TOLEDO, OH - (Marketwired - Apr 12, 2016) - Marco's Pizza® is committed to world-class training and lifelong learning. As part of that commitment, the company has launched Marco's University Online (MUO), an online training and education platform that encourages Marco's team members to pursue formal education and provides them with discounted tuition, as well as the potential to earn credit for internal training they receive at Marco's.
The MUO initiative includes an educational partnership with DeVry University that allows Marco's Pizza team members to potentially earn college credit through their corporate training at Marco's, as well as for training and education earned through other organizations. Marco's U was launched as a beta test in November 2015 in corporate-managed stores and has now been implemented system-wide.
"The goal is to develop the professional business and personal interaction skills of all of our team members so as to increase the kind of exceptional engagement that results in a five-star experience, not just for our guests but among our crews," said Rod Sanders, Marco's Senior Director of Learning and Development. "We want our employees to know, and actually feel, they are valued, and that Marco's Pizza is interested in their development, both personally and professionally."
MUO will ultimately be a knowledge portal. "At Marco's, we are building it to be a knowledge portal that will pull in data from our POS systems, guest intelligence data and ProfitKeeper data. The plan is to correlate all of that with training and turnover and continually make improvements for implementation system-wide," Sanders said.
One of the most exciting initiatives of Marco's University Online is the new educational partnership with DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management. This partnership provides Marco's Pizza employees with the opportunity to pursue their undergraduate or graduate degree and develop leadership and management skills.
Anyone who works at Marco's Pizza can access the branded portal through DeVry, and all Marco's Pizza employees receive a 15 percent discount on tuition. The admission fee also is waived. DeVry offers fully accredited courses and a variety of majors, which are available to any Marco's Pizza employee, either at the corporate or franchise level. In the launch month alone, numerous employees asked about the DeVry program, and 12 employees have already enrolled in business classes -- one at the graduate level.
DeVry is also providing deferred billing plans to help employees manage payments. Marco's Pizza team members may receive college credit for corporate training they complete, as well as for other learning experiences throughout their career. From enrollment to graduation day, Marco's Pizza team members will have access to a dedicated team of DeVry advisors with specific knowledge of requirements for Marco's Pizza. These advisors will provide guidance on scheduling and finances, help with career assessments and create a personalized professional plan for each Marco's Pizza employee enrolled at DeVry.
Marco's Pizza has a proven track record of providing team members with industry-leading training. New franchisees spend about eight weeks training to own and operate their Marco's Pizza business. During this time, they spend several weeks in a certified training store, learning how to make the dough from scratch and how much sauce, cheese and toppings to put on each pizza, as well as how to provide a consistent Five-Star Guest Experience. Through MUO, employees will be able to take engaging e-learning modules that will help strengthen the Marco's Pizza team system-wide. The online paths are under development and will focus on every level of the Marco's team, including internal crew members, potential franchisees, and company/field management.
Marco's Pizza is preparing to pursue accreditation of its own content through the American Council on Education (ACE). This process takes about two years, and once accreditation is earned, Marco's employees may submit their ACE transcript to any of 2,000 schools that take ACE credit and start working toward their college degree.
"Throughout my 25 years of training experience, this is a unique opportunity unlike any other I've seen," Sanders said. "We've all taken e-learning, and it's often not very engaging. A lot of people skip through it and go straight to the exams. Marco's University modules are unique in that learners have to physically demonstrate mastery of the tasks. Every task in a Marco's Pizza store will have a performance certification checklist. Our general managers and certified trainers can pull these up on a smartphone or tablet and evaluate the Marco's Pizza team member as they do these tasks, step by step. At the end the team member is marked as "certified" or "uncertified," and given both appreciative and constructive feedback. That data is then saved in the system as part of the team member's training record and is analyzed by the Learning & Development department."
Marco's commitment to implementing a top-tier knowledge portal and education program through MUO positions Marco's Pizza as a leader in the franchise industry -- in the same tier with companies like Starbucks and Chili's.
"It really indicates the devotion and the seriousness with which the leadership team views training and education. This will also help identify those who want to make Marco's a career," Sanders said.
To learn more, visit www.marcosfranchising.com.
SOURCE Marco's Pizza
Chief Development Officer