Flores will Oversee the Development of the Pizza Franchisor’s Growth Strategies
Gerardo Flores is the new chief development officer of Marco’s Pizza, a quick-service pizza franchisor based in Toledo, Ohio. Flores will oversee the development of the pizza franchisor’s domestic and international growth strategies. This position came as Marco’s opened its 1,100th store and surpassed $1 billion in sales, according to a press release from Marco’s.
“I am honored to join Marco’s at a time when growth is a key strategic business priority as the brand looks to its next 1,000 units. My hope is that I’ll be able to make an immediate impact by improving processes that help grow the brand faster and more efficiently,” Flores said in a statement.
Flores is a firm believer that you should like the product you represent, and he believes in the pizza franchisor’s product. After Flores received a call from Marie Brown, Marco’s vice president of franchise relations, to tell him that a franchise owner he worked with recommended him for the job, he couldn’t pass it up.
“We had a great conversation, and my calls with the senior leadership team aligned with where I wanted to take my career,” Flores added. He believes that Marco’s is primed for growth due to a pandemic-induced mindset change and a desire for entrepreneurs to become their own bosses.
“Entrepreneurs are looking to mitigate risk when venturing on their own, so a franchise is the perfect fit. Marco’s is well positioned in the pizza category to attract strong talent that will help us grow the brand while making a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Regarding Flores’ new position, Tony Libardi, co-CEO and president of Marco’s Pizza, said, “We’ve set forth aggressive franchise development growth goals and bringing in a strong franchise leader is paramount to deliver on our future success. With decades of increasingly successful franchise experience in the quick-service restaurant industry, Gerardo brings a vision and growth business mindset as we continue to expand across the country and beyond.”
A Franchise Veteran’s Journey
Flores got his start in franchising after being called by a colleague while working at PetSmart. He was asked if he was interested in applying for a real estate position with Cold Stone Creamery, an ice cream franchise. “I saw it as a great opportunity that aligned with my core values, so I jumped on it. I quickly realized that franchising was a relationship industry and establishing contacts is a critical piece in achieving success.”
For the past two decades, Flores has formed great relationships with franchise owners, brokers, and other industry professionals, which he believes has been critical to his career growth. For entrepreneurs with a desire to leap into franchising, Flores urges working with a supportive franchisor. “I have seen too many franchisees buy into a franchise thinking it will run itself, and then don’t pour their heart and soul into the business. Those are the franchisees who fail.”
Franchisors looking to make the development process more seamless for franchisees should be as transparent as possible, Flores added. “Any misunderstanding on the transition piece will only create stress for franchisees. Getting the steps right and executing effectively will better cycle times and make teams more efficient. It’s also important to have the proper tools to manage the complex processes.”