Marco’s Franchising LLC has promoted Bryon Stephens to president of the nearly 500-unit Marco’s Pizza chain.

Stephens will be responsible for day-to-day operations, quality assurance, customer service and growth, the company said. Until this promotion, Marco’s chief executive and chairman Jack Butorac had also retained the role of president.

Stephens was the first executive hired at Marco’s in 2004, after Butorac bought the franchising rights to the Toledo, Ohio-based chain. Last April, Stephens was promoted from vice president of development to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Previously, he had held development roles with Yorkshire Global Restaurants Inc. and Yum! Brands Inc.


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During his decade with Marco’s, Stephens has helped grow the pizza chain from 123 units to nearly 500 locations in 33 states and the Bahamas. Marco’s opened 104 new restaurants last year, and plans to open about 200 locations in 2014 to surpass the 600-unit mark.

“Bryon is a strong leader who draws his leadership strategies from the Marco’s Cultural Beliefs while increasing the profitability of our franchise community,” Butorac said in a statement. “During the year he served as COO, he demonstrated tremendous strength in his ability to expand our company further. It is an honor for me to appoint him as president.”

Last December, Marco’s also hired its first chief marketing officer, Cathy Hull, who left a similar position with quick-service chain Fazoli’s.

Marco’s stated that it has franchise agreements in place for 1,500 new locations, and that it plans to quadruple its unit count over the next five years.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN