Marco's Pizza Reports Strong Same Store Sales Increases Through 6% and 11%; 472 Stores Signed for Expansion

TOLEDO, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Marco's Pizza, founded here 29 years ago and home of the Ah! Thentic Italian Pizza, will finish out 2007 with a bang as the company reported that System same store sales through November exceeded six percent above the previous year, company managed stores were over 11 percent ahead of the same period a year ago, and that Marco's had signed 472 new stores for expansion.

Jack Butorac, Jr., chief executive officer (CEO), Marco's Franchising, LLC has pointed the company towards ambitious growth goals of 500 units by 2010, but noted that the sales improvements were the result of solid execution at the store level and dividends being paid on the successful Ah! Thentic Italian Pizza positioning.

"We knew that Marco's always had a superior product among pizza chain operators, and now our marketing is able to tell that story to consumers," Butorac said.

"The unit growth goals were ambitious when we acquired the franchising rights from Marco's founder and Italian immigrant Pat (Pasquale) Giammarco," Butorac said, "but the credit for the sales gains goes to our store managers, franchisees and team members who responded to the challenge by ensuring high quality products that are made right and served in a timely and friendly manner."

Butorac also reported that Marco's will be in 12 states by early First Quarter 2008 and forecasted minimum growth in number of stores at 26 percent by year-end. Plans to sign more area agreements in the coming year remain in the forecast.

Butorac, a veteran franchise development expert, brought in a team of multi unit franchise development and restaurant experts with a combined experience level of 200 years including Byron Stephens, formerly of A&W and Long John Silver's Restaurants (now YUM!); Cam Cummins, franchise development experience with YUM!, Dunkin Donuts and others; Deb Allen, formerly with Molly Maid; Syl Sosnowski, a former marketing executive with Papa John's; former Domino's Pizza Executive Team Members Dave Black, former Domino's President, and Don Vlcek, former Domino's Pizza president of distribution; and Peter Wise, a branding expert who has worked with such popular brand names as FedEx, Mercedes-Benz, ETRADE Financial and others.

Marco's offers carry out, delivery and some sit down service, along with a menu of custom made Ah! Thentic Italian Pizzas, fresh baked subs, chicken wings, salads and soft drinks. Marco's is the only Top 25 chain that traces its founder's heritage to Italy.

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