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Togo’s wants to reintroduce itself to the Inland Empire

By in Press Enterprise on October 10, 2017

By Fielding Buck

Togo’s Eateries is looking to grow in San Bernardino County, but the sandwich restaurant is changing some longtime features, from its menu to preparation to paying the check.

The sandwich chain is seeking Inland franchisees as it reinvents itself, according to Micheal Norcup, vice president of franchise sales.

“Every so often you’ve got to take the next step up,” he said in a phone interview.

Togo’s got its start in San Jose in 1971 and since then has grown, contracted and changed owners. While it was part of Dunkin’ Brands a decade ago, it reached 350 stores, according to reports. Now it claims nearly 300.

Togo’s has a large presence in Orange County but only a few of locations in the Inland Empire, in Corona, San Bernardino and Fontana.

In June, the company assumed new leadership under Glenn Lunde with the retirement of its longtime head, Tony Gioia. At the same time, it began revamping its menu. It currently has a promotion with sriracha melts.

Togo’s specializes in hot and cold deli sandwiches made to order with choice of bread. Its menu boards feature numbered items — but they aren’t organized numerically. The chain is updating the look and the feel to make it easier for customers to find what they want.

“We simplified a lot of the menu for, one, the franchisees and, two, the guests,” Norcup said. “We’ve updated the look and the feel and the simplicity of making the product as well.”

A simpler menu makes ordering faster and makes it easier for franchisees to train employees, Norcup said.

But that isn’t all. Norcup said Togo’s restaurants will be going from a pay-at-the-end system to paying upfront in a few weeks. Customers won’t be required to participate in the “make line,” with “less of the hundred questions to get your sandwich made.”

The changes will appeal to […]    

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