Marco’s Pizza announced the signing of two new development agreements that will bring 20 new stores to the Denver metro market by the end of 2024. This development news comes on the heels of the brand’s recent announcement of now 90-plus franchise agreements signed year-to-date, with over 200 stores in various stages of development, as Marco’s aims to grow its 1,000-plus unit footprint by more than 10 percent this year.
The first agreement is a multi-unit deal in which franchisees Aaron Rosenthal and Steve Moberly signed on to develop eight new stores throughout the greater Denver market, in addition to the 10 existing Marco’s locations they operate. The best friend duo aims to open their first new store in Wheat Ridge by Q1 2022. Target markets for the additional development include, Applewood, Arvada, Brighton, Commerce City, Lakewood, and Thornton, among others.
“Aaron and I had long been seeking out franchise opportunities to start our roots and build a solid foundation for La Tavola Hospitality Group,” says Moberly. “The pandemic shined a light on the value of having pizza in your portfolio, proving the industry to be essentially recession-proof. We knew timing was right to invest and be aggressive with growth. Marco’s 40-year history, proven business model, and opportunity to develop in key markets checked all our boxes.”
Behind the second multi-unit agreement are franchisees Austin Toupin, Chris Harper, and the investment group, MCAA Brands, LLC. Another best friend duo, Toupin and Harper have vast experience working with well-known restaurant franchise brands including Burger King, Chili’s, El Pollo Loco, Café Zupas, and Jimmy John’s. Eager to build their own franchise empire, Toupin and Harper joined Marco’s Pizza with a development deal that will bring 12 stores to the Denver-Fort Collins area over the next three years. The first location is slated to open in Denver by the end of 2021, with the second projected to debut in Q1 2022.
“We were immediately attracted to the passion and nostalgia engrained in the Marco’s brand,” says Toupin. “With experience in restaurant franchising, we knew we needed to feel that passion and support from the team, and also believe in the product. We believe the quality of Marco’s products is far more superior than any player in the space – and we’re confident we’ve invested with the best,” added Harper.
Marco’s is experiencing explosive growth, record-breaking sales, and continues to innovate and pilot new programs to sustain its performance. As a result, eager and sophisticated entrepreneurs and multi-unit operators are flocking to the franchise opportunity as now nearly half of the franchise network is made up of multi-unit owners.
“We’re placing an emphasis on growing with incredible partners who truly embody our People-First approach to business,” says Keith Sizemore, Vice President of Development for Marco’s Pizza. “The Denver market and the greater state of Colorado is ideal for our continued expansion in terms of unit count and franchisee health, all while yielding an impressive number of high-profile opportunities.”
Opening a new store every three and a half days on average, the Top 50 percent of its franchised stores generated $1,059,574 AUV for 2020.