Togo’s, a “West Coast Original” since 1971 serving up big, made-to-order sandwiches stuffed with the freshest ingredients, is aggressively targeting Oregon for expansion.

The San Jose, California–based sandwich chain has fueled its development plans based on the recent success of its Oregon franchisees.

Togo’s aims to open 25–30 restaurants throughout Oregon in cities such as Portland, Eugene, Hillsboro, Bend, Medford, Salem, Klamath Falls, as well as Vancouver, Washington, over the next several years. 

The new development strategy comes on the heels of strong growth for Togo’s through the third quarter of 2012.

Togo’s currently has five restaurants in Oregon and sees the state’s new and current franchisees as critical to the chain’s future success.

The brand has already signed deals for three new restaurants scheduled to open in Oregon this year, including a second location in Bend on October 22, and two locations in Eugene, scheduled to open November 16 and December 7.

Five additional openings are planned for 2013 in Medford, Eugene, Bend, and Hillsboro—with many more in the pipeline.

“Franchisees are the backbone of Togo’s future growth. It’s because of our successful business partners—and the Togo’s guests that love our great food—that we can aim for such aggressive expansion in the region,” says Tony Gioia, chairman and CEO of Togo’s Holdings. “We’re celebrating eight consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases, leading to a growing interest from new franchisees to join the Togo’s family, as well as a desire from existing franchisees in opening third or even fourth locations.”

Togo’s franchisee Chris Martin, of Corvallis, Oregon, currently owns and operates three restaurants in Bend and Corvallis, with plans to open two additional locations.

“There’s never been a better time to be a Togo’s franchisee. Opening a Togo’s has a low start-up cost and has one of the strongest sales-to-investment ratios in the sandwich segment,” Martin says. “It’s an ideal business opportunity for new and existing franchisees.

“And guests are thrilled with the products we serve,” he continues. “I hear how much they love Togo’s fresh, superior-quality ingredients and meats. Many of my customers grew up with Togo’s, while others are new to our brand, but all agree Togo’s stands out among other sandwich shops.”

Forbes recently named Portland one of the top 10 metros for eating out, and Togo’s is actively recruiting passionate single and multiunit operators in the city. 

As part of its 40-year anniversary, Togo’s announced its plans to grow the brand to 400 restaurants by 2015. 

Most recently, Togo’s formed a $15 million fund to fuel its development in 2012 and beyond. With this funding, both new and existing qualified Togo’s franchisees will have access to $5 million to build new restaurants and $10 million for transfers.

At Togo’s, 51 percent of its traditional restaurants operating for a full 12 months in 2010 experienced average unit sales in excess of $600,000, with 25 percent over $800,000. T

o become a part of the Togo’s team, candidates should possess a liquidity of $150,000 for a single restaurant and a net worth of $300,000.

Area developers looking to invest in three or more restaurants should have a liquidity of $450,000 and a net worth of $900,000. Special incentives are available for qualified franchisees interested in opening three or more restaurants.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Togo's