Marco’s Pizza: real Italian pizza

February 21, 2021

Real Italian pizza since 1978.

When I was assigned the job of writing about Marcos Pizza, I (a Canadian) had never heard of it. I wondered what was the big deal about a little pizza chain. And then, I saw the map showing all 1,008 Marcos Pizza locations across the United States. And, I got it. Marcos Pizza is a big deal!

Marcos Pizza 1,008 U.S. Store Locations

Let’s start at the beginning…
Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco, the founder of Marcos Pizza, was born in Sulmona, Italy, and moved to the United States when he was nine years old. He grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, and worked in his family’s pizzeria. Together, he and his father created the sauce recipe that is used in every Marco’s pizza.

Giammarco founded Marco’s Pizza in 1978 in Oregon, Ohio, just outside of Toledo. Having grown up in the pizza business and, having an Italian father, it was a given that he would serve only authentic Italian pizza, using real Italian ingredients. His dedication to quality has made Marco’s Pizza one of the fastest-growing pizza companies in America.

And into the 21st century…

In 2002, restaurant industry expert Jack Butorac traveled through Ohio and stopped at five Marco’s Pizza stores in different cities along his route. While he found that the exteriors of each restaurant were different, and branding was inconsistent, he discovered that the pizzas were the same at each location. They were all delicious! With his extensive knowledge of franchise operations, Butorac wanted to come up with a way to brand Marco’s Pizza and differentiate it from other brands.

Working as a consultant with Giammarco, Butorac soon began negotiations to purchase the franchising rights to Marco’s Pizza. He assumed leadership of the company in January 2004 with a plan to make Marco’s Pizza a national chain.

Since Butorac has owned the company, it has expanded to over 35 states, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and India.

Butorac was presented with the prestigious Golden Chain award, a lifetime-achievement award in the restaurant business, by Nation’s Restaurant News in July 2017.

Undercover Boss…
Marco’s Pizza and its president, Bryon Stephens, were featured on the January 29, 2016, episode of the CBS television program Undercover Boss. The episode won its time slot in the TV ratings with 7.3 million viewers.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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