You know when you find something that seems so simple that you can’t believe you hadn’t come up with it yourself? Given how over-saturated the markets are with sandwich shops—most of which claim to offer something special—it makes complete sense that at the end of the day, a lot of people just want a really good, down-to-earth sandwich with fresh ingredients. And that’s exactly what has helped Togo’s stand out from the pack.
Togo’s first opened in a small sandwich shack in San Jose in 1971. With the demand for made-to-order sandwiches quickly rising, Togo’s opened a second location in 1974 before beginning to franchise in the late ‘70s. Since then, the sandwich chain has expanded its brand while maintaining an approachable, friendly vibe and continuing to serve delicious sandwiches with quality, fresh ingredients. Today, there are nearly 300 Togo’s locations that are either open or under development.
Togo’s is one of those rare brands that has a product so popular and well received that it’s kept the sandwich chain thriving for decades by simply staying true to itself. For many of Togo’s customers, the brand’s popular sandwiches have remained an important staple over the years. And as a testament to how much the city of Sacramento values Togo’s presence on the West Coast, Sacramento Magazine recently named Togo’s this year’s best sandwich shop.
"Across the board, we have an exceptional group of franchisees who work very hard to uphold the integrity of the Togo's brand,” says Tony Gioia, Togo’s chairman & CEO. “As a group, Sacramento has done an exceptional job implementing our model's processes, from the training to the way the restaurants look. Sacramento sets the gold standard for guest experience, which has resulted in a loyal customer base and great sales."
Representative of Togos’ growing popularity, long-time fans of the Sacramento shops took to the brand’s Facebook page to share their favorite Togo’s memories.
A longtime fan, Fred Klasinki, says Togo’s has been an important presence in his family’s life for years. “I can actually remember paying $3.65 for a family size of our favorite sandwich, the #16,” writes Klasinki. “About 15 years later, our firstborn son went to work at Togo’s, where he worked with (and eventually married) the girl of his dreams. Fast forward 16 years and they’ve got two children of their own. Their anniversary gifts still come wrapped in Togo’s paper.”
Sharon Hicks-Lockett, another dedicated Togo’s fan, also expressed her appreciation for the brand.
“My best memory in the ‘80s is standing in long lines for the best turkey, avocado, pepperoncini, tomato (hold the lettuce) sandwich,” Hicks-Lockett wrote. “It was to die for!”
"It's the little details that make the Sacramento market perform so well, like welcoming crew members who engage with guests, food orders being made to spec and clean bathrooms. I believe it’s because of our Sacramento franchisees' leadership and engagement that Togo's was recognized as the best restaurant sandwich shop in the city," says Gioia.