Marco’s Pizza, the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brand, appoints Gerardo Flores as Chief Development Officer. This news comes on the heels of the brand’s recent development and sales milestones, opening of its 1100th store and surpassing $1B in annual systemwide sales. As Marco’s looks to its next era of growth, Flores will be responsible for developing U.S. and international growth strategies, streamlining the development process and driving expansion.
As a highly experienced real estate professional, Flores has held top-level leadership roles in the franchise industry for nearly 20 years. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Real Estate at Tropical Smoothie Café developing growth strategies for new and existing markets as well as establishing local and national landlord relationships. Prior to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Flores was the Vice President of Real Estate at Jersey Mike’s Subs, Sr. Director of Development at Quiznos, Real Estate Manager at Cold Stone Creamery, and the Property & Lease Manager at PetSmart. A proven track record of hands-on real estate and strategic market planning experience informs Flores’ passion for franchise development.
“I am honored to join Marco’s at a time when growth is a key strategic business priority as the brand looks to its next 1,000 units,” says Flores. “My hope is that I’ll be able to make an immediate impact by improving processes that help grow the brand faster and more efficiently. My initial focus is to solidify the team and make all three pillars – Sales, Real Estate, Construction – work seamlessly together. With this, I have full confidence we’ll be able to actualize our development goals while expanding with franchisees who embrace our People-First approach to business.”
Marco’s franchise expansion continues to accelerate with more than 200 stores in various stages of development and 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.
“We’ve set forth aggressive franchise development growth goals, and bringing in a strong franchise leader is paramount to deliver on our future success,” says Tony Libardi, Co-CEO & president of Marco’s Pizza. “With decades of increasingly successful franchise experience in the quick-service restaurant industry, Gerardo brings a vision and growth business mindset as we continue to expand across the country and beyond.”
With prime territories available for development, Marco’s provides a full development support system, including technology and tools to help identify the right territories for expansion plus expertise in financing, real estate, construction management, and field operations, to assist franchisees and multi-unit operators.
The development team continues to find new, cost-saving opportunities to keep the initial up-front investment affordable including smaller footprints, pickup windows, tools that accelerate the new store opening process and more, creating operational efficiencies that improve the overall guest experience and grow sales.