WHY I BOUGHT
Togo’s New 3.0 Model Gets Rave Reviews from Longtime Franchisee Dan Pearson
The veteran franchisee was so impressed by Togo’s new 3.0 model that he put his retirement plans on hold.
Longtime Togo’s franchisee Dan Pearson thought about selling his San Jose store at some point in the next two years and retiring, but after seeing the success of the brand’s remodel, he had a major change of heart.
The remodel, named Togo’s 3.0, started earlier this year with three California stores and will continue to transform the rest of the franchise’s stores in 2020. As a brand that has always prided itself on offering fresh, high-quality food, it was important to Togo’s to keep up with the changing consumer landscape. It needed to appeal to both longtime customers and younger, newer customers.
The remodel includes a revamped sandwich-making process that follows a speed line style. Guests can order at either the self-service kiosk or a cashier. The remodel also involves using more white lighting throughout the stores and brighter flooring. The color scheme involves white walls that have orange accents and bright blue tiles. All features contribute to an elevated experience for new and longtime customers alike.
Pearson started his Togo’s journey long before this year’s 3.0 remodel—he worked as an employee on a part-time basis starting in 1974 and later dropped out of college to open a Togo’s in Dublin, California in 1977. Over the years, he’s owned and operated 16 of the brand’s stores. Today, he owns and operates three stores: two in San Leandro, which he still plans to sell, and one in San Jose, which he first opened in 1979. At 66, Pearson has been contemplating retirement, but the impact of the 3.0 remodel re-energized his enthusiasm for the brand and convinced him to hold onto his San Jose store.
“My San Jose store has been remodeled over the years, but nothing like what we’ve done now,” Pearson said. “There’s been a huge change in the operating system and a huge upgrade that will launch this brand forward. I want to be part of that.”
Pearson’s favorite features of the remodel include the lower counter, which has a glass partition that allows customers to see their sandwiches being made.
“The way the food’s made and displayed is just amazing,” he said.
What’s more, he noticed a very positive reaction from longtime customers after his store reopened under the new model on November 16. Not only were they excited to have their beloved store back after being closed for 12 days during the remodel, but they were also thrilled with the new look.
“They come to the door and you see them go ‘Wow,’” he said. “They’re very impressed and love how the store is so much brighter and more colorful than past designs. The 3.0 model is not just a coat of paint. It’s a huge change and just an amazing transformation.”
Pearson approves of the remodel and believes it’s a huge step in the right direction for Togo’s.
“Guests are always looking for the latest and greatest thing, and as an older brand, they perceived Togo’s as maybe not being the latest and greatest,” he said. “With one stroke, we’ve surpassed their expectations and provided a different look that will take our brand into the next era.”
The proof is also in the numbers. The changes are having a positive effect on sales at Pearson’s San Jose store.
“Sales, generally, have gone up with the remodel and we’ve seen a big increase in our night business,” he said. “Our lunch crowd does a lot of takeout, but at night, we tend to get more families. Thanks to the more inviting atmosphere of the 3.0 model, customers are sticking around and sitting down and enjoying the atmosphere.”
Togo’s stores throughout the system will go through the remodel at different timelines. Pearson anticipates that franchisees will be happy with the results thanks to the increased efficiencies.
“It’s so much easier to make the sandwiches now,” Pearson said. “It’s easier to catch mistakes. Nobody likes their food being made wrong and we don’t really have that kind of issue anymore.”
Bottom line: Pearson is thrilled with the remodel and his decision to hang onto his San Jose store.
“This remodel is going to be transformative for the brand and take us to positions we haven’t been in before,” he said. “It’s what’s going to bring Togo’s back, and franchisees who go through this remodel will be happy with what they’ve done and the direction their business takes.”
ABOUT TOGO’S EATERIES, LLC
Togo's Sandwiches was founded in 1971 in San Jose, California, by a young college student with a large appetite and little money who was looking to make sandwiches the way he liked them — big, fresh and meaty. Today, that spirit of the founder and the original sandwich shop continues. Like the first days of the brand, Togo's products are still made with only the highest quality ingredients, including fresh artisan breads, hand sliced premium pastrami, turkey and roast beef, as well as Hass avocados hand-mashed in-house daily. Togo's is a franchised business that offers entrepreneurs a terrific opportunity to own their own business. With nearly 200 locations open and under development throughout the West, the brand is a restaurant staying ahead of the pack. For more information, to find your closest Togo’s location, or to order online, please visit www.togos.com.