Tyler brings “positive attitude and work ethic” to Portillo’s

Dec 1, 2021

Tyler for web

People served by Rise aspire to bring value to their workplaces, make meaningful connections, and most of all, do a good job. Tyler Wollersheim, an employee with Portillo’s restaurants for more than three years, outlines his job role in clear terms. He says, “I make guests feel welcome and leave with a smile. A smile is key to knowing that I did a good job.”

Tyler, 28, was connected to Rise’s programs in 2015 and began working with Employment Consultant Sarah Gustafson two years later. Sarah worked with Tyler on job and skills exploration, connecting Tyler to both group employment work and individual job trial opportunities. It was through these efforts that Tyler discovered his ambitions to work full-time in a job that allows him to interact with the public. Tyler and Sarah agree that working together to explore jobs, practice interviews, and learn his needs and goals have been important for his career journey.

After about a year of discovery, Tyler, who Sarah describes as “very independent,” decided to apply on his own to Portillo’s in Maple Grove, MN. He was hired. After a short seven months in Maple Grove, the Roseville, MN location reached out about staffing shortages and recruited Tyler to transfer to their store.

During his 40 or more hours worked each week, Tyler greets guests, cooks Portillo’s famous hot dogs and fries, and prepares drinks and condiments. Additionally, Tyler does cleaning tasks throughout the store. When asked how he describes himself as a worker, Tyler claimed he is “Always high energy. Always high hopes. And always willing to learn new stuff.”

His willingness to learn is evident in his growing list of skills, having recently learned how to power wash the grounds with the guidance of Roseville store General Manager Jay. When talking about Tyler, Jay beams, “He brings a lot of positive energy to the team. He cares about customers, their experiences, and making people smile.”

Throughout his tenure at Portillo’s, Sarah remains a regular support system for Tyler. She checks in regularly, making sure his needs are being met. These include transportation options and occasionally developing strategies for conflict resolution. “He does well on his own, but I am there when he needs me,” shared Sarah. “My favorite part of what I do is getting to know these guys and watch them do so well, like Tyler going from group job sites to a competitive job out in the community, bringing so much value to this place.”

Speaking of value, Sarah makes sure to point out a series of pins affixed to Tyler’s company baseball cap. One heart-shaped pin sticks out. “That’s the Heart of Portillo’s,” says Tyler. Jay explains, “The pin is given to staff who share the four core values of Portillo’s, which are family, greatness, energy, and fun. Tyler brings those values to life every day.” Jay also shared that he has only given out two of these special recognition pins so far – one of them to Tyler.

In his free time, Tyler enjoys gardening hot peppers, songwriting, and even rapping. Tyler has written songs and performed them on his own YouTube channel and TikTok account. As a bit of a cook himself, Tyler made sure to make a recommendation before our time chatting at Portillo’s wrapped up – the Italian beef sandwich!

When it comes to his future with Portillo’s, Tyler could see himself stepping up to the role of Crew Chief, a peer staff trainer within the store. Tyler also has his eye on a significant milestone – 10 years. After a decade of employment, team members are sent on an expenses-paid appreciation trip to Chicago, which includes a visit to Portillo’s headquarters.

More recently, Tyler has been welcomed back to Portillo’s in Maple Grove due to staff shortages there. Grateful for his years with Roseville, Tyler welcomes the location change as it’s a significantly shorter commute for the Maple Grove resident.

As Jay shares, “Tyler makes us all better with his positive attitude and work ethic.”