Lust.......okay it's really a post about Togo's

Ugh make it stop raining so my drive home doesn't suck. Feeling out of sorts. Looking forward to a few days of not seeing anyone. Not in an anti-social way, just need a break from seeing too many shows.

Do you remember when Togo's used to be good? Before they started weighing everything and I could order a No.17 which was better than a No.16, and oil would be squirted on there, and everything was everything on it. Do they still time the staff in making the sandwiches contests, 'cause my guy was hella slow..... What happened to my beloved Togo's??

Still tastes good, just now more expensive, muddled brand identity, smaller servings of veggies and meat...guess that's what happens when an East Coast company (Dunkin" Donut's) buys into a West Coast concept.

I wrote them this quick email:

To whom it may concern:

Today, Feb. 11th, 2005, I went to the Togo's for the first time in months and the service was friendly and my sandwich (a No.30) tasted great. So far so good, right? Well no. I'm worried about what has happened to Togo's in the last couple years. This location used to be packed any weekday between 11-2 pm. Now at 12:30 pm there were three customers and I have noticed the same changes in other parts of Southern California. Even though the quality of ingredients seems as high as before, the quality of the Togo’s experience has diminished greatly resulting in smaller amounts of customers.

I’ve seen many changes at Togo’s in direct response to Quzinos entering the Los Angeles market which might have a direct effect on your customer levels. Togo’s has tried out multiple types of breads, thinned out the sandwich choices, and started weighing out ingredients. Some of these ideas remain while some have been altered or discontinued.

Now I know some of these changes that have harmed my Togo’s experience lately. It became less of a value, less of a selection, and less of a brand compared to its original reputation of always having better ingredients, with more value, greater choices and faster service.

In terms of service, I’ve noticed the employees seem to be missing the fun that was part of the Togo’s brand. The metaphor that best describes how the Togo’s experience used to be is of going into a Starbucks today and getting a high quality product with quick, well trained staff, wanting to produce a product that was customized and met the customer’s expectation. These customers are willing to pay for their premium coffee and that premium experience that Togo’s once had with premium, yet reasonably priced sandwiches. Years ago, I made a point to expose friends and co-workers to Togo’s after hearing that they wanted a sandwich for lunch and suggested Subway. I would jump in and tell them all the reasons (quality, service, size of sandwiches, freshness, selection, soups, etc) and never had a disappointed friend. Now, I’m unsure if I could make that same argument convincingly.

In conclusion, I believe that the Togo’s brand has been greatly hurt by this simplification of the menu and processes, and at some point went from a “deli-style” experience to a “sub-par style” experience and I hope that changes soon.

Sincerely,

Robert Dean XXXXXXXX
(xxx = last name, not kisses...or is it hugs?)

I'll let you know if they respond. Maybe a generic letter with a coupon, but I'm serious about this.

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