Marco’s Pizza achieving record sales amidst pandemic

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Marco’s franchises have been breaking sales records week after week in the most challenging economy we’ve ever faced

A photo of a front door, set against a red background with the banner #SliceOfLove in the lower right-hand corner. Handmade signs on the door read, “Thank you for delivering dinner!!! We appreciate you, Marco’s Pizza! You rock!” and other words of encouragement.
When our Chief of Operations Tim Brown joined an employee in Alabama for some pizza deliveries, it was the customer who delivered a smile to us with this sign.

It’s always nice to increase sales, but when it happens in the middle of a pandemic, it’s especially exciting. That’s what Marco’s franchises have been doing week after week as we pivoted away from dining-in sales altogether and focused on new ways to execute our carryout and delivery services.

“We’ve seen multiple record-setting weeks, and I’m not talking by small amounts,” President Tony Libardi told Pizza Marketplace recently. “I mean, we have done very, very well as a brand overall, through this crisis.”

Here’s why we think we’ve seen this kind of performance:

  • Increased demand for pizza delivery
  • Stimulus checks giving people a bit of splurge money
  • Rapid operational improvements to assure customers’ safety

Chief of Operations Tim Brown says that when coronavirus started to spread in the U.S., Marco’s franchises had to act quickly.

“We had to move at the speed of light to pivot and accommodate consumer expectations for what delivery looks like now, for what pick-up looks like now in a restaurant. The government was trying to move fast on setting guidelines on social distancing and closing down dining room areas.”

TIM BROWN
TIM BROWN

While restaurants have begun to re-open their dining rooms, many with social distancing guidelines in place, some were not able to survive the restrictions caused by the global pandemic. Like many delivery-centric restaurants, Marco’s was already positioned better than most to step up to the challenges of contact-free delivery and carryout.

Step 1 was putting in place a special COVID Task Force, headed by Brown’s Vice President of Company Store Operations. The Task Force provided daily reports to the franchising team on how quickly the virus was spreading, where the hot spots were and how officials were responding in terms of operational guidelines for businesses.

“We were fortunate to fall into the category of being an essential business because we do home delivery for food and can handle pickup very easily,” Brown says. “That was critical.”

Increasing communications with franchisees was also key to executing a successful operational plan. Marco’s communicates daily with store managers and franchisees about operations tactics such as utilizing Google Pay and Apple Pay, implementing stronger sanitation protocols, and providing signage about the changes customers could expect. 

“The first few weeks of this pandemic we took a significant hit, just like every other restaurateur in the country,” Brown says. “Some pivoted more quickly and more effectively than others, I think we’re in that category.”

With Marco’s swift response to a rapidly changing world, customers have been showing their gratitude. “We’ve had record sales,” Brown says. “Other records we’re setting right now are how well our customers are perceiving us: We’re setting record levels of super-high scores on cleanliness and good hygiene, overall service times, even our value numbers have gone up.”

Through all of this, keeping our franchisees and their teams safe and making sure they’re healthy has been our No. 1 priority. And they, in turn, have been keeping that concern top of mind for our customers, feeding health care workers and contributing to the needy in their communities all across the nation

“It’s critical that we give credit to every department, everybody who works for Marco’s, from operations to finance to our supply chain managers,” says Brown. “There has just been a great herculean effort on the part of everybody in the brand to row in the same direction for a common goal. To make this brand the best brand it can be.”

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