1,000th location was a close call among veteran and new franchisees. Two of our newest owners ultimately won the race to open our milestone store
Just in time for National Pizza Month, Marco’s Pizza announces the launch of a month-long celebration to honor its milestone 1,000th store slated to open in late October. Our leading pizza franchise is offering pizza promotions to customers, with 30% off all menu-price pizzas ordered online and via the app for carryout and delivery during the first three Mondays in October in honor of National Pizza Month. And to celebrate the official 1,000th opening, the brand will debut a special 50% off pizza promotion for one day only, Oct. 26, at participating locations across the country. Marco’s will also be conducting a series of “surprise and delights” to team members, with $1,000 cash rewards as a thank-you for playing a significant role in the journey to 1,000 locations.
Marco’s path to 1,000 charts an incredible journey — starting with native Italian founder Pat Giammarco and a dream of creating a pizza brand and leading to CEO Jack Butorac, who discovered and built upon a wonderful growth opportunity. From a driver who’s been delivering smiles for 30 years, to a couple who met and will marry at Marco’s. From the 500th store opened by veteran Joe Walker in South Carolina to Edgardo Beniquez Santiago and Luisaliz Rivera, co-owners of the 900th location in Puerto Rico, to the immigrant entrepreneurs slated to open this milestone 1,000th location, Marco’s people and their commitment to hospitality earned them the title of most-loved and most-trusted pizza brand, according to the 2019 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study. And, of course, it’s about the guests, who make Delivering Memories the brand’s greatest reward as we strive to make a positive difference in the communities we serve.
“Reaching this significant growth milestone is cause for celebration,” says Tony Libardi, President & COO of Marco’s Pizza. “As a people-first organization, we wanted to celebrate this achievement with those who have helped us throughout our journey. This people-first mentality has been the secret to our long-term success — it’s our passionate franchisees, dedicated team members and loyal customers who have propelled this brand to greatness. We’ve built an incredible culture and look forward to the growth opportunities that lie ahead in our journey to the next 1,000.”
The flagship 1,000th location was a close timeline among a diverse group of franchisees, including:
- Kattya Barbaran and Rafi Vargas and their Kissimmee, Fla., location. Each of them immigrated to the United States with the dream of owning their own business one day and providing a future for their respective families. As a general manager for Marco’s, Kattya has a passion for training and growing people. Rafi, a regional director for Marco’s, has always dreamt of being an entrepreneur.
- Travis Davis and his Buda, Texas, location. He and his partners also own almost 50 Sonic® Drive-In locations and came to Marco’s to grow and diversify their portfolio. He believes in creating a path to ownership for his general managers.
- Brandon Hudson and Damion Mason and their location in Richmond, Va. They were fraternity brothers at Virginia State University and have partnered together on several business ventures including Marco’s Pizza. These two see tremendous potential in the brand and want to help diversify the franchisee base.
- Stephanie Moseley and her Yorktown, Va., location. As a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Stephanie has brought grit and determination to her Marco’s franchise. She credits much of her success to finding the right, experienced general manager who understood her vision to round out her team.
Ultimately, the numbers played out with Barbaran and Vargas’ Kissimmee, Fla., store as the official milestone location.
“This year has been a difficult one for many of our team members, customers and communities. Rafi and I feel very blessed to be able to fulfill our dream and give back to the Marco’s family in the process,” says Barbaran.
Throughout the pandemic, Marco’s has remained committed to growth — opening 51 stores thus far in 2020, with upwards of 80 locations overall expected to open this year. Plus, we have 89 new store commitments in the pipeline and have recorded historic sales milestones, all while supporting communities nationwide via our ‘You Can Count on Marco’s Pizza’ commitment.
The pandemic also accelerated several innovations and pilot programs, including the opening of ghost kitchens in several strategic markets, rapid expansion of third-party delivery and testing of robotic kitchen innovations that improve efficiencies without compromising pizza quality or craftmanship. Marco’s is committed to the future and beyond as the company continues to push forward with new openings and signed agreements during the COVID era.
“This is a very proud moment,” says CEO Jack Butorac, a 40-year restaurant industry veteran who came out of retirement to build Marco’s Pizza. “I remember in my early conversations with Founder Pat [Giammarco] saying, ‘You have a 1,000-store concept here.’ And now, amid a pandemic, the brand is about to achieve this amazing milestone while experiencing record-breaking sales. It has been an incredible journey, and I cannot wait to hit 1,500!”
Marco’s is the only national pizza franchise founded by a native Italian. Our leading pizza franchise has carved out a niche in the industry for authentic Italian quality pizza, known for fresh dough made in-store daily, our signature three-cheese blend and a secret original pizza sauce recipe from founder Pat Giammarco.
Opening a new store every three and a half days on average, the top 50% of our franchised stores generated $918,047 AUV for 2019.*
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