Existing Multi-Unit Franchisees Seize Open Market Potential in Southwest Virginia While Expanding Statewide Reach
Marco’s Pizza, the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brand*, announces a multi-unit signed agreement that will bring seven new stores to the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas of Virginia over the next two and a half years. Multi-unit expansion with existing franchisees continues to lead Marco’s overall growth strategy, as the brand recently hit both development and sales milestones with the opening of its 1100th store and surpassing $1B in annual systemwide sales.
Franchisees Brandon Hudson and Damion Mason boast a 20-year friendship and have been with Marco’s for over five years. The duo plan to build out the Greater Lynchburg and Roanoke areas of Virginia as they grow their Marco’s portfolio. They currently have eight additional stores in development across the state, including a new store slated to open by the end of this year at 5817 Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond.
The best friend team has seen great success in the Richmond market and jumped on the opportunity to develop in the Roanoke and Lynchburg areas as untapped markets for Marco’s. Due in part to having one successful Marco’s location already in Greater Lynchburg, combined with an underdeveloped Marco’s market in Roanoke, the two cities showed prime potential for adding to Hudson and Mason’s multi-unit portfolio in Virginia.
“Damion and I have grown with Marco’s, joining when there were 700 stores to now with 1,100 stores and counting,” said Hudson. “Expanding with the brand as it continues to grow means that we get to help share the quality Marco’s product with even more people. As one of the brand’s largest African American multi-unit operators, we’re excited to continue sharing our legacy for our families and the community.”
The first of the seven Marco’s locations planned for Roanoke and Lynchburg is slated to open by the end of this year, with the next three to follow in 2023 and all seven to be open in the next three years.
“Over the years and through various business ventures, we’ve learned that entrepreneurial success is much easier when you are partnered with someone you trust and when you’re helping to further develop a brand that’s on the same fast-track for growth that you are. While we’ve had strong performance with our existing Marco’s locations, the brand’s recent nationwide, record-breaking sales and development success speaks for itself, and it has created a heightened potential for the multi-unit franchise opportunity,” added Mason.
Marco’s now spans 1,100 stores across 33 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. The brand is on track to rise in the ranks as Nation’s Restaurant News Top 500 Report shows Marco’s achieved the highest percent year-over-year sales change (+18.2%) when compared to the nation’s top 4 pizza brands**, making Marco’s the No. 5 pizza brand in systemwide sales in America.
With strong growth and performance, Marco’s now sets its sights on becoming the No. 4 brand in pizza as it 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***.
Marco’s franchise expansion also continues to accelerate with more than 200 stores in various stages of development with more than 350 agreements signed. Company leadership is prioritizing investments in enhancing the franchise development program, new technology, personnel, strategic vendor partnerships, multi-channel national advertising, and more – all with an eye on maximizing franchisee profits while meeting the needs of today’s modern customer.
For example, Marco’s recently announced the investment of millions of dollars in technology innovations over the next few years designed to create business efficiencies, maximize order growth, and improve the customer experience. Areas of investment include 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, plus testing new operational equipment.
*Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza brand based on year-over-year unit growth, according to 2021 NRN Top 500 U.S. Restaurant Ranking LSR Pizza Segment.
**Nation’s Restaurant News partnered with Datassential and its Firefly data platform to provide an in-depth look at the performance across the Top 500 restaurant chains.
***Based on the Average Unit Volume of the top 50% of our Franchised Stores for fiscal year 2021. Based on fiscal year 2021, 146 of 389 Franchised Stores in the category (38%) met or exceeded this average. This information appears in Item 19 of our 2022 FDD – please refer to our FDD for complete information on financial performance. Results may differ. There is no assurance that any franchisee will perform as well.
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