Marco's Pizza franchise

Hassle-free business loans to start your Marco's Pizza franchise.

Marco’s Pizza claims to be one of the fastest growing pizza brands in the US, selling a ‘different pizza experience’ that includes dough made from scratch and three fresh signature cheeses. The chain is engaged in a rapid expansion drive and currently ranks #5 in the US, behind Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Little Caesar’s.

Marco's Pizza business details

Marco’s Pizza is headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. The business was founded in 1978 and has offered franchise opportunities since 1979. The company’s franchised stores sell pizza and related food and drinks products for consumer delivery, pick-up and catering, and in some cases, via eat-in dining rooms. The company has grown from its roots as a core Ohio brand to operate over 1,200 stores in 34 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza placed at #51 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2023 ‘Franchise 500’ ranking.

Marco’s Pizza at a glance:

  • US stores: Approximately 1200
  • Required Investor net worth: Up to $1,200,000
  • Required investor liquid cash: Up to $600,000
  • Min. investment: $286,000
  • Max. investment: $806,000
  • Standard franchise term: 10 years

Can I start a Marco's Pizza franchise?

You’ll need plenty of liquid cash (up to $600k) and a net worth that can be as high as $1.2 million, but otherwise, as long as you have some previous business experience there are few barriers to entry. Marco’s say they’re looking for franchisees with a people-first and hospitality-always mentality who are committed to active ownership and have a big sense of community. If this sounds like you and you are prepared to roll up your sleeves and take a full-time role in the management and development of the store, a Marco’s Pizza could be the business for you. (This opportunity may not be suitable for passive investment).

How much does a Marco's Pizza franchise cost?

Set-up costs for a Marco’s Pizza franchise range from low to high, requiring expenditures than can be anywhere from $286,000 to $806,000 depending on location, store size, and if the unit will include an eat-in dining room. 

The initial franchise fee is $25,000. Military veterans may be eligible for a discount of this cost.

After opening, you are required to pay an array of ongoing fees and charges. They include:

  • Royalty fee: 5.5% of net sales
  • Royalty key management employee program: 2.5% of net sales
  • Brand launch program: $10,000
  • Brand development program: 1% net sales
  • Geography-based advertising: 4% net sales 
  • Local store marketing: 7% net sales
  • Training registration: $200 per trainee
  • Additional training: $1,000 per trainee
  • Additional assistance: $300 per day
  • Relocation fee: $10,000 or 1/3rd current initial franchise fee
  • Renewal fee: $6,250
  • Technology fee: $112 per accounting period

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Estimated key costs to open a Marco’s Pizza franchise:

Key Costs GuideLowHigh
Franchise fee$25,000$25,000
Real estate $6,000$18,000
Construction costs/leasehold improvements$65,000$400,000
Equipment, furniture and fixtures$97,725$125,000
POS system$19,000$21,000
Credit card processing$6,175$6,175
Opening inventory$7,000$11,000
Other supplies$14,000$18,500
Deposits and prepaid expenses$2,500$6,000
Business licenses $500$3,000
Architectural and engineering costs$8,000$15,000
Training expenses$3,000$10,000
Brand launch program$15,500$25,500
Store technology$800$2,400
Additional costs – first three months$9,000$30,000

Are Marco's Pizza franchises profitable?

Yes. In 2022, the top 50% of Marco’s Pizza franchised outlets achieved average gross sales of $1,222,684. Margins in the US pizza industry are typically tight due to intense competition, often averaging 10% or less. Based on this, annual net profits would be around $100,000 for a Marco’s outlet, which ranks as good and is far better than the average annual income of US franchise owners (all franchises) of $60k per year. 

What is the failure rate for a Marco’s Pizza franchise?

Low. The failure rate for a Marco’s franchise is 3% in the first year, rising to 6% by year three.

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What are the franchise territory policies for Marco's Pizza?

Once a permitted location is identified, Marco’s set an area surrounding the store as the ‘area of responsibility’. This area will typically comprise a one mile radius from the front door of the permitted location, although the area could be smaller if it is in a densely populated urban area, a readily definable market area like a resort or boardwalk, a specific facility (stadium, hospital, airport, casino, etc.) or if it contains a natural boundary like a body of water, bridge or expressway. Franchisees may operate the franchised business only at the permitted location and may provide delivery services only in their area of responsibility. Except for this territorial protection, franchisees do not receive an exclusive territory.

What franchise resources does Marco's Pizza offer?

Marco’s support for franchisees includes:

  • Training: Franchisees receive in-store and virtual training via Marco’s University Online. The company typically schedules on-the-job training at a certified training restaurant within reasonable proximity of the incoming franchisee’s store. Currently, initial training consists of approximately 350 hours of in-person program training and 326 virtual program hours. Franchisees must complete the initial training program before opening their store. Franchisees must, upon opening their store for business, implement and maintain a continuous training program for employees in accordance with applicable training standards and procedures set by the company. Franchisees may also be required to attend refresher courses, seminars, and other training programs that Marco’s may reasonably require.
  • Marketing support: Marco’s Pizza provides promotional and other marketing support for their franchisees.
  • Third-party financing: Marco’s provides no financial support for investors seeking franchise funding. Alternatively you may obtain economical and flexible funding solutions from the many independent funders who provide business loans to franchise operators.

Why should you start a Marco's Pizza franchise?

Let’s face it, America really loves take-out pizza. In 2023 we ate $49 billion of the stuff. That’s a lot of cheese! Marco’s are a fast rising star in this very crowded market, adding new stores at a clip. Moderate set-up costs, good profitability and a low failure rate all add to the package. The only smudge on the horizon is the lack of a passive investment opportunity. But if you can get past that and you like the idea of operating a fast food business that is moving even faster, this could be the franchise for you.

What is the process for starting a Marco's Pizza franchise?

It begins with an application. Start the process here

Secure franchise funding with Swoop

Starting a new franchise can be an exciting opportunity, but it’s easy to get lost in a maze of business loan applications that can make funding your new pizza business like too much hard work. Instead, cut out the hassle and cut to the chase. Swoop has the best lenders for the best franchises across the US. Just tell us what you need and leave the rest to us.

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Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Wells Fargo Bank, Visa, Experian, Ebay, Flywire, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of US consumer and business finance.

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