Marco’s Pizza® Signs 4-Unit Agreement as Virginia Statewide Development Surges
Harrisonburg, Virginia – Marco’s Pizza, the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brand*, announces a 4-unit signed agreement that will bring stores to the central and northern Shenandoah Valley market. The first two stores will open in Harrisonburg – 1168 Virginia Ave. Suite 102 and 2950 Spotswood Trail – this summer and early fall, respectively.
Multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee Michael Blackburn is the owner of these new locations. Blackburn has long been involved in the franchise industry having worked for a large fast food franchisee ownership group for five years, in addition to owning and operating three Dairy Queen franchises with his wife. When the duo moved from Harrisonburg to Midlothian, they discovered Marco’s Pizza for the first time and immediately fell in love with the concept, the quality product, and proven business model. They saw the opportunity to diversify their portfolio and flex their backgrounds in franchising and construction to bring Marco’s to their hometown.
“With Marco’s, we have the perfect recipe of a quality product, historically strong EBITDA, and an opportunity to grow a robust portfolio,” said Blackburn. “As we’ve done with our Dairy Queen locations, we look to add Marco’s into the fold of community giveback. Building out these stores will give us opportunity to further engrain ourselves in the communities we serve as the neighborhood pizza of choice, while we involve ourselves with local schools, hospitals, and more.”
With two locations set to open this year, Blackburn is in early stages of site selection for the second pair of locations along the I-81 corridor in Winchester, Waynesboro, etc.
This announcement adds to the growing list of statewide development for Marco’s – 10-units across Annadale, Centreville, Haymarket, Manassas, McLean, etc., 8-units across the Reston-Arlington area, 7-units in the Roanoke-Lynchburg market – as Virginia proves to be a hot development state with vast area for opportunity.
Marco’s franchise expansion continues to surge with more than 200 stores in various stages of development, and hundreds of agreements signed. In 2022, Marco’s opened 90-plus stores and awarded 140 franchises. In the last six years, the fast-growing brand has doubled its store footprint with no intention of slowing down. Company leadership has identified 4,200 potential U.S. locations.
Alongside impressive expansion, Marco’s 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.
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**. Now, Marco’s has its sights set 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***.
Marco’s remains on the fast-track for growth, now boasting more than 1,100 stores while achieving record-breaking performance - surpassing $1B in annual systemwide sales. 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.
ABOUT MARCO’S PIZZA
Marco’s Pizza is one of America’s Top 10 Favorite QSR Brands according to the 2022 Market Force Information 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 34 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza was ranked No. 51 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2023 “Franchise 500” ranking. Other recent accolades include a high ranking on Newsweek’s 2023 “America’s Best Customer Service” in pizza chains list, ranked No. 40 on QSR’s Top 50 and has been featured six 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 2022 NRN Top 500 U.S. Restaurant Ranking LSR Pizza Segment.
**Marco's is now the 5th largest pizza brand in systemwide sales, according to 2022 NRN Top 500 US Restaurant Ranking LSR Pizza Segment."
***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 current 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.