Marco’s Pizza announced the promotion of Executive Vice President of Operations Tony Libardi to Chief Operations Officer. The move brings Marketing and Employee Engagement under Libardi’s purview, adding to the company’s corporate and franchise operations, as well as Learning and Development that he has led since joining the company in 2014, a time during which Marco’s experienced 12 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth.
Libardi, a firm believer in the service profit model, said his focus will be on people, product and process to uphold the brand promise for the growing chain. Libardi and his team will fine-tune and implement several new best practices aimed at pairing the brand’s Better Pizza philosophy with an equal Better Guest Experience tenant, including a new modern work flow design, a state of the art e-learning platform and enhanced hiring and retention employee engagement practices.
“As we continue to experience rapid growth, constantly improving and perfecting our guest experience for our customers is of chief importance for our brand,” Libardi says. “We’ve been working on these new operational practices and fine-tuning them for years. Our employees and partners will appreciate the simplified and more accessible flow that our new system brings.”
Before joining Marco’s Pizza, Libardi spent 10 years running a $1 billion division for Burger King, leading a restaurant portfolio of 750 locations with combined sales of approximately $900 million annually as the Vice President of U.S. Company Operations. During his tenure, Burger King saw a 6.5 percent sales increase and a 35 percent restaurant profitability increase year over year in 2012.
“With over 23 years of experience in building profitable organizations within highly competitive markets, combined with a military background in the U.S. Marine Corps, Tony has a deeply rooted passion and understanding for leadership and innovation that will drive results,” says Marco’s Pizza President Bryon Stephens. “The new systems that Tony and his team will enact allow our stores to seamlessly deliver on our brand promise for every employee and customer."
Because of the company’s strong support for its franchisees, ability to take market share, product quality standards, and most of all its people, the Marco’s Pizza franchise system took less than five years to more than double in size. With plans to open 150 new stores in 2017, averaging at least one opening every three days, the company is on track to reach over 900 locations by year’s end.