TAMPA, FLA. — Marco’s Pizza took another step in its expansion plans by signing a development agreement to bring 15 new stores to the Tampa metro market by the end of 2024. Year-to-date, the Toledo, Ohio-based restaurant chain has signed more than 125 franchise agreements and has over 200 stores in various stages of development.

Investment group MPZ Holdings, LLC, which manages 21 Marco’s locations across South Carolina and Georgia, was behind the Tampa agreement. Marco’s Pizza stores are scheduled to open in Tarpon Springs, Fla., and Dundee, Fla., in the first quarter of 2022. MPZ Holdings aims to open five stores every year. Additional areas targeted for development in Florida are Oldsmar, Winter Haven and St. Petersburg.

“We’re placing an emphasis on growing with incredible partners who truly embody our people-first approach to business,” said Keith Sizemore, vice president of development for Marco’s Pizza. “When a proven franchise partner doubles down on their current investment to open 15 more stores, it speaks to the tremendous belief they have in the Marco’s brand. We are excited to have yet another group of ‘empire builders’ in our system, developing a strong market in Tampa.”

National expansion has Marco’s Pizza opening a store every three and a half days on average, according to the company. Marco’s Pizza operates over 1,000 stores in 34 states and locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Italian-born Pasquale “Pat” Giammarco founded the company in 1978 in Ohio by making Italian-quality pizza with fresh ingredients.