Marco's Pizza reached a big milestone with the June 14 grand opening of its 500th location. To celebrate the opening of its newest pizza franchise in Wilmington, North Carolina, Marco's launched a charitable initiative for veterans called 500 Strong.
Customers were invited to make $1 donations toward the 500 Strong initiative leading up to the Wilmington store opening. The goal is to raise $50,000 to help secure jobs for 500 veterans, with all funds earmarked for USA Cares Jobs Assistance Program, a national nonprofit that provides financial and advocacy assistance to post-9/11 U.S. military families. The unemployment rate for veterans is about double that of the general population, and the Marco's donations will directly benefit veterans seeking employment.
Marco's employs hundreds of veterans, both as franchise owners and as employees. The company also is a member of the International Franchise Association's (IFA) VetFran program, through which it offers incentives to veterans who buy Marco's Pizza franchises.
Veterans are particularly well-suited for careers in franchising because much of what they learn during their military service -- leadership, attention to detail, working as a team and following a structured plan -- translates into successful franchise ownership. The owner of the new Wilmington franchise, Joe Walker, served four years of active duty as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq.
Marco's is the fastest-growing pizza franchise in the nation and is on track to add another 200 locations this year.
"Not only are we thrilled to be opening our 500th Marco's Pizza franchise, we're very happy that we can help contribute to an important cause at the same time," said Bryon Stephens, Marco's Pizza President and COO. "This is really an exciting time in our brand's history. We're expanding across the country and entering new markets. We share this milestone and our successes with our dedicated franchise partners and their hardworking teams, and of course with our loyal customers."
Prime territories are still available throughout the country. Investors can expect to pay, on average, $350,000 for a Marco's franchise, with a franchise fee of $25,000.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.