• Changes to Marco’s Pizza’s franchise development program includes incentives for multi-unit growth and access to easier financing, the company said.
• Marco’s has established partnerships with eight preferred banks and lending institutions to help franchisees get into the business and grow their portfolio.

Related: Marco’s Pizza projects $1 billion in systemwide sales in 2022

With a goal of expanding from 1,000 to 1,500 stores by the end of 2023, Marco’s Pizza has unveiled changes to its franchise development program that will make it easier for a franchisee to open multiple units and build their own mini-empire, according to the company.

The enhancements provide incentives for multi-unit growth for franchisees, including better access to financing from preferred lenders.

“I’ve been with Marco’s for 11 years and can confidently say that the level of sophistication and detail of the franchise development program has never been stronger,” said Area Representative and Franchisee Robert Pina, who just signed a 46-store deal—one of the largest deals in Marco’s history. “Marco’s makes it easy to become an empire builder in the system. If you’re looking to grow a robust pizza portfolio, you won’t find a more dedicated and supportive team. Marco’s leadership and devotion to franchise growth and franchisee support is simply unmatched.”

The enhancements include:

  • Strategic support to secure financing: Understanding the challenges surrounding lending, Marco’s has established partnerships with eight preferred banks and lending institutions. Through quarterly meetings, the Marco’s finance team provides key updates on the state of the business, growth and performance, so banks are in a better position to offer favorable lending terms to individual franchisees, the company said.
  • Multi-unit growth incentive: Marco’s offers a long-term incentive for multi-unit owners, including franchisee fee discounts, reduced royalties and growth acceleration bonuses.
  • Strengthened real estate support team: Marco’s continues to add real estate expertise and support to help accelerate site selection and guide franchisees at key decision points.
  • Streamlined design and construction process: Marco’s recently formalized a partnership with a single architect to streamline the design process. The company said the partnership has helped shorten the build-out process by about two weeks. The architect shepherd the process through permitting on behalf of the franchisee so they don’t have to take on the additional responsibility with local municipalities. Also, general contracting experts will provide franchisees with assistance in reviewing the bid, aligning pricing, conducting a pre-construction meeting, and reviewing schedule for project completion.

“As a result of strategic enhancements, our development team is able to act soundly as consultants to franchisees by providing information, insights and recommendations at every key decision point and milestone,” said Keith Sizemore, Marco’s vice president of development. “This, paired with the fact that several members of our team are also franchisees themselves, brings a unique perspective to the support process. Franchisees are given the confidence that they are making the right decisions.”

Steve Seyferth, the brand’s senior vice president and chief experience officer, said there are “plenty of territories available for growth.” He added, “Our development and performance strategy remain centered on finding multi-unit franchisees who align with our business strategy and culture while continuing to prioritize innovation and maximize unit-level profitability.”

Marco’s has set its sights on becoming the No. 4 pizza brand. The company experienced a 12.8% increase in year-over-year Average Unit Volume (AUV), and the top 50% of Marco’s franchised stores generated $1,198,201 AUV for 2021.


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