Apr 6, 2017

FranConnect Customer Highlight: Marco's Pizza, fastest-growing pizza company in North America

Written by Erin Gifford

Marco’s Pizza is recognized as the fastest-growing pizza company in North America, and we couldn’t be prouder to be their partner. Marco’s Pizza has been working with FranConnect since 2008, and we’ve enjoyed witnessing their tremendous growth over the years.

The first Marco’s Pizza store opened in Toledo, Ohio, in 1978, and today there are over 800 locations in over 30 states and four countries; in 2016 alone, they added 120 new restaurants, doubling in size in just five years. By putting an emphasis on great communication with their franchisees, Marco’s Pizza has been able to grow at such a fast pace and is on track to grow to more than 900 stores this year.

Marco’s Pizza has done a great job of defining their brand and creating a culture of accountability. They have three standards they live by when it comes to making their pizza, and every franchisee knows these “pizza pillars.” The brand’s leaders focus on their people to achieve results, instead of placing the emphasis on results first.

“By being the employer of choice, the business partner of choice,
we will become the pizza brand of choice in every market we serve.”
Presentation by Bryon Stephens, President of Marco’s Pizza, for FranConnection ‘16

Click here for five business lessons Bryon Stephens learned on Undercover Boss.

The company is also doing a great job with development marketing and consumer marketing. For example, their dedicated franchise development website includes videos, awards, testimonials, and a very user-friendly means to get to relevant information with a clear call to action. For consumers, Marco’s Pizza has embraced social media, a challenge for many franchisors. Their Twitter account is active and fun – babies and basketball, anyone?

 “I have a longstanding relationship with the Marco’s team, and they are one of the best-run organizations I know,” said Keith Gerson, President and Chief Customer Advocate of FranConnect. “Marco’s Pizza puts an emphasis on their company culture, focusing on franchisee engagement. They realized early on how important it is to be able to provide real-time information to their franchisees, came to us for a solution, and have been very active users since. I’ve found that they have high franchisee engagement and happiness – and therefore success – due to their efforts.”

To top it off, Marco’s Pizza is engaged with their communities. They have a blog to engage with their customers, and they support causes they care about, such as bringing awareness to the life-saving benefits of being an organ donor on National Pizza Day.

Awards and Rankings:

  • #2 franchise to buy in medium-size segment on Forbes “America’s Best and Worst Franchises to Buy” list (2016)
  • #3 best pizza chain by Consumer Reports magazine’s list of Best and Worst Fast Food Restaurants in America (2014)
  • #8 on Franchise Times’ list of Fast and Serious growth franchises
  • #12 in Pizza Today’s Top 100 Pizza Chains

Marco’s Pizza team, congratulations on all your successes. We are excited about the anticipated year ahead with Marco’s Pizza. We are honored to be called their “strategic technology partner” by their technology product manager, and we will continue striving to meet their expectations.

Interested in learning more about how FranConnect can become your strategic technology partner? Learn more today. 

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About the author

Erin Gifford

Erin is the Senior Marketing Communications Manager at FranConnect. She is a creative marketing professional focused on strategy, growth, content creation, public relations, and stakeholder communications with a passion for branding, messaging, and storytelling.