Franchisers of the local Marco’s Pizza chain are about to get a bigger slice of the pizza pie in metro Augusta.
Business partners Woody Johnson and Ricky Poston plan to expand their footprint by three restaurants within the next 18 months, thus completing their six-store build-out agreement with the Marco’s corporation. One is expected to open in south Aiken by July or August, although an exact site hasn’t yet been determined, Johnson said.
Another Marco’s restaurant is targeted near Fort Gordon’s Gate 2 in Augusta by early 2015, with the final Marco’s planned to open that summer in the north Evans region, Johnson said.
“What we look for is a high percentage, around 40 percent, of the households in an area that have kids under 18,” he said.
In the spring of 2011, Johnson and Poston brought the first Marco’s Pizza to the Furys Ferry Road and River Watch Parkway corridor and have since added stores in Grovetown and North Augusta. They opened their very first restaurant in Warner Robins, Ga., in 2010.
Poston had formerly owned 15 Papa John’s Pizza restaurants across Georgia but sold them in 2007. He and Johnson first joined forces in the Papa John’s venture and later reunited to start the Marco’s Pizza franchise.
They also operate five Marco’s Pizza chains in Savannah, Ga., and will open six more across that region within a three-year period.
Johnson said the Grovetown location, at the corner of Columbia and Hereford Farm roads, has become the top-performing restaurant for them.
“We’ve built a lot of brand recognition in the market with what we’re doing over in Augusta,” he said.
The three new restaurants will create about 90 jobs, 30 positions for each restaurant, Johnson said.
Marco’s Pizza is a national pizza franchise that was founded in 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. There are now nearly 450 restaurants in 32 states and the Bahamas.