Former Wall Street investor and serial entrepreneur plans over 100 Marco locations by 2025
Tampa, Florida (RestaurantNews.com) Multi-unit growth continues to play a strategic role in Marco’s pizza rapidly expanding, with nearly half of its current franchise network made up of multi-unit operators. Approaching the brand $1 billion in annual system-wide sales, franchisees are stepping up expansion efforts and taking advantage of the wave of record sales growth by expanding their franchise portfolios. Experienced franchisee Kal Gullapalli is about to open Marco’s 1,100th store in Dundee, Florida.
Gullapalli spent seven years on Wall Street before transitioning into entrepreneurship in 2016. He has since become a franchise industry veteran, owning multiple fitness and health and wellness retail centers. Gullapalli joined Marco’s in 2021 with a desire to diversify its portfolio amid the ongoing pandemic – seeing the immense value of pizza in its playbook. The 1,100 stores will open at 28065 US Hwy 27 in Dundee, FL in July, marking Gullapalli’s 36th Marco store with seven others in various stages of development, and commitments for 16 more future stores in Tampa, FL, Georgia and Columbia and Myrtle Beach, SC. This multi-unit growth reinforces its vision of a portfolio of more than 100 Marco’s stores desired by 2025.
“With Marco’s, there’s a clear path for my team to own over 100 locations,” Gullapalli said. “The brand has a superior product, a sophisticated development team and a vast white space across the country. This, coupled with its record growth, made it an opportune time to double my investment, because while 1,100 is a milestone, Marco’s will be at 3,000 stores in no time.
With more than 200 stores in various stages of development across the country, Marco’s is on track to meet its growth target of 1,500 units by the end of 2023. As franchise development continues to increase, leadership favors investments in improve the franchise development programnew technologies, personnel, strategic partnerships with suppliers, national multi-channel advertising, etc., all with the aim of maximizing profits for franchisees.
For example, Marco’s recently announced the investment of millions of dollars in technology innovations over the next few years designed to create business efficiencies, maximize order growth and improve customer experience. Investment areas include AI-enabled voice-to-text command and automated promise times, integration with third-party delivery services, migration to a 100% cloud-based order management systemas well as testing automated kitchen innovations and new operational equipment.
“Improvements in technology and operations are helping franchise growth as sophisticated multi-unit franchisees now see it as an attractive time to invest,” said Keith Sizemore, Vice President of Development for Marco’s Pizza. “We’ve put a lot of time and investment into streamlining and strengthening our franchise development program to make it as easy as possible for franchisees to build a strong portfolio with Marco’s, and it’s been remarkable to see Kal do exactly that as it continues to play an important role in our growth story.
Marco’s offers a long-term incentive for timeshare ownersincluding franchise fee discounts, reduced royalties and growth acceleration bonuses – download the Franchise Information Report for more information.
Building on its growth and performance, Marco’s aims to become the No. 4 pizza brand. The brand saw a 12.8% increase in average unit volume (AUV) year-over-year, and Marco’s top 50% franchise stores generated $1,198,201 in AUV for 2021*.
For more information on Marco’s Pizza franchise opportunities, visit https://www.marcos.com/franchising/ or call 866-731-8209 to speak with Shannon IversonVice President of Franchise Sales.
About Marco’s Pizza
Marco’s Pizza is America’s most loved and trusted pizza brand, according to the 2019 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study. Based in Toledo, Ohio, Marco’s Pizza is one of the fastest growing pizza brands. faster in the United States. Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian Pasquale (“Pat”) Giammarco and strives to provide a high quality pizza experience, known for its homemade dough and three signature fresh cheeses. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate more than 1,100 stores in 33 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza was ranked #2 in the Pizza category of Entrepreneur magazine’s 2022 “Franchise 500” rankings and #4 in the fastest growing category of Restaurant Business’s 2021 “Top 10 Fastest Growing Chains” rankings. . Other recent accolades include a debut appearance on Newsweek’s “America’s Best Customer Service” pizza chain list in 2022, ranked No. 42 on QSR’s Top 50, and five consecutive years in the prestigious “Top 500” from Nation’s Restaurant News.
*Based on the average unit volume of our top 50% franchise stores in fiscal 2021. Based on fiscal 2021, 146 of the category’s 389 franchise stores (38%) met or exceeded this average. This information is contained in point 19 of our FDD 2022 – please refer to our FDD for full financial performance information. Results may differ. There is no guarantee that a franchisee will perform as well.