It’s been a busy few months at Togo’s as the brand has rolled out its number-one strategic priority for 2017: a better and easier menu. “Better” meaning increased financial value for operators and higher quality items for customers, and “easier” meaning increased item throughput for operators and quicker service times for customers.
“Two and a half months ago, we launched our better and easier menu,” said Togo’s new President, Glenn Lunde. “We want our locations to be easier for operators to execute and easier for guests to navigate. We want to make it easier to train people and for Togo’s to be a better place to work, eat, and own.”
“We are trying to make operational changes that support our franchisees and allow guests to enjoy their experience, start to finish, within 30 minutes, the usual lunch-break timeframe,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing, Anna Nero. “Improvements in the way we build sandwiches and salads will help our operators improve customer service and the brand as a whole.”
The brand has also changed its portioning of meat. Before the new menu, slices were counted out individually as each sandwich was made. Now the hand sliced roast beef, turkey and ham have not only been increased, but are pre-portioned in the morning to speed up lunch throughput. A Mini gets one portion, a Regular gets two portions, and a Large gets three portions. This easier portioning not only makes service faster, it also makes employee training easier.
Another improvement the brand made was to place the meat as the top layer of all its sandwiches.
“It used to be that only hot meat was on top,” Lunde said. “Now, all of our sandwiches feature meat on top of the other fillings. When you bite into a Togo’s sandwich, the first thing you taste is our premium meat."
Togo’s has also made its menu boards easier to read. The previously black menu board has been changed to a fresh, white background, and the panels are now organized by protein to make it easier for Guests to find their favorite selection.
“People eat with their eyes,” said Dan Pearson, a 40-plus-year franchisee. “And the graphics on the new menu board are very appetizing, so people are getting the sandwiches just how they see them.”
The company surveyed its franchisees after the menu rollout to ensure the system saw the benefits.
“The execution at stores has been great,” Lunde said. “Our franchisees have done a fantastic job. We surveyed them to make sure they liked the changes, and they overwhelmingly support the improvements we have made.”
The media was quick to celebrate Togo’s improvements. The brand was featured on a recent San Francisco Giants pregame show on CSNBC and KOFY TV in San Francisco; on Good Day Sacramento on CBS Sacramento; and in a Sac & Co segment on ABC10 Sacramento. Bloggers and social media influencers also jumped on the updates with spot-the-difference features among other posts.
Start-up costs to open a Togo’s range from $274,000 to $508,700. The company charges a $30,000 franchise fee with a 5% royalty. For more information, click here.