Building loyal Marco’s Pizza fans, and an empire, in the South Carolina market
Within just five short years of opening his first location in South Carolina, Marco’s Pizza® franchisee Roshan Ayub has already been named Franchisee of the Year and been recognized for exemplary sales growth at our annual convention.
Before becoming a multi-unit franchisee with Marco’s, Roshan had been an established manager and franchisee of the year with Subway. After tasting our fresh and delicious pizza and learning about the potential for growth at Marco’s, however, he moved from Tallahassee to Charleston after purchasing the market area in 2011.
Roshan opened his first Marco’s restaurant in 2012 in Ladson, South Carolina, located about 20 miles from downtown Charleston. By 2014, the Ladson location had the third-highest same-store sales increase in the entire Marco’s system. That momentum, as well as his love for Marco’s, continues to grow. Roshan was also lauded for the highest average sales for two stores or more in 2015 at the recent company-wide convention in San Antonio.
“It was definitely the product that attracted me to Marco’s. I loved it. It’s the taste that stands out — from the made-from-scratch dough and sauce to the cheese. These are the three key ingredients for a great pizza,” says Roshan, who owns three Marco’s Pizza locations personally and oversees a total of six as an area representative, with plans to develop four more in the Charleston metropolitan area.
Marco’s prides itself on its pizza — meticulously handmade in the Italian tradition, using fresh, never-frozen cheeses and dough made fresh in stores daily and featuring only premium meats and vegetables. The brand’s proven business model and sustainable growth have been heralded by the likes of Forbes, Consumer Reports, Nation’s Restaurant News, Franchise Times and Entrepreneur with inclusion of Marco’s Pizza on the Franchise 500 list for 2016. Marco’s has enjoyed stunning nationwide growth iand is on pace to have 1,000 restaurants open by the end of 2017. We have the fastest unit growth, according to Nation’s Restaurant News, which named us to its Top 100 List.
Beyond our world-class product quality, Roshan says that the consistency of excellence at Marco’s, from behind-the-scenes day-to-day operations to face-to-face customer service, stands out in the industry. “Consistent customer service is what I preach to my staff. We have to be consistent. The customer must have the same experience and the same quality and product consistently.”
Metropolitan Charleston loves Marco’s Pizza
Building his Marco’s empire in the Charleston area has turned out to be a lucrative venture, and the local market obviously loves their Marco’s Pizza. Roshan’s Charleston area restaurants were ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction systemwide among all Marco’s locations, according to our new SMG customer service and satisfaction rankings.
“Charleston is a great market. With a population of 700,000, it has the vibe of a big town without the big-town traffic. When I decided to open in Charleston, I also wanted to make sure I didn’t just rely on tourists or have a seasonal business. In Charleston we are able to have year-round business. It spikes a bit in the summer, but it doesn’t go down significantly,” Roshan says.
Roshan also touts the importance of community involvement. “We don’t refuse requests for help, whether they are from a church or a school or a local soccer or football team. Anyone who approaches us, we help in one way or another. That’s our biggest way of connecting with the community.”
Staying connected locally also means working with local businesses and corporations. Roshan recently fulfilled a $1,000 catering order from a customer who works for The Boeing Company, the largest private-sector employer in the region. “She had to feed 300 people, and she had to make a decision about what to serve them. She chose Marco’s Pizza.”
Ease of scalability attracted pizza franchisee to Marco’s
What prompted Roshan to relocate to another state and leave a successful career with Subway to join the Marco’s family? “I was attracted to the opportunity to have the Charleston area to myself and be able to grow it. The Subway growth opportunity was very limited because the markets were very saturated. I also liked that there is only one step up from being a franchisee at Marco’s to becoming an AR,” Roshan says. “With Marco’s I like the ease of scalability and being able to have residual income from the royalty standpoint. I am in a position where I can literally develop the local market.”
He is contracted to develop four more locations, which will be open by end of 2017, for a total of 10 restaurants in the area. Roshan says his restaurants have many regular customers, and his employees often know what those regulars are ordering as soon as they walk in the door. He is in his restaurants daily. “Don’t be an absentee owner. If you’re not going to live, eat and breathe Marco’s, you have to have somebody else as a partner do it for you.”
Roshan was also attracted to the training and development at Marco’s and the commitment at the corporate level to excellence. “What I liked when I first joined Marco’s was the fact that all the corporate guys owned stores, so I felt like they knew what it is like to be in the real world.”
Marco’s has enjoyed stunning nationwide growth in recent years and is on pace to have 1,000 restaurants open by the end of 2017. The dynamic pizza franchise rolled out 113 new franchises in 2015 and has recently announced plans to open 150 more locations in 2016. The industry has taken notice: Marco’s Pizza has the fastest unit growth, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
“Marco’s is a great brand to be a part of. If you have good operations and a good location, the money is there. It can be a long-term future investment for anybody. And the product is great. I tell my family all the time that I am proud to wear my Marco’s logo shirt, and I want people to know I own Marco’s. Over the past five years everyone I have met loves Marco’s, and I feel good about that. I wear my Marco’s shirt more than my regular clothes on any given day.”
Build your success on ours
Founded in Toledo in 1978, Marco’s has become one of the nation’s fastest-growing large pizza franchises. Our homemade recipes and fresh ingredients are in the Italian tradition, and we are the only top 20 pizza franchise in the country that was founded by a native Italian. We are led by veteran pizza executives who have experience growing brands and supporting franchisees as they grow their businesses.
Marco’s Pizza is seeking quality franchisees who are committed to making their franchises places where customers want to buy fresh, delectable pizza — welcoming, friendly individuals who remember customers’ names and are passionate about the Marco’s product. The investment required to start a Marco’s Pizza franchise is typically $350,000. The pizza franchise is looking for people who have a net worth of $350,000 and a minimum liquidity of $100,000.