Noting the number of military veterans who prosper as franchisees in its growing franchise system of 700 stores, Marco’s Pizza took the extra step to formalize a veteran recruitment arm and hired 20-year U.S. Army veteran Scott Quagliata to oversee the operation.
In the newly created role of vice president of veterans’ program and recruiting, Quagliata is tasked with attracting additional military veterans into the Marco’s Pizza franchise system and helping set them up to thrive. The company has noted the strength and success of several veterans, such as Joe Walker, named Top Franchisee at Marco’s last year. After four years serving on active duty in the U.S. Army, including tours in Iraq, Walker joined Marco’s Pizza just five years ago and already owns a total of 16 locations, with an additional four locations in various stages of development. Because of stories like Walker’s, Marco’s Pizza used its top-grading hiring practices to onboard Quagliata and develop a veteran recruitment arm.
Having served in the Army with Walker, Quagliata first became interested in owning a Marco’s Pizza franchise himself. While attending a Discovery Day to learn more about the brand, he was deemed a perfect fit by Marco’s Pizza president and COO, Bryon Stephens, to join the franchise development team in the specific role of facilitating passionate disciplined veteran leaders into the Marco’s Pizza management/ownership pipeline.
“Coming from outside of the pizza world with a strong military background, Scott brings with him distinctive leadership skills that will take our recruitment efforts to new heights,” Stephens says. “He brings a personal connection that aligns with the Marco’s commitment to the military community. He understands firsthand the transition of military veterans and the benefits of joining a proven franchise system.”
As part of his new role, Quagliata will also work toward formalizing an apprenticeship program designed to create paths to business ownership for aspiring entrepreneurs who may not necessarily have the means to pursue their dreams through traditional channels. The program, to be announced later this year, will offer comprehensive training, mentorship and financing to qualified candidates, which include employees of Marco’s Pizza stores.
“Having transitioned from the military myself, I understand how to help our veterans enter back into the civilian workforce,” Quagliata says. “The upcoming apprenticeship program will create a phenomenal vehicle to help them do so.”
Quagliata’s appointment comes during a monumental growth year for Marco’s Pizza. With plans to open 150 new stores this year, averaging at least one opening every three days, the company is on track to reach 1,000 locations by 2017. The development of the apprenticeship program serves as an innovative way to continue growth with a hard-working, dedicated, accountable team as Marco’s Pizza expands its footprint nationwide.