Togo’s Dares Diners With Pastrami Pounder Challenge

Togo’s Sandwiches, a West Coast Original since 1971 serving big, made-to-order sandwiches stuffed with the freshest ingredients, announced they will be holding the “Pastrami Pounder Challenge” in celebration of National Pastrami Day, Saturday, Jan. 14.

Between Jan. 11 – Feb. 21, customers who “pound the Pounder” within the 30-minute timeframe will receive a commemorative Togo’s t-shirt. The Pastrami Pounder is two feet long and features more than a pound of Togo’s premium, hand sliced pastrami.

Food Costs Cramp Menus

Quick-service operators are trying to adapt as commodity costs continue to rise.

Rising commodity costs are threatening to destroy any kind of optimism operators held that they were climbing out of the nation’s economic woes.

The costs present a consistent challenge to Togo’s, for instance, as it plans on opening 50 units in 2012 and develop the franchised concept beyond its 244 stores.

“The rising commodity prices can negatively impact everything we’re trying to do as a brand,” Togo’s vice president of branding and marketing Renae Scott says.

Togo’s Sandwiches Joins “No Kid Hungry” Campaign

More than 17 million kids in America are at risk of hunger, and almost one in four of those children are struggling with hunger today. Togo’s Sandwiches announced it has teamed up with Share Our Strength, a national non-profit with a “No Kid Hungry” strategy to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. All 240 restaurants in California, Nevada, and Oregon will raise funds and increase awareness of this national campaign, while urging its customers to become advocates.

Leveraging Franchisee Diversity

Quick serves could be poised to step up their franchising efforts as soon as the credit market thaws and while available real estate remains cheap. Some experts say that minority-franchisee recruitment will be a particular area of focus, as franchisors pursue the value minorities bring to customer relations, new product innovation, and new markets.

Customers Can Melt Over Togo’s

Togo's Sandwiches, a “West Coast Original” since 1971, announced the introduction of a new limited-time featured sandwich to the Toasted line up: the Lemon Pepper Tuna Melt.

Lemon Pepper Tuna returns each spring, but on March 9th, it returns as a melt with cheddar cheese.

The Lemon Pepper Tuna Melt features 100 percent Albacore tuna seasoned with tangy lemon, cracked black pepper, diced celery, and red onions. It’s topped with melted cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onions, pickles, and pepperoncinis on toasted San Francisco-style sourdough bread.

Togo's Names New VP of Finance

Togo’s Sandwiches, a West Coast chain with more than 240 locations, named Susan Koch vice president of finance.

Koch, who has been with Togo’s since August 1997, was previously director of finance.

“Susan has been a terrific financial steward and executive leader to Togo’s for 14 years,” says Tony Gioia, CEO of Togo’s Eateries. “She has an incredible amount of hands-on experience and historical knowledge throughout her many accomplished years with the company and has always been a steady and dependable leader at Togo’s.”

The Risky Business of New Branding

In 2007, Togo’s, a 242-unit, 40-year-old West Coast sandwich chain, was purchased by San Francisco equity firm Mainsail Partners, which quickly saw a problem.

“Throughout the system there were six logos on the exterior signage,” says Renae Scott, vice president of branding and marketing for Togo’s. “There was no consistent brand representation, which is crucial for a business like this one.”

Togo's Celebrates Pastrami with Guarantee, Coupons

Togo’s Sandwiches announced that in honor of National Pastrami Day, January 14, the company’s Pastrami Guarantee will be returning. Additionally, in celebration of the holiday, the company will be rewarding its Facebook fans with a printable coupon for a free 20-ounce fountain drink with purchase of a 6-inch regular pastrami sandwich valid until January 31.