Marco’s Pizza® Pilots Leadership Education Program for Front-Line Employees with Bellevue University
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Marco’s Pizza® Pilots Leadership Education Program for Front-Line Employees with Bellevue University

Nation’s Fastest-Growing Pizza Brand* Teams Up with Bellevue University on New Business Essentials Certificate Program

May 10, 2023 // // BELLEVUE, Neb. - Marco’s Pizza, the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brand, kicked off the first quarter of 2023 by rolling out a different kind of ingredient – college-level educational courses for its franchise supervisors and shift leaders.

Sixteen Marco’s Pizza franchise supervisors from markets across the country were selected to participate in a pilot people and business leadership certificate program through the pizza brand’s partnership with Bellevue University’s College of Technology, Engineering and Management.

“Ultimately, we’re trying to add value to our people,” said Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer for Marco’s Pizza Rod Sanders. “We’re a performance brand and we know we succeed only when we value everyone and help our people to succeed. This program is another ingredient that we believe will contribute to our team members by preparing them for a lifetime of success, inside or outside of Marco’s Pizza.”

“The class really taught me to see the bigger picture, that there are different ways to train and communicate with my team,” said Elizabeth Fields, a Marco’s Pizza General Manager in Illinois. “I loved that the course was online, and I plan to take what I’ve learned and put it into action at my store.”

According to Dr. Matt Davis, Bellevue University Executive Vice President and Dean of the College, the certificate program, where students master essential business management and leadership skills in two six-week courses, is built to be accessible to front-line workers like those at Marco’s Pizza.

“Great management and leadership skills can be learned,” said Dr. Davis, noting that the certificate program’s curriculum is based on a program used successfully by one of the nation’s leading retailers. “Now we’ve taken it to the next level with a mobile-first course design that incorporates relevance, rigor, and respect for the learner’s time.”

For the Marco’s Pizza team members who successfully complete the program, the eight credit hours they earn can be applied toward an undergraduate, four-year college degree. The pizza brand is already looking ahead to opening the program to a new class of supervisors.

“Marco’s will look to evaluate the program’s long-term impact using feedback from participants and we hope to track retention over time,” added Sanders.

The ultimate goal of the program is to upskill Marco’s Pizza employees while also boosting the company’s overall employee satisfaction and engagement.

“This educational opportunity not only helps our stores as team members are learning skills they can apply on the job, they’re also learning skills that they’ll take with them throughout their lives - it’s truly a win-win situation,” affirmed Sanders.

*Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza brand based on year-over-year unit growth, according to 2022 NRN Top 500 U.S. Restaurant Ranking LSR Pizza Segment.

About Bellevue University

Founded in 1966, Bellevue University is a non-profit university with more than 60,000 graduates worldwide. The University is a recognized national leader in preparing students for lifelong success with career-relevant knowledge and skills, while making college affordable. Routinely ranked among the nation’s top military and accessible institutions, the University serves residential students at its main campus in Bellevue, Nebraska, and everywhere online with more than 80 degree programs uniquely designed for working adults. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (

About Marco’s Pizza

Marco’s Pizza is one of America’s Top 10 Favorite QSR Brands according to the 2022 Market Force Information Study. Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza brand in the United States*. Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian-born Pasquale (“Pat”) Giammarco and thrives to deliver a high-quality pizza experience, known for its dough made from scratch and its three fresh signature cheeses. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate over 1,100 stores in 34 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza was ranked No. 51 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2023 “Franchise 500” ranking. Other recent accolades include a high ranking on Newsweek’s 2023 “America’s Best Customer Service” in pizza chains list, ranked No. 40 on QSR’s Top 50 and has been featured six consecutive years on Nation’s Restaurant News’ prestigious “Top 500” ranking.

*Marco’s Pizza is the fastest-growing pizza brand based on year-over-year unit growth, according to 2022 NRN Top 500 U.S. Restaurant Ranking LSR Pizza Segment.

SOURCE Bellevue University


Media Contact:

Cris Hay-Merchant
AVP, Strategic Communications
Bellevue University
Phone: 402-557-7298

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