Marco's Pizza opened 109 new locations across the country in 2013 and increased system-wide sales by more than 32 percent, resulting from a growth strategy that focused on implementing best practices and efficient systems and building a positive company culture. Overall, the approach contributed to doubling the company's size in five years.


Currently, the company has 437 units open in 33 states and the Bahamas. Puerto Rico hopes to open its first store by spring, and by year-end Marco's will have over 600 restaurants open in three countries. With more than 1,500 new franchise deals already signed, Marco's is on track to quadruple its store count in the coming five years.


Also in 2013 Marco's Pizza added to its executive talent, including naming Cathy Hull (formerly head of marketing for Fazoli's and Papa Johns) as chief marketing officer. Hull is among several industry executives who have migrated to Marco's Pizza from other well-known brands, including COO Bryon Stephens from YUM! Brands, vice president general counsel/chief loegal officer Todd Watson from Metromedia Restaurant Group, among others.


Marco's credits the growth first to the quality of its authentic Italian pizza (including dough made fresh daily at every restaurant, a proprietary sauce created by its Italian founder, and the company's blend of three fresh cheeses) as well as attracting talent among its franchisees and corporate staff.


Other 2013 highlights include considerable recognition in the industry. For example, Pizza Today named Marco's # 1 on its 2013 Up and Comers list, which recognizes the country's fastest-growing pizza franchises.

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Growth, News, Pizza, Marco's Pizza