Fastest-Growing Pizza Franchise in the Country Reaches 500-Store Milestone

Marco’s Pizza ® franchise celebrates opening of 500th store with $50,000 gift for veterans

Marco's Pizza ® franchise is thrilled to reach the 500-store mark.

Marco’s Pizza ® franchise is thrilled to reach the 500-store mark.

Marco’s Pizza ® has reached a big milestone and decided to celebrate in a big way. To celebrate hitting the 500-store mark with the opening of our newest pizza franchise in Wilmington, North Carolina, we launched a charitable initiative for veterans called 500 Strong.

We asked customers to contribute $1 donations in the weeks leading up to the June 14 grand opening of Marco’s Pizza ® at 2305 S. College Road in Wilmington, owned by Area Representative Joe Walker, a veteran himself. The donations were earmarked for USA Cares Jobs Assistance Program, a national nonprofit that provides financial and advocacy assistance to post-9/11 U.S. military families. The unemployment rate for veterans is about double that of the general population, and the Marco’s donations will directly benefit veterans who are seeking employment.

The goal of our 500 Strong initiative is to raise $50,000 to help secure jobs for 500 veterans. We already have hundreds of veterans in the Marco’s system, because we know veterans are a great fit both as franchise owners and as employees. We are a member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran program, through which we offer incentives to veterans who buy a Marco’s Pizza ® franchise.

Marco's celebrated the opening of our 500th pizza franchise by helping raise $50,000 for a veterans charity.

Marco’s celebrated the opening of our 500th pizza franchise by helping raise $50,000 for a veterans charity.

Veterans are particularly well-suited for careers in franchising because much of what they learn during their military service — such as leadership, attention to detail, working as a team and following a structured plan — translates into successful franchise ownership.

Joe Walker spent four years in active duty as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq. When he left the military in 2008, he saw how well his skill set would dovetail with the skills required for successful franchise ownership. Marco’s 500th store will be the 12th under Joe’s purview as Area Representative, and he plans to open three more stores this year. His growth is part of Marco’s fast-tracking expansion.

“Not only are we thrilled to be opening our 500th Marco’s Pizza ® franchise, we’re very happy that we can help contribute to an important cause at the same time,” says Bryon Stephens, Marco’s Pizza ® President and COO. “This is really an exciting time in our brand’s history. We’re expanding across the country and entering new markets. We’re planning to open a total of 200 new stores this year.”

“We share this milestone and our successes with our dedicated franchise partners and their hardworking teams, and of course with our loyal customers.”

Learn more about Marco’s

Founded in Toledo in 1978 by native Italian Pat Giammarco, Marco’s has made a name for itself by producing handmade, Ah!thentic ® Italian pizza. The dough is made fresh in stores daily; the sauce is produced from a special hybrid tomato developed just for Marco’s; the proprietary blend of three cheeses is always fresh, never frozen; and we chop our toppings in the stores and use only premium meats and vegetables.

We are excited about our rapid growth, and there’s never been a better time for the new or experienced investor to join a proven concept. Whether you’re a veteran or an entrepreneur with a passion for working with people, you may be a good fit for Marco’s. If you’d like to join our dynamic and growing company, please fill out the form at right or call us at 1-800-262-7267 to start a conversation. We look forward to hearing from you!