Marco’s Pizza, now the nation’s No. 5 pizza chain, closed out a historic 2022 with the opening of its 1,100th store and surpassed $1 billion in annual systemwide sales, fulfilling its own sales projection from early January of last year. Next on the agenda: moving up to the No. 4 spot among pizza brands.

In 2022, Marco’s opened 90-plus stores and awarded 140 franchises and expects to open its 1,200th store this year, according to a press release. It has more than 200 stores in various stages of development and more than 350 signed agreements.

Also in the works: the Marco’s Pizza Foundation, which will empower franchisees and team members to make a positive difference in their communities.

In the last six years, Marco’s has doubled its store footprint and identified 4,200 potential U.S. locations.

Under its new executive leadership, including Chief Development Officer Gerardo Flores, VP of Construction David Gladstone and VP of Real Estate Paul Williams, Marco’s says it’s optimizing and innovating its franchise development program by streamlining the process and driving strategic geographic expansion.

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Additionally, the brand is rolling out its own cloud-based technology platform—Marco’s Order Management System (MOMS). The fully integrated enterprise technology infrastructure supports payment processing and the POS system, with features such as conversational ordering, labor scheduling, inventory management, and real-time reporting dashboards with centralized data management capabilities.

MOMS is designed to improve the customer experience and simplify operations for Marco’s franchisees and store team members. By housing its own data, the system can also enable a variety of applications both now and in the future, allowing Marco’s to respond to rapid digital change, the company said.

Other projects include exploring voice-to-text ordering, continued adoption of third-party delivery, utilizing AI and machine learning to generate automated promise times, and more. Marco’s said it’s prioritizing technologies that create a better, frictionless customer experience with a focus on improving store-level profitability.

“With an eye on the future and becoming the No. 4 brand in pizza, MOMS is exactly the type of innovation that will help get us there,” said Tony Libardi, Marco’s co-CEO and president. “With strong initiatives underway from development to technology to new product offerings and the Marco’s Pizza Foundation initiative on the horizon, 2023 is poised to be a remarkable year. There’s truly never been a more opportune time to join our brand as we continue this momentous growth trajectory in 2023.”

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