Recently my family and I ate at a Portillos restaurant and could not get nutritional information from the restaurant or through our Calorie King book. This is important to us as my 8 year old son is a diabetic and requires carb counts to formulate his insuling intake for each of his meals. Proper insulin intake is necessary for his long-term health, but also to ensure he doesn't have high or low numbers which could result in seizures. Since I couldn't get the nutritional facts I submitted the following directly to Portillos:
Why doesn't Portillos contribute their nutritional facts to book publishing companies like Calorie King or make them available at their restaurants? Or is it determined location by location? I ask as many people, especially diabetics, rely on the information so they can adjust their insulin when eating out. Almost every fast food type restaurant complies in one of the above forms. We were at the Portillos on North Avenue in Villa Park and were shocked when we asked for the nutritional sheet and were told that they didn't have one. So not only could I not look up the carbs in Calorie King, the restaurant didn't have one either and I couldn't properly advise my 8 year old diabetic son. Unfortunately we won't be able to eat there again. I told that locations manager this and also mentioned that I was mentioning this as many diabetic families respond to restaurants the same way, 'boycotting'. Thanks.
Portillos sent the following response to my inquiry:
Thank you for your E-mail. The requirement to provide nutritional information is a constantly changing area of government regulations. At the current time, state and federal law requires labeling of those items sold as retail grocery. Items sold at restaurants are exempt.
We continue to watch this area so we can remain in compliance. However, at this time, the information you seek is unavailable and we are unable to comply with your request. Portillo's is a privately held business, with a limited number of stores. We do not franchise our restaurants. The cost of testing to obtain nutritional information and keeping such information current and correct is prohibitive. While we manufacture some of our products, we source many products from multiple suppliers with varying specifications. This fluctuation in purchasing would create the need for prolonged and repeated testing making it extremely difficult to generate a concise and accurate report on the nutritional values of all of our menu items. We appreciate having the opportunity to explain.
Needless to say their answer is unacceptable as it is all driven by money. This frustrates me and wish it was required by law. Thank you for listening.