What Makes Togo’s Different?
Our sandwiches are bigger, and so are our sales
How do you define value? If you’re a guest, you can define value as “the least expensive” or you can define it as “the best.” As someone considering investing in a franchise restaurant, you have the same choice. Togo’s startup costs range from $239,700 to $543,200, a modest sum for a fast-casual restaurant, and our average unit volume is above average for the segment. Our same-store sales have grown for six consecutive years, and our experienced management team continues to refine the business model, finding new ways to maximize revenue and the bottom line
What sets Togo’s apart for guests?
Togo’s sets itself apart from other sub franchises by offering big, fresh, meaty sandwiches and one-on-one service — both of which guests enjoy.
A typical Togo’s sandwich is stuffed with meats and cheeses, which gives our sandwiches a high protein content that satisfies the biggest appetites. The generous serving makes our sandwiches big, juicy, and savory.
We also use top-tier fresh ingredients that burst with flavor. For instance, our premium pastrami is made using beef knuckle, a cut of meat that is renowned for its leanness, beefy flavor and our own blend of proprietary spices. Does it cost a little extra? Yes. Do guests notice the difference and love us for it? Goodness, yes.
We’re picky about our ingredients — whether we’re talking about premium pastrami, fresh Haas avocados smashed daily in the kitchen, low-sodium turkey breast, all-natural chicken without antibiotics or preservatives, or artisan bread. The quality of our ingredients and the flavor they impart are some of the reasons guests are so picky about getting their sandwiches at Togo’s. They know they’ll be eating something special, and they’re willing to pay a little more for that quality.
“How do you set yourself apart in the restaurant business? The simple answer is that you give guests the best value, and that’s not just about price,” says Chairman and CEO Tony Gioia. “It’s about the quality and freshness of the food you are offering, how the menu is set up, giving people choices, and providing an outstanding guest experience.”
He continues: “What is the ambience? How do you feel when you visit? What is the emotional connection your guests have with the food and the restaurant? Of course, price matters, too. Ultimately, you need to pick two or three things and be the best at those in your category. For us, it’s big, fresh, meaty sandwiches and laid-back, one-on-one service. That is the heart of the guest experience, and everything we do is about bringing that guest experience to life.”
What sets us apart for franchise candidates?
Togo’s puts huge emphasis on training, because exceptional service is a big part of what makes our sub shop franchises special. Our Chief Operating Officer Jim Peros has been part of the leadership teams of IHOP and Taco Bell — two of the biggest franchise brands in the restaurant industry — and brings operational and franchise support expertise that is unheard of for a smaller, close-knit brand like Togo’s. Franchisees can expect regular contact from business consultants who will help them and their managers look for ways to improve operations and boost financial performance.
At the same time, Togo’s uses its company-owned and operated restaurants as a laboratory. As new limited-time-offer menu items are being developed, Togo’s will check to see how easy it is to stock ingredients and prepare the items in its restaurants. Is there room to stock the necessary ingredients, even in smaller refrigerators? Does the item require too much prep space? Here’s another example: Togo’s recently tested new labor models in its restaurants to see if it could cut down on hourly labor costs without impacting service. It’s one of many efforts that are constantly underway to increase profitability for franchisees. If an idea from Togo’s management doesn’t work out, our company restaurants take the bumps and bruises. When an idea is a success, we share it with all our franchisees.
“There is a lot of sandwich competition out there, but there aren’t many that do it like Togo’s,” Tony says. “Lots of chains are imitating each other, but nobody does big, fresh, meaty sandwiches and one-on-one service like Togo’s.”