SOURCE: Marco's Pizza Franchise

Marco's Pizza Franchise

May 03, 2016 15:48 ET

Marco's Pizza Franchise Launches Marco's University Online Education and Training Program

Educational Partnership With DeVry University Provides Marco Pizza Employees Opportunities to Pursue College Degree; Develop Leadership and Management Skills

TOLEDO, OH--(Marketwired - May 3, 2016) - Marco's Pizza® is committed to world-class training and lifelong learning. As part of that commitment, the company has launched Marco's University Online (MUO), an online training and education platform that encourages Marco's team members to pursue formal education and provides them with tuition savings, as well as the potential to earn credit for internal training they receive at Marco's.

"The goal is to develop the professional business and personal interaction skills of all of our team members so as to increase the kind of exceptional engagement that results in a five-star experience, not just for our Guests but among our crews," said Rod Sanders, Marco's Senior Director of Learning and Development. "We want our employees to know, and actually feel, they are valued, and that Marco's Pizza is interested in their development, both personally and professionally."

MUO will ultimately be a knowledge portal. "We are building it to be a knowledge portal that will pull in data from our POS systems, Guest Intelligence data, ProfitKeeper data, and much more. The plan is to correlate all of that with training and turnover and continually make improvements for implementation system-wide," Sanders said.

DeVry University offers preferred partner program

One of the most exciting initiatives of Marco's University Online is the new educational partnership with DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management. This partnership provides Marco's Pizza employees with the opportunity to pursue their undergraduate or graduate degree and develop leadership and management skills.

Anyone who works at Marco's Pizza can access the branded portal through DeVry, and all Marco's Pizza Team Members receive a special tuition rate. As one of the largest private, degree-granting, regionally accredited higher education providers in the U.S.[1], DeVry University offers certificate, undergraduate and master's degree programs in business, technology and healthcare technology, among others, which are available to Marco's Pizza Team Members at the corporate or franchise level. In the launch month alone, numerous employees inquired about DeVry's programs, and at least 12 have already enrolled in the business programs -- one at the graduate level.

From enrollment to graduation day, Marco's Pizza team members will have access to a dedicated team of DeVry advisors, who have specific knowledge of education requirements for Marco's Pizza and can assist with class scheduling and student financing, as well as career development preparation.

[1] DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, www.hlcommission.org).

Credit Recommendation initiative

Marco's Pizza has a proven track record of providing Team Members with industry-leading training. New franchisees spend about eight weeks training to own and operate their Marco's Pizza business. During this time, they spend several weeks in a certified training store, learning how to make the dough from scratch and how much sauce, cheese and toppings to put on each pizza, as well as how to provide a consistent Five-Star Guest Experience. Through MUO, Team Members will be able to take engaging e-learning modules that will help strengthen the Marco's Pizza team system-wide. The online paths are under development and will focus on every level of the Marco's team, including internal crew members, potential franchisees, and company/field management.

Marco's Pizza is preparing to pursue credit recommendations for its own content through a nationally recognized organization specializing in course evaluation and credit recommendation. This process takes about two years, and once credit recommendations are earned, Marco's Team Members may submit the transcript from the credit recommendation organization to a group of more than 2,000 higher education institutions that consider these credit recommendations for transfer to degree programs and start working toward their college degree.

"Throughout my 25 years of training experience, this is a unique opportunity unlike any other I've seen," Sanders said. "We've all taken e-learning, and it's often not very engaging. A lot of people skip through it and go straight to the exams. Marco's University modules are unique in that learners have to physically demonstrate mastery of the tasks. Every task in a Marco's Pizza store will have a Performance Audit checklist. Our General Managers and Certified Trainers can pull these up on a smartphone or tablet to evaluate the Marco's Pizza Team Member as they do these tasks, step-by-step. At the end, the Team Member is marked as 'certified' or 'uncertified,' and given both appreciative and constructive feedback per the Marco's culture. That data is then saved in the system as part of the Team Member's training record and is analyzed by the Learning & Development Department."

Marco's University Online places franchise among top-tier companies

Marco's commitment to implementing a top-tier knowledge portal and education program through MUO positions Marco's Pizza as a leader in the franchise industry.

"It really indicates the devotion and the seriousness with which the leadership team views training and education. This will also help identify those who want to make Marco's a career," Sanders said.

To learn more, visit www.marcosfranchising.com.

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