Over the last year, iconic Bay Area sandwich franchise Togo’s has been flying under the radar, hard at work building its team and tackling a system-wide revamp of its brand image. The nearly 50-year-old brand has been serving made-to-order sandwiches filled with fresh ingredients since 1971 and franchising since the late '70s. Togo’s decided to take steps to ensure everything from marketing to store design was in line with the uniqueness and quality of a Togo's sandwich, and the brand’s quiet, strategic revival that had been occurring incrementally is now in full motion and driving its accelerated expansion plans.
Togo's reimagined the company with a primary focus on and commitment to what matters most to guests by turning to customer feedback to better understand why they chose Togo’s over other sandwich concepts. Responses always came back to the sandwich offering itself: bold flavors, premium ingredients, generous portions and an engaging dining experience. Recognizing the need to honor this sentiment, the brand adopted the motto, “True to the Sandwich.”
In addition to its updated slogan, Togo’s has taken several steps to revamp itself, including a new logo, employee uniforms and sandwich packaging as well as the introduction of a new signature sandwich, the Pretzelrami, a toasted masterpiece containing a quarter pound of pastrami, white cheddar cheese, yellow mustard and pickles on a pretzel roll. Further, all current stores will undergo a facelift set for gradual rollout in the coming months, with each unit in development also featuring the new store design.
Togo’s president Glenn Lunde explained that the brand refresh was conceived with customers new and old in mind in an effort to reinvigorate sales and spark growth. “The brand refresh is designed to remind those familiar with the brand why Togo’s is their go-to sandwich option and introduce those unfamiliar to our can’t-miss offering,” he said.
Beyond an overwhelmingly positive guest response to the revamp, Togo’s franchisees are also expressing excitement the brand's new direction and customer feedback they've received. Stronger emphasis on brand culture and telling the Togo’s story has allowed for better connection at the unit-level, enhancing Togo's differentiators from other sandwich concepts.
With a focus on the western regions of the United States, Togo's is building a stronger national presence through targeted expansion efforts underway in California. Due to the brand’s San Jose roots, most of their franchises are based in California. Togo’s is looking to further add to its Golden State stronghold by pursuing new territories in the state while simultaneously infilling existing markets.
“The evolution of Togo's presents enormous opportunity for prospective franchisees to join the brand at a very exciting time of growth and innovation,” Lunde said. With more than 200 locations across five states, the company offers plenty of room for franchisees to grow in both existing and untapped markets, while introducing Togo's next-generation stores to guests new and old.
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