Growing from 700 to 1,500 stores requires more sophisticated systems, technology, financing, and, above all, a culture of accountability to drive continued results and profitability. Marco’s Pizza kept all that in mind in appointing Buddy Solomon as CFO.
As the 700-plus unit pizza franchise continues to open an average of one new store every third day, company executives handpicked Solomon to shepherd this next phase of growth.
With more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant, media, and technology industries, Solomon has held key finance and accounting roles at growing and prestigious brands such as Arby’s, Cox Newspapers, and Cox Auto Trader. Leveraging the skills and lessons gleaned from a decades-long career, Solomon proved to be the right person at the right time to take Marco’s Pizza to new heights as it joins the ranks of the pizza industry’s top players.
“As we approach doubling in size, we remain laser-focused on striving to be the pizza brand of choice, employer of choice and partner of choice,” says Bryon Stephens, president of Marco’s Pizza. “Reaching the next echelon requires a renewed approach. Buddy brings leadership strategies that are rooted in Marco’s Cultural Beliefs, while driven to increase the profitability of our franchise community.”
Because of his focus on building a strong corporate culture of accountability and firm belief that the right employee mindset is paramount to growth, Solomon doesn’t fit the typical CFO stereotype of the “just the numbers guy.” Honing in on Marco’s desire to be the employer of choice, he brings a new perspective from larger companies that have positive and thriving cultures that lend to their ongoing success.
Already, during his short tenure at Marco’s, he has implemented some compensation and benefits changes that he knows from experience generate higher engagement levels and more satisfied employees. Solomon plans to help prepare Marco’s to compete against larger pizza chains, and ensure that the corporate finance, accounting and IT infrastructure is structured to do so.
“By engaging employees through a culture of accountability, companies can create systems at the speed needed to get desired team results,” Solomon says. “As Marco’s Pizza continues to grow its footprint at an accelerated rate, the infrastructure must keep up to support this rapid growth. I will put my energies into strengthening the framework that the brand can grow around, including everything from technology to financing sources to human talent.”
As the only U.S. national franchise chain founded by a native Italian, Marco’s Pizza has carved out a niche in the industry as the expert in authentic Italian pizza.