Sandwiches with a side of security

by Windstream
January 14, 2018

Growing restaurant chain keeps customer data safe with comprehensive franchise solution

Togo’s, the fast-growing West coast sandwich chain, understands that keeping customer data safe is critical to maintaining a strong brand reputation. The challenge was ensuring PCI compliance across franchise locations, where a single data breach could negatively impact the entire organization. Facing booming franchise opportunities, Togo’s needed a comprehensive and cost-effective solution to enforce and manage PCI compliance across their franchisee footprint and protect and support their growing business for years to come.

Getting compliant and protecting the brand nationwide

For Togo’s, the immediate goal was to get all franchise locations PCI compliant
while providing support to franchise owners throughout the process.

As a franchisor, we have a responsibility to every franchisee to make sure they’re doing things the right way. We needed a program in place that would help them achieve compliance, provide uniformity across the brand, and provide validation to corporate [that] the program was working,

explains Mike Pennington, Togo’s Director of IT.

With a small IT team and limited resources, Togo’s sought out a provider that could meet their end-to-end needs and simplify program enrollment, implementation and management. “We wanted a single partner with an all-inclusive solution that could do everything versus a piecemeal solution with multiple vendors that would be complex to manage,” says Pennington. A comprehensive solution and dedicated support is exactly what Togo’s found in their partnership with Windstream Enterprise.

Franchise Program fits the bill

Working closely with the Togo’s IT team to identify goals and priorities, Windstream Enterprise implemented a turnkey solution that ticked all the boxes, and more. The fully managed Windstream Enterprise Franchise Program includes PCI-compliant managed firewalls for data and financial breach protection, a franchisee enrollment site, comprehensive training and dedicated support to help franchisees implement, achieve and maintain PCI compliance. It also includes Secure WiFi with custom splash pages to connect guests and drive a strong, consistent customer experience. “We evaluated a lot of options,” Pennington explains.

Windstream’s solution is unique; there wasn’t anybody else with the kind of comprehensive solution we were looking for.

Mike Pennington Director of IT, Togo’s Franchisor, LLC

Togo’s sees benefits business-wide

Togo’s and Windstream Enterprise were committed to getting the Franchise Program up and running with minimal day-to-day disruption. “We needed to be able to rely on our partner to really be our eyes and ears, and manage the process, and get things in place for us with our franchisees,” Pennington says, noting that Windstream Enterprise provided dedicated resources from enrollment to installation and beyond. “Having Windstream attend meetings helped our franchise owners understand the need for PCI compliance, the reasons it was being put in place, and how it benefits them and not only the company,” says Pennington. “Having that support as we rolled it out was crucial to making it successful.”

As a result of the dedicated partnership, the majority of Togo’s 300+ stores were protected within several months, exceeding all client expectations. For Pennington and his IT team, the key benefits of choosing Windstream Enterprise were clear. “First, the comfort that comes with having this level of security, reducing the risk of breach and having our name in the news for the wrong reasons. Second was Windstream’s support educating our franchisees and rolling the program out. We couldn’t have done it alone.”

Gearing up for a great future

Today, Togo’s considers Windstream Enterprise to be an extension of their expanding business, and as a partner they can grow with and count on for solutions like voice and Internet across all locations. “The simplification and standardization we’re able to put in place with this type of program will be essential as we start doing more with technology to drive sales in our stores,” says Pennington.

With Windstream, it’s going to be easier to implement everything going forward.

Mike Pennington Director of IT, Togo’s Franchisor, LLC