Expansion under way in Saudi Arabia, Africa and Asia
America’s hunger for authentic Italian pizza flavor has made Marco’s Pizza ® the fastest-growing pizza franchise in the United States. Now Marco’s is rapidly expanding internationally to meet growing demand in other countries.
“Our international expansion is taking off, with deals pending in Saudi Arabia, Africa and Asia. We’re really beefing up our infrastructure and support systems to keep stride with all the growth,” says Cameron Cummins, Marco’s vice president of marketing and recruiting.
Marco’s ambitious international expansion plans are creating opportunities for franchisees. In India alone, Marco’s Pizza ® multi-unit franchise owner and area developer DJ Patel is pursuing plans to open 400 locations in that country of 1.25 billion people.
Marco’s Pizza ® and international markets are a perfect match, and the number of franchises is expected to grow quickly, just as it has in the United States — where Marco’s is approaching its target of having 1,000 stores by the end of 2016. The pace of growth in the U.S. is exceeding projections by 40%, putting the company on track to achieve its goal of becoming the country’s fourth-largest pizza chain.
Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s wealthiest countries, has a population of 28.7 million people. Africa has a population of 1.1 billion, and across Asia there is a population of 4.4 billion people. Around the world, middle-class populations are growing, and their newly earned disposable income is creating opportunities for U.S. restaurant chains.
These new consumers have a taste for foods beyond their native fare and are especially attracted to American quick-service restaurants, according to industry analyst Technomic.
“Upward mobility is occurring in the middle classes, from Indonesia to Turkey to South Africa to Mexico,” Technomic says in a report on international markets.
Marco’s Pizza ® franchise’s international franchisees are part of a huge trend that is growing even bigger. Within five years, the global franchise industry will be worth $5 trillion, says Beth Solomon, president of strategic initiatives and industry relations for the International Franchise Association.
American quick-service franchises have a real advantage in many countries where consumers are eager to embrace American brands and customs. American brands are highly respected in many countries and represent safe, superior and healthy food, she says.
“These quick-service American brands give people in these countries a chance to taste it, feel it, see it, walk into the store,” she says. “They can experience American culture in a very direct way.”
Like Americans, consumers around the world are increasingly demanding authentic, real food, and every Marco’s pizza is prepared this way. Our dough is made fresh in Marco’s stores every day, using flour made from high-protein spring wheat grown in Minnesota. Marco’s sauce is made from a hybrid tomato specially developed for us. This tomato is a blend of our three favorite varieties and produces the perfect pizza sauce.
Some pizza chains may cut corners and use frozen cheeses and pre-chopped toppings, but not Marco’s Pizza ® franchise. Our cheese is never frozen, and we always slice our veggies in the kitchen every day. We also use only premium, thick-cut meats from the highest-quality suppliers, including two types of pepperoni and meatball-sized sweet Italian sausage.