Marco’s Pizza® Franchise Adds Flavor with New Culinary Senior Director

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Darren Gray brings decades of restaurant culinary innovation to Marco’s Pizza franchise

Marco’s Pizza® Franchise
Darren Gray

In order to keep Marco’s Pizza®   franchise on the cutting edge of fresh and delicious, the company has named Darren Gray as its Senior Director of Menu and Culinary Innovation. An expert with extensive experience in the food and restaurant industry, Darren brings more than 20 years of experience from nationally recognized brands to the Marco’s team.

Darren has a deeply rooted passion and understanding for menu development and culinary innovation. His knack for developing and launching menu items and limited time offers is credited with helping the Fazoli’s restaurant chain accomplish a record-setting 30 consecutive months of same-store sales growth.

During his tenure at Papa John’s, Darren showed off his creativity by taking 22 new pizza concepts from raw ideas to final approvals. He has a bachelor’s degree in food science and nutrition and a master’s in food science and technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“Having spent most of his career working in the restaurant industry, Darren has played an integral role in building menus and culinary effectiveness for several brands,” says Jack Butorac, CEO of Marco’s Pizza®. “His expertise and creativity, especially in pizza and Italian food, will benefit our brand tremendously, taking our already fresh, high-quality ingredients and recipes to an entirely new level.”

Marco’s Pizza® Franchise

As the only national pizza chain founded by a native Italian, Marco’s has made its name in the growing $46 billion pizza industry by producing fresh, Italian-style, handmade pizza. Italian food is famous for its quality and generous servings, and Marco’s prides itself on crafting every pizza in the classic Italian tradition by using fresh ingredients. Ninety-one percent of Americans eat pizza once a month, and more people are increasingly choosing the quality pizza that’s synonymous with Marco’s.

Marco’s Pizza® Franchise
Competing chains, such as Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Little Caesars, have saturated their markets with tens of thousands of locations, but Marco’s Pizza® franchise has ideal locations available for new restaurants and is quickly gaining market share in the $46 billion annual U.S. pizza market.

“The possibilities with Marco’s Pizza are endless,” Darren says. “The brand has an incredible story — beginning with its native Italian founder, Pat Giammarco, and his mandate to never compromise on products, to stick true to high standards of freshness, flavor and quality. As the senior director of menu and culinary innovation, it’s my goal to align menu and culinary development with the Marco’s Pizza® brand of Ah!thentic Italian to create unique and craveable new products that will differentiate the brand from other food industry concepts.”

Because of Marco’s strong corporate backing, ability to take market share, its Italian food standards and its people, the Marco’s Pizza franchise system took less than five years to more than double in size. As a result, Marco’s Pizza has received high praise from Entrepreneur magazine and AllBusiness.com, which ranked Marco’s in the top 10 Allstar franchise systems. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza ranked as No. 2 on the Nation’s Restaurant News’  Second 100 list of Top 10 Newcomers.

Join America’s fastest-growing pizza franchise!

Clearly, Americans love good pizza, and Marco’s Pizza® franchise has stayed ahead of the curve. We’re the fastest-growing pizza franchise in the country today: We have more than 500 stores in the U.S., and we have another 1,000 stores in development. Would you like to learn more about becoming a part of our growing brand?

Please fill out the form at right or click here to start a conversation — and go ahead and check out our Facebook page and Twitter!


If you’re dreaming of owning a pizza franchise, or even several at once, Marco’s may be the perfect place for you to thrive.

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