Seven-store to help grow Southwest Virginia markets
Marco’s Pizza will add seven stores in the Southwest Virginia markets of Roanoke and Lynchburg thanks to a development agreement with Brandon Hudson and Damion Mason. As franchisees with over five years with Marco’s, they will help ignite this multi-unit expansion over the next two and half years. Overall, Marco’s Pizza is on target with its growth plans, and recently opened its 1100th store and surpassed $1B in annualized systemwide sales.
Roanoke and Lynchburg are natural next steps for the two friends, who have know each other for twenty years. Lynchburg already boasts a successful store from the duo, but Roanoke is underdeveloped. This presented a unique opportunity for the pair.
“Damion and I have grown with Marco’s, joining when there were 700 stores to now with 1,100 stores and counting,” said Hudson. “Expanding with the brand as it continues to grow means that we get to help share the quality (sic) Marco’s product with even more people. As one of the brand’s largest African American multi-unit operators, we’re excited to continue sharing our legacy for our families and the community.”
The first of the seven Marco’s locations that are part of the development deal inked for Roanoke and Lynchburg should open by the end of 2022. Plus, the next three stores should open in 2023. And all seven of Hudson and Maso’s stores are slated to be operating within the next three years.
“Over the years and through various business ventures, we’ve learned that entrepreneurial success is much easier when you are partnered with someone you trust and when you’re helping to further develop a brand that’s on the same fast-track for growth that you are. While we’ve had strong performance with our existing Marco’s locations, the brand’s recent nationwide, record-breaking sales and development success speaks for itself, and it has created a heightened potential for the multi-unit franchise opportunity,” added Mason.
Marco’s Pizza is investing in its business to be primed for growth. Executives are gunning for the #4 pizza brand spot after experiencing 12.8% increases in AUV year-over-year. In fact, the the top half of franchise stores produce an AUV of $1.198M.
Executives of the franchise are also prioritizing investments in enhancing the franchise development program, new technology, personnel, strategic vendor partnerships, and multi-channel national advertising.
Moreover, the pizza chain plans to invest millions of dollars in technology innovations over the next few years. The goals are multi-pronged: create business efficiencies, maximize order growth, and improve the customer experience. Focal areas include AI-enabled voice-to-text ordering and auto promise times, integration with third-party delivery services, and migrating to a 100% cloud-based order management system. Marco’s will also test new operational equipment.
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