By Alan Hatfield
Portillo’s Inc. (Nasdaq: PTLO) today reported continued growth despite a challenging cost environment for the Chicago-style fast casual chain.
First quarter revenue increased by 14.6% year-on-year in the first quarter to $134.5 million, driven by an 8.25% increase in same-restaurant sales, the opening of five new locations in 2021, and the opening of an additional new location in the first quarter of this year.
Unprecedented commodity inflation impacting pork, chicken and beef prices pushed down operating income to $6.8 million, a decrease of 37.2% on the year, although net income increased 500% on the year to $600,000, primarily due to lower interest expense of $4.6 million. Part of the offset came from an increase in average menu price of 1.5% during the quarter as a means to combat ongoing inflationary pressures.
Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter came in at $17.6 million, or a decrease of 4.9% from the first quarter of 2021, much lower than the 21.6% year-on-year increase in total restaurant operating expenses driven by the opening of the aforementioned six new locations.
“We want to be an oasis for our guests – a place they can go to relax and enjoy a good meal at an amazing value,” Michael Osanloo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Portillo’s, said in a statement. “Even in the face of cost pressures, Portillo’s continues to have enviable profitability that provides financial flexibility, keeps our development pipeline on track, and supports our longer-term growth strategy.”