Marco’s Pizza® Hires 20-Year QSR Franchise Veteran Gerardo Flores as Chief Development Officer
Flores’ Development Expertise to Help Shape Company’s Next Era of Domestic and International Franchise Expansion
TOLEDO – 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,” said 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,” said 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.
The brand is on track to rise in the ranks as Nation’s Restaurant News Top 500 Report shows Marco’s achieved the highest percent year-over-year sales change (+18.2%) when compared to the nation’s top 4 pizza brands**, making Marco’s the No. 5 pizza brand in systemwide sales in America.
With strong growth and performance, Marco’s now sets its sights on becoming the No. 4 brand in pizza as it experienced a 12.8% increase in year-over-year Average Unit Volume (AUV), and the Top 50% of Marco’s franchised stores generated $1,198,201 AUV for 2021***.
ABOUT MARCO’S PIZZA
Marco’s Pizza is America’s Most Loved and Most Trusted Pizza Brand, according to the 2019 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study. Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza brand in the United States. Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian-born Pasquale (“Pat”) Giammarco and thrives to deliver a high-quality pizza experience, known for its dough made from scratch and its three fresh signature cheeses. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate over 1,100 stores in 33 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza was ranked No. 2 in the Pizza category on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2022 “Franchise 500” ranking, and No. 4 in the Fastest Growing category on Restaurant Business’ 2021 “Top 10 Fastest Growing Chains” ranking. Other recent accolades include a first-time presence on Newsweek’s 2022 “America’s Best Customer Service” in pizza chains list, ranked No. 40 on QSR’s Top 50 and has been featured five consecutive years on Nation’s Restaurant News’ prestigious “Top 500” ranking.
*Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza brand based on year-over-year unit growth, according to 2021 NRN Top 500 U.S. Restaurant Ranking LSR Pizza Segment.
**Nation’s Restaurant News partnered with Datassential and its Firefly data platform to provide an in-depth look at the performance across the Top 500 restaurant chains.
***Based on the Average Unit Volume of the top 50% of our Franchised Stores for fiscal year 2021. Based on fiscal year 2021, 146 of 389 Franchised Stores in the category (38%) met or exceeded this average. This information appears in Item 19 of our 2022 FDD – please refer to our FDD for complete information on financial performance. Results may differ. There is no assurance that any franchisee will perform as well.