amount of overall cash flow that might have otherwise been available to us, but we expect the cash tax savings we will realize to fund the required payments. Assuming no material changes in relevant tax law and that we earn sufficient taxable income to realize all tax benefits that are subject to the TRA, we estimate that the tax savings associated with all tax attributes described above would aggregate to approximately $184.2 million as of December 26, 2021. Under this scenario, we would be required to pay the TRA Parties approximately 85% of such amount, or $156.6 million, primarily over the next 15 years, substantially declining in year 16 through year 47.

Summary of Cash Flows

The following table presents a summary of our cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities:
(in thousands)Fiscal Years Ended
December 26, 2021December 27, 2020
Net cash provided by operating activities$42,874 $58,271 
Net cash used in investing activities(36,260)(21,420)
Net cash used in financing activities(8,783)(18,048)
Net (decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash(2,169)18,803 
Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period41,432 22,629 
Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period$39,263 $41,432 
Operating Activities

Net cash provided by operating activities for the year ended December 26, 2021 was $42.9 million compared to net cash provided by operating activities of $58.3 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, a decrease of $15.4 million or 26.4%. This decrease was driven by an decrease in net income of $25.7 million, a change in operating assets and liabilities of $20.7 million, partially offset by an increase in non-cash charges of $31.0 million.

The $20.7 million change in our operating asset and liability balances was primarily driven by operating assets and liabilities being a use of net cash of $7.0 million in year ended December 26, 2021, compared to a source of net cash of $13.6 million in year ended December 27, 2020 driven by increased payments for insurance, interest and employer social security taxes pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act for the year ended December 26, 2021 offset by an increase in the receipt of deferred lease incentives and the deferral of employer social security taxes pursuant to the CARES Act in the year ended December 27, 2020. The CARES Act allowed eligible employers to defer the remittance of certain employer social security taxes otherwise payable during calendar year 2020 and remit half of such deferred amounts on or before December 31, 2021 and half on or before December 31, 2022.


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Investing Activities

Net cash used in investing activities was $36.3 million for the year ended December 26, 2021 compared to net cash used in investing activities of $21.4 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, an increase of $14.8 million or 69.3%. This increase was primarily due to the opening of five new restaurants in 2021 compared to two new restaurants in 2020.

Financing Activities

Net cash used in financing activities was $8.8 million for the year ended December 26, 2021 compared to net cash used in financing activities of $18.0 million for the year ended December 27, 2020, a decrease of $9.3 million. For the year ended December 26, 2021, we received proceeds from our IPO of $437.1 million, net of underwriting discounts and commissions. As discussed in Liquidity and Capital Resources, the proceeds were used to repay the redeemable preferred units in full (including the redemption premium) of $221.7 million, to repay all of the borrowings outstanding under the Second Lien Credit Agreement (including prepayment penalties) of $158.1 million; and to purchase LLC Units or shares of Class A common stock from certain pre-IPO LLC Members of $57.0 million. In addition, payments of IPO offering costs were $6.3 million and payments on long term-debt were $3.3 million. During the year ended December 27, 2020, we made repayments on borrowings of $18.3 million.

Revolving Facility and Liens

We maintain a Revolving Facility that provides for a revolving total commitment amount of $50.0 million. The Revolving Facility will mature and all amounts outstanding will be due and payable in June 2024. The Revolving Facility permits the issuance of letters of credit upon our request.

As of December 26, 2021, there were no borrowings outstanding under the Revolver. We had $45.0 million of availability, as of December 26, 2021, after giving effect to $5.0 million in outstanding letters of credit.

In March 2020, we borrowed $40.0 million under the Revolving Facility to enhance liquidity and provide financial flexibility given the uncertain market conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We repaid this amount in full, plus interest, in June 2020.

On April 30, 2020, the Company was granted a loan in the aggregate amount of $10.0 million, pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) under Division A, Title I of the CARES Act, which was enacted March 27, 2020. On May 5, 2020, the Company repaid the $10.0 million proceeds from the loan.

In connection with the IPO, the Company received aggregate net proceeds of approximately $430.0 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses. Net proceeds of $158.1 million were used to repay the Second Lien Term B-3 Loans (including prepayment penalties) in full.

Borrowings under the First Lien Credit Agreement and Second Lien Credit Agreement are guaranteed by PHD Intermediate LLC ("Holdings"), Portillo’s Holdings LLC (the "Borrower") and certain of the Borrower’s subsidiaries, and Holdings, the Borrower and certain of the Borrower’s subsidiaries have pledged substantially all tangible and intangible assets as collateral, subject to certain exclusions and exceptions.

The Borrower is subject to certain financial and reporting covenants pursuant to the terms of the First Lien Credit Agreement and Second Lien Credit Agreement. These covenants are customary for these types of debt agreements. As of December 26, 2021, the Company was in compliance with all covenants.

Material Cash Requirements

Our material cash requirements greater than twelve months include:

Long-term debt. Refer to "Note 10. Debt" to the consolidated financial statements for further information of our obligations and the timing of expected payments.

Operating leases obligations. Refer to "Note 11. Operating Leases" to the consolidated financial statements for further information of our obligations and the timing of expected payments.


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Liabilities under the tax receivable agreement. Refer to "Note 16. Income Taxes" to the consolidated financial statements for further information of our obligations.

We also enter into short-term, exclusive contracts with certain vendors to supply us with food, beverages and paper goods, obligating us to purchase specified quantities and/or products at fixed prices. These commitments are cancellable and there are no material financial penalties associated with these agreements in the event of early termination. Additionally, we enter into purchase commitments related to construction, marketing and other service-related arrangements that occur in the normal course of business. Such commitments are typically short-term in nature and are not material as of December 26, 2021.

Critical Accounting Estimates

This discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based upon the Company's consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America ("GAAP"). The preparation of these financial statements requires the Company to make estimates, judgments, and assumptions that can have a meaningful effect on the reporting of consolidated financial statements. We describe our significant accounting policies in Note 2. "Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies" to the consolidated financial statements.
Critical accounting estimates are defined as those reflective of significant judgments, estimates and uncertainties, which may result in materially different results under different assumptions and conditions. As conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, the Company expects these judgments and estimates may be subject to change, which could materially impact future periods.

Goodwill and Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets

Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are assessed for impairment annually or more frequently if events and circumstances indicate that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit or an intangible asset is less than its carrying value.

We have one reporting unit which is evaluated for goodwill impairment annually. Fair value of the reporting unit is estimated using the income approach and the market approach. Under the income approach, fair value is based on the present value of estimated future cash flows. The market approach is based upon both the price-earnings multiples of comparable public companies, as well as transactional data from similar companies that were recently sold. Further given the timing of the Transactions, an IPO approach was also applied, which is a form of the market approach using the transactional method. If the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value, an impairment loss is recorded for the difference between the fair value of the reporting unit and the carrying value of the reporting unit. As of December 26, 2021, the fair value of the reporting unit substantially exceeded its carrying value. No impairment charge was recorded for any period presented.

Our indefinite-lived intangible assets consist of trade names and trade marks (collectively “trade names”). We estimate the fair value of our trade names using a relief-from-royalty income approach. If the fair value of the trade name is less than its carrying value, an impairment loss is recorded for the difference between the estimated fair value and carrying value of the intangible assets. As of December 26, 2021, the fair value of our trade names exceeded its carrying value by greater than 20%. No impairment charge was recorded for any period presented.

Equity-based Compensation

We have granted equity-based awards consisting of non-qualified stock options, restricted stock units, and performance based stock options to team members, officers and directors. Equity-based compensation expense is measured based on the grant-date fair value of those awards and is recognized on a straight-line basis over the vesting period. The grant-date fair value of the stock options is determined using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The grant-date fair value of the performance based stock options is determined using a Monte Carlo simulation model. Both of these models require the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the fair value of the underlying common stock, the risk-free interest rate, the expected equity volatility, and the expected term of the option.

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Equity-based compensation expense is based on awards ultimately expected to vest and is reduced for estimated forfeitures. Forfeitures are revised, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates and an adjustment to equity-based compensation expense will be recognized at that time.

In connection with the IPO, each option under the 2014 Equity Incentive Plan that was outstanding, whether vested or unvested, was substituted for an option to purchase a number of shares of Class A common stock under the 2021 Equity Incentive Plan, and the option holders received a cash payment in respect of their options (whether vested or unvested) in an aggregate amount of approximately $6.6 million, which was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021. In addition, as a result of the waiver and the resultant modification in the terms of certain performance-vesting awards we recorded compensation expense based on the fair value of the modified awards. Assuming all of the options vest and an offering price of $20.00 per share of Class A common stock, we recognized a cash compensation expense of approximately $1.3 million and a non-cash compensation expense of approximately $26.2 million, each at the modification date in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021.

Liabilities Under Tax Receivable Agreement

As described in "Liquidity Upon IPO", we are a party to the TRA under which we are contractually committed to pay certain of our pre-IPO LLC Members 85% of the amount of any tax savings that we actually realize, or in some cases are deemed to realize, as a result of certain transactions. Amounts payable under the TRA are contingent upon, among other things, (i) generation of future taxable income over the term of the TRA and (ii) future changes in tax laws. If we do not generate sufficient taxable income in the aggregate over the term of the TRA to utilize the tax benefits, then we would not be required to make the related TRA payments. Therefore, we would only recognize a liability for TRA payments if we determine it is probable that we will generate sufficient future taxable income over the term of the TRA to utilize the related tax benefits. As of December 26, 2021, we recognized $156.6 million of liabilities relating to our obligations under the TRA, after concluding that it was probable that we would have sufficient future taxable income to utilize the related tax benefits. If we determine in the future that we will not be able to fully utilize all or part of the related tax benefits, we would de-recognize the portion of the liability related the benefits not expected to be utilized.

Additionally, we estimate the amount of TRA Payments expected to be paid within the next 12 months and classify this amount as current on our consolidated balance sheet. This determination is based on our estimate of taxable income for the next fiscal year and the timing of the anticipated payments. To the extent our estimate differs from actual results, we may be required to reclassify portions of our liabilities under the TRA between current and non-current.

Income Taxes

We are subject to U.S. federal, state and local income taxes with respect to our allocable share of any taxable income of Portillo’s OpCo and will be taxed at the prevailing corporate tax rates. In addition to tax expenses, we also will incur expenses related to our operations, plus payments under the TRA, which will be significant. We intend to cause Portillo’s OpCo to make distributions in an amount sufficient to allow us to pay our tax obligations and operating expenses, including distributions to fund any ordinary course payments due under the TRA. We anticipate that we will account for the income tax effects and corresponding TRA’s effects resulting from future taxable exchanges or redemptions of LLC Units of pre-IPO LLC Members by us or Portillo’s OpCo by recognizing an increase in our deferred tax assets, based on enacted tax rates at the date of the purchase or redemption.

The amounts recorded for both the deferred tax assets and the liability for our obligations under the TRA were estimated at the time of the IPO as a reduction to shareholders’ equity, and the effects of changes in any of our estimates after this date will be included in net income (loss). Similarly, the effect of subsequent changes in the enacted tax rates will be included in net income (loss).

In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets, management considers whether it is more likely than not that some or all of the deferred tax assets will be realized and, when necessary, a valuation allowance is established. The ultimate realization of the deferred tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which temporary differences become deductible. As of December 26, 2021, we had $74.5 million of deferred tax assets, net of valuation allowances.

Under the provisions of ASC 740—Income Taxes, as it relates to accounting for uncertainties in tax positions, we recognize the tax benefit of tax positions to the extent that the benefit will more likely than not be realized. The determination as to whether the tax benefit will more likely than not be realized is based upon the technical merits of the tax position as well as consideration of the available facts and circumstances. For the tax year ended December 26, 2021, we did not have any uncertain tax positions.

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JOBS Act

We qualify as an emerging growth company ("EGC") pursuant to the provisions of the Jumpstart our Business Startups (“JOBS”) Act. For as long as we are an EGC, we may take advantage of certain exemptions from various reporting requirements that are applicable to other public companies that are not EGCs, including, but not limited to, not being required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, exemptions from the requirements of holding advisory “say-on-pay” votes on executive compensation and shareholder advisory votes on golden parachute compensation.

In addition, Section 107 of the JOBS Act also provides that an EGC can take advantage of the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. An EGC can therefore delay the adoption of certain accounting standards until those standards would otherwise apply to private companies. We intend to take advantage of the extended transition period.

We will remain an EGC until the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the date of the first sale of our Class A common stock pursuant to an effective registration statement, which was October 21, 2021, unless, prior to that time, we have more than $1.07 billion in annual gross revenue, have a market value for our common stock held by non-affiliates of more than $700 million as of the last day of our second fiscal quarter of the fiscal year and a determination is made that we are deemed to be a “large accelerated filer,” as defined in Rule 12b-2 promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), or issue more than $1.0 billion of non-convertible debt over a three-year period, whether or not issued in a registered offering. We have availed ourselves of the reduced reporting obligations with respect to executive compensation disclosure and expect to continue to avail ourselves of the reduced reporting obligations available to EGCs in future filings.

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ITEM 7A.     QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Commodity and Food Price Risks

We are exposed to commodity price risks. Many of the ingredients we use to prepare our food, as well as our packaging materials, are commodities or are affected by the price of other commodities. Factors that affect the price of commodities are generally outside of our control and include foreign currency exchange rates, foreign and domestic supply and demand, inflation, weather, and seasonality. For the majority of our major ingredients, we enter into supply contracts, obligating us to purchase specified quantities. However, the prices associated with these supply contracts are generally not fixed and are typically pegged to a commodity market price and, therefore, fluctuate with the market. Significant increases in the price of commodities could have a material impact on our operating results to the extent that such increases cannot be offset by menu price increases or other operating efficiencies.

Interest Rate Risk

Our Credit Facilities incur interest at a floating rate. We seek to manage exposure to adverse interest rate changes through our normal operating and financing activities. As of December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020, we had $325.8 million and $484.1 million, respectively, in outstanding borrowings under our Credit Facilities, excluding unamortized debt discount and deferred issuance costs. Based on the amount outstanding under our Credit Facilities as of December 26, 2021, a change of one hundred basis points in the applicable interest rate would cause an increase or decrease in interest expense of approximately $3.3 million on an annual basis.

Effects of Inflation

Inflation impacts all our restaurant operating expenses. While we have been able to partially offset inflation and other changes in operating expenses by gradually increasing menu prices, coupled with more efficient purchasing practices, productivity improvements and greater economies of scale, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to do so in the future. From time to time, competitive conditions could limit our menu pricing flexibility. In addition, macroeconomic conditions could make additional menu price increases imprudent. There can be no assurance that future cost increases can be offset by increased menu prices or that increased menu prices will be fully absorbed without any resulting change to their visit frequencies or purchasing patterns. In addition, there can be no assurance that we will generate same-restaurant sales growth in an amount sufficient to offset inflationary or other cost pressures.

The restaurant industry and we typically attempt to offset the effect of inflation, at least in part, through periodic menu price increases and various cost reduction programs. A portion of the leases for our restaurants provide for contingent rent obligations based on a percentage of sales. As a result, an increase in occupancy and related expenses will offset a proportionate share of any menu price increases at our restaurants.

Labor Costs

Wages paid in our restaurants are impacted by changes in federal and state hourly minimum wage rates. Accordingly, changes in the federal and state hourly minimum wage rates directly affect our labor costs. Wages and benefits are also affected by supply and demand forces in specific regions.

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ITEM 8.     FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

INDEX TO FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

To the shareholders and the Board of Directors of Portillo’s Inc.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Portillo’s Inc. and subsidiaries (the "Company") as of December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020, the related consolidated statements of operations, stockholders’ and members’ equity, and cash flows, for each of the three years in the period ended December 26, 2021, and the related notes and the schedule listed in the Index at Item 15 (collectively referred to as the "financial statements"). In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company as of December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 26, 2021, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.

Basis for Opinion

These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company's financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. The Company is not required to have, nor were we engaged to perform, an audit of its internal control over financial reporting. As part of our audits, we are required to obtain an understanding of internal control over financial reporting but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Accordingly, we express no such opinion.

Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

/s/ Deloitte & Touche LLP

Chicago, Illinois
March 10, 2022

We have served as the Company's auditor since 2014.

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PORTILLO'S INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except common unit and per share data)



December 26, 2021December 27, 2020
ASSETS
CURRENT ASSETS:
Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash$39,263 $41,432 
Accounts receivable7,840 5,204 
Inventory6,078 5,075 
Prepaid expenses5,836 2,915 
Total current assets59,017 54,626 
Property and equipment, net190,834 174,769 
OTHER ASSETS:
Goodwill394,298 394,298 
Trade names223,925 223,925 
Other intangible assets, net35,832 42,255 
Equity method investment16,170 16,015 
Deferred tax asset74,455  
Other assets5,042 4,334 
Total other assets749,722 680,827 
TOTAL ASSETS$999,573 $910,222 
LIABILITIES, REDEEMABLE PREFERRED UNITS AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
CURRENT LIABILITIES:
Accounts payable$27,249 $21,427 
Current portion of long-term debt3,324 3,324 
Current deferred revenue6,893 6,774 
Accrued expenses29,472 34,827 
Total current liabilities66,938 66,352 
LONG-TERM LIABILITIES:
Long-term debt, net of current portion315,829 466,380 
Deferred rent32,174 26,694 
Tax receivable agreement liability156,638  
Other long-term liabilities4,588 9,516 
Total long-term liabilities509,229 502,590 
Total liabilities576,167 568,942 
COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES (NOTE 18)
REDEEMABLE PREFERRED UNITS, and 100,000 units authorized, issued and outstanding as of December 26, 2021 and December 27, 2020, respectively (preferred liquidation amount 101%)
 200,571 
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:
Member's Equity— 140,709 
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value per share, 10,000,000 shares authorized, issued and outstanding
  
Class A common stock, $0.01 par value per share, 380,000,000 shares authorized, and 35,807,171 shares issued and outstanding
358  
Class B common stock, $0.00001 par value per share, 50,000,000 shares authorized, and 35,673,321 shares issued and outstanding
  
Additional paid-in-capital186,856  
Accumulated deficit(15,950) 
Total stockholders' equity attributable to Portillo's Inc.171,264 140,709 
Non-controlling interest252,142  
Total stockholders' equity423,406 140,709 
TOTAL LIABILITIES, REDEEMABLE PREFERRED UNITS AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY$999,573 $910,222 
See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

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PORTILLO'S INC
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands)

Fiscal Years Ended
December 26, 2021December 27, 2020December 29, 2019
REVENUES, NET$534,952 $455,471 $479,417 
COST AND EXPENSES:
Restaurant operating expenses:
Cost of goods sold, excluding depreciation and amortization166,764 142,446 149,063 
Labor138,788 115,991 134,206 
Occupancy28,060 24,920 24,538 
Other operating expenses59,258 50,169 54,540 
Total restaurant operating expenses392,870 333,526 362,347 
General and administrative expenses87,089 39,854 43,118 
Pre-opening expenses3,565 2,209 2,834 
Depreciation and amortization23,312 24,584 24,364 
Net income attributable to equity method investment(797)(459)(766)
Other income, net(1,099)(1,537)(1,402)
OPERATING INCOME30,012 57,294 48,922 
Interest expense39,694 45,031 43,367 
Loss on debt extinguishment7,265   
(LOSS) INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES(16,947)12,263 5,555 
Income tax benefit(3,531)  
NET (LOSS) INCOME(13,416)12,263 5,555 
Less: Redeemable preferred units accretion(21,176)(20,524)(18,424)
NET LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON HOLDERS(34,592)(8,261)(12,869)
Net loss attributable to non-controlling interests(19,408)  
NET LOSS ATTRIBUTABLE TO PORTILLO'S INC.$(15,184)$(8,261)$(12,869)
Loss per common share attributable to Portillo's Inc.:
Basic$(0.42)$(0.16)$(0.25)
Diluted$(0.42)$(0.16)$(0.25)
Weighted-average common shares outstanding:
Basic35,807,171 51,189,017 51,175,785 
Diluted35,807,171 51,189,017 51,175,785 

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.


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PORTILLO'S INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS' AND MEMBERS' EQUITY
(In thousands, except unit/share data)

FOR THE FISCAL YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 27, 2020 and DECEMBER 29, 2019
Preferred UnitsClass A
Common Stock
Class B
Common Stock
UnitsAmountMembers' EquitySharesAmountSharesAmountAdditional Paid-In CapitalAccumulated DeficitNon-controlling interestTotal Equity
Balance, as of December 31, 2018100,000 $161,623 158,762 $  $ $ $ $ $ $158,762 
Net income— — 5,555 — — — — — — — 5,555 
Cumulative effect of accounting changes— — 204 — — — — — — — 204 
Unit-based compensation— — 1,286 — — — — — — — 1,286 
Repayment of subscription receivable— — 251 — — — — — — — 251 
Issuance of common units— — 100 — — — —