Marco’s Pizza thrives amid COVID-19

The ultimate comfort food was king in 2020. As a resilient franchise that was able to pivot swiftly, Marco’s Pizza had one of its best years ever.

For all of its unpredictability, 2020 was not unbeatable. The Marco’s Pizza franchise family and all of its team members working together showed what they were truly made of, and we are coming off a remarkable year.

We recorded all-time sales highs. We opened our 1,000th store, hitting a new growth milestone. We adjusted to meet employees’ and customers’ changing expectations around health and safety given the pandemic. And, we hope we’ll end up with lasting financial gains for everyone.

“I’ll never underestimate what we’re capable of as a brand again because of what I’ve seen so far during this pandemic and how we’ve responded,” says Chief of Operations Tim Brown.

Record sales

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that the restaurant industry was hit hard this year. But the delivery and carryout pizza segment flourished. And those within it, like Marco’s, who were able to quickly shift to provide contact-free delivery and curbside pickup were able to instill confidence and comfort in consumers.

Pizza is the quintessential comfort food — 93% of Americans eat it at least once a month — and where else would people turn as they hunkered down in their homes? They stuck with what they knew and loved, and pizza won the day early on. Even as other restaurants were able to ramp up to better delivery and pickup models, the pizza industry was already so well-versed in this way of doing business, many brands barely skipped a beat. 

At Marco’s, we made tweaks and improvements and even accelerated innovation and pilot programs. And all this while maintaining a consistent, high-quality product, and consumers thanked us with increased demand.

Record growth

Despite challenges, Marco’s continued to grow franchises. We planned to reach the 1,000-store milestone in 2020, and in October, we did just that. An encouraging number of our new franchises were opened this year by existing franchisees who clearly have confidence in Marco’s vision for the future. But our milestone store was opened by two business partners who were new to Marco’s franchise ownership.

Kattya Barbaran and Rafi Vargas, both immigrants to the U.S., realized their dreams of entrepreneurship when they opened the 1,000th Marco’s Pizza location on Oct. 21 in Kissimmee, FL. 

“Growing up as a young child in the Dominican Republic, never did I think I’d someday have the opportunity to own my own business,” says Vargas. “This was made possible by finding an exceptional partner in Kattya — someone so dedicated and passionate, who shared an entrepreneurial mindset, that would propel us to open this milestone store.”

New expectations

A Marco’s employee wears a mask as she slices a pizza on a counter in back of the store.

When the pandemic swept the nation, Marco’s acted quickly to increase the frequency of our cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and intensify sanitization measures for high-touch areas. Given the uncertainty, we amped up communication for the sake of franchisees. We established a COVID-19 Task Force that kept everyone in the loop about the latest developments, and customers gave us high praise for our efforts to keep communities safe and well-fed.

COO Brown is impressed by the dedication and commitment of the entire Marco’s team this year, noting it has set the tone for our brand moving forward.

“The new normal is going to be different; being ready for the new normal is critical,” he says. “We did a phenomenal job of picking ourselves up off the mat and dusting ourselves off. I’m extremely proud of the brand for that.”

Let’s keep momentum going

Marco’s Pizza is a strong brand, and we’ve proven this year what a resilient franchise we are. We will continue growing while maintaining the high standards that have set apart our brand for 40+ years. If you’d like to learn more about our business opportunities, we welcome you to explore the brand on our website. Fill out this form to request your free Franchise Information Report.