In 1971, the first Togo’s location—then more of a sandwich shack than a restaurant—was opened by a college student in San Jose, California. By 1977, the tiny shack serving giant sandwiches had expanded to more than 10 other restaurants and officially began franchising. In the 40 years since, Togo’s has become a staple of the West Coast food scene, with hundreds of locations dotting markets throughout California.
Togo’s has earned a special place in the hearts of West Coast natives, whose enthusiasm for the brand has helped the franchise expand steadily for decades. Togo’s restaurants have become integral parts of their neighborhoods, each committed to contributing to their communities through charitable fundraising, team sponsorships, event hosting, and an array of other outreach efforts. That commitment has made Togo’s much more than just another sandwich shop in the eyes of its customers; it’s made them a neighbor.
Many Togo’s customers have grown up with the brand and followed its development in the news, but even the most passionate Togo’s fans will be surprised to learn some of the more intriguing details from the brand’s 40-plus-year history. Here are five things you didn’t know about Togo’s.
1) Togo’s serves a lot of bread
Togo’s purchases 4.8 million loaves of fresh artisan bread every year. That’s 1,818 miles of bread, enough to stretch end-to-end from Togo’s home town of San Jose, California halfway across the country to Kansas City, Missouri.
2) Togo’s has been focused on value since Day 1
When Togo’s opened in 1971, the cost of a #9 (the Hot Pastrami sandwich) was only $1.25. Not bad for over a quarter-pound of pastrami plus fixings. The pricing has risen slightly in the years since, but Togo’s still hangs their hat on providing a bigger bang for a smaller buck than any other restaurant in town.
3) Togo’s is not only about the meat
Togo’s serves approximately 1 million pounds of Hass avocados every year. That would tip the scale against 83 full-grown elephants. And avocados may not even be the favorite veggie of Togo’s customers, who devour more than 34 million of Togo’s Greek pepperoncinis every year.
4) You can own one
After four decades, Togo’s is still growing. In fact, the brand is now looking to extend their reach further than ever before into new territories surrounding their existing 240+ locations on the West Coast. Startup costs to open a Togo’s range from $274,000 to $508,700, and the brand is actively seeking qualified and passionate entrepreneurs to become new Togo’s owners. Click here to learn more.
5) Togo’s franchisees stick around
The longest active member of Team Togo’s is Dan Pearson, franchisee and Brand Advisory Council member. Pearson was hired at his local Togo’s in 1974 and worked there for three years before opening his own location when the brand began franchising in 1977. In Pearson’s 40 years as a franchisee, he’s owned or co-owned 16 Togo’s restaurants.