Case Study

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Portillo’s—a fast-casual restaurant famous for its hot dogs, burgers and chocolate cake—needed an experienced and efficient flooring contractor to install 12,000-square-feet of flooring and wall tiles for its Tampa location.

As a national chain, all designs for the new location were pre-specified. The general contractor on the project, The Sinclair Group, didn’t want or need to reinvent the wheel—they just needed a restaurant flooring contractor who could get the job done in a quick and cost-effective manner while working cooperatively with the other subcontractors on the project.

Spectra was chosen for the project due to its reputation for expertise and quality in kitchen flooring, and delivered the project on time and on budget despite delays and scheduling challenges.

The demands of the project

The $148,000 flooring contract called for quarry tile in the kitchen and back-of-house areas. The industry standard in commercial kitchen flooring, quarry tile is one of the best materials for cost, durability, and ease of maintenance. To learn about other best-value kitchen flooring materials, read our product guide to kitchen flooring.

The dining room and front-of-house areas used 8×8 Seneca tiles for a rustic, shadowed effect. The front-of-house tiles were to be laid in a pattern to direct traffic patterns and aid in wayfinding. Glazed brick was used in the bar area to add to the retro design theme of the restaurant.

Spectra’s goal was to install as much product on the floors and walls in the shortest time as possible without sacrificing quality. As with many new construction projects, however, coordinating flooring installation of each section of the restaurant with other subcontractors became a large hurdle to overcome.

Flooring installation was slated to occur while many other subcontractors were still in the building, making it difficult to complete the project in a timely manner. Spectra needed to come up with a solution that allowed its team to keep up with the tight schedule of the project, while not affecting the work of any other subcontractor.

Our restaurant flooring solutions and results

Communication and coordination were key to overcoming these scheduling challenges. The project manager stayed in constant communication with the GC, and the other subcontractors in order to know when to stage materials and install flooring systems for all the sections of the restaurant. This constant communication allowed Spectra to have their crews and materials ready to go the moment other teams were finished.

As another effort to overcome the scheduling conflicts, Spectra offered to work second and third shift—after all other subcontractors had gone home—without charging a penny for overtime. Not only did this make it easier for Spectra’s team to install the flooring, it helped keep the overall project on schedule and on budget.

Beyond Spectra’s general knowledge and expertise in flooring installation, our willingness to step up to the plate and get the job done won us future work with Portillo’s and with that general contractor. After proving ourselves working on the Florida location, Spectra has served as the flooring material distributor for locations as far as Minnesota and Indiana.

For more information on how to maximize the value of a restaurant flooring project, read our guide to material selection for commercial kitchens. You’ll learn the three best flooring materials for kitchens based on safety, durability and performance.

A buyer’s guide to commercial kitchen flooring

Learn the differences between the best flooring materials available for commercial kitchens.