• Kal Gullapalli is the franchisee behind the 1,100th Marco’s Pizza location opening this month in Dundee, Florida.
  • Multi-unit growth continues to play a strategic role in Marco’s nationwide expansion plans.

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Kal Gullapalli spent seven years on Wall Street before transitioning to entrepreneurship in 2016. Now he’s the franchisee behind Marco’s Pizza’s 1,100th location, set to open this month in Dundee, Florida.

Gullapapalli joined Marco’s in 2021 and has opened 35 stores, with seven more in various stages of development. The Dundee location will be his 36th, and he has committed to opening another 16 stores across Tampa, Columbia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Georgia. His goal: 100-plus stores by 2025.

Multi-unit growth continues to play a strategic role in Marco’s expansion, with nearly half of its current franchise network made up of multi-unit operators. The brand expects to achieve $1 billion in annual systemwide sales this year.

Marco’s has more than 200 stores in various stages of development across the U.S. and has set a goal of 1,500 units by the end of 2023.

The chain has said it plans to invest millions of dollars in technology innovations over the next few years, including AI-enabled voice-to-text ordering and automated promise times; integration with third-party delivery services; migrating to a 100% cloud-based order management system; and testing automated kitchen systems and new operational equipment.

Founded in 1978 by Italy-born Pasquale Giammarco, Marco’s has set its sights on becoming the No. 4 pizza brand in America. The chain was ranked No. 2 in the pizza category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” list for 2022 and No. 4 in the Fastest-Growing category on Restaurant Business’s 2021 Top 10 Fastest Growing Chains list.

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