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No Free Lunch

Hard work is a key ingredient for the owners of four Togo's stores.

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This story appears in the October 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

After 18 years of working for AT&T doing various technical jobs, Chris Lindner witnessed a company shake-up, which led to the breakup of the AT&T offices and made him realize it was time for a career change. The good news: With some of the money he got from his voluntary retirement package, he was able to pursue his childhood dream of business ownership. In 1987, Chris, 53, and his wife, Joan, 51, purchased a Togo's franchise in Fountain Valley, California, for $125,000.

Over the years, the couple opened three more locations in Southern California, including two co-branded Togo's and Baskin Robbins franchises in Corona and Huntington Beach, and a stand-alone Togo's in Corona.

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