Togo’s franchisee Travis Grubb attributes his success to being dedicated to all aspects of his three locations. Having focused on and invested specifically in marketing, Grubb’s business has grown year over year since he opened his first Togo’s location in 2007. Togo’s took notice, awarding Grubb the Franchisee of the Year at the company’s annual convention.
After working with Togo’s corporate for 25 years, Grubb saw an opportunity to stay with the company, but on a more autonomous level.
“I think many people have a little bit of a dream to own their own business,” he says. “And the product quality and abundance was something to be proud of. When we produce our product for our guests, it looks like the pictures. When you lay a foundation like that, as long as you’re operating properly, it’s a recipe for success.”
Unsurprisingly, Grubb has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to positive business practices. Like any other business owner, years of overcoming challenges has led to absorbing some beneficial lessons along the way.
“I realized that it’s not about the restaurant business,” explained Grubb. “It’s the people. If I’m not taking care of myself, my family, my health, trying to be a good person and setting a good example, who am I to be the leader in my own restaurant? And then I manage and enforce the golden rule among my employees. If you take care of yourself and your employees, your guests will be taken care of, too.”
Grubb also stresses the importance of evolving in order to rise above and survive the challenges facing the franchising industry today.
“I feel like it’s human nature to not want to change. But we have a different customer group coming up. Millennials look at things differently than us and we have to pay attention to that or we’re not going to capture these new customers. Since so many in the industry see change as a negative thing, I try to use the word evolve instead. People get complacent. It’s not just about ‘am I going to make more than I made the year before?’ I look at it more as survival.”
When it comes to being a successful business operator on the actual, brick-and-mortar level, Grubb says it’s all about showing up and being able (and willing) to wear multiple hats. Developing relationships with both his employees and customers gives Grubb a good idea about where his focus needs to shift that day, month, or even year.
“At the turn of this year, I decided to wake up every morning and force myself to put on my marketing hat,” explains Grubb. “I’ve developed a pretty positive system and Togo’s has recognized that.”
Togo’s corporate has been reaching out to Grubb to learn more about his systems, which have led to his year over year success.
As for now, Grubb is sticking true to what’s worked for him in the past: focusing on how to best run his existing locations before committing to opening a new one.
“While I’m not against opening a new location, I’m not quite ready because there’s still more I want to accomplish at my current restaurants,” Grubb said.
It’s that type of dedication to each of his restaurants, and realistically taking stock of his own bandwidth, that makes Grubb such a valuable franchisee for the Togo’s concept.