American restaurant chain Marco’s Pizza has announced plans to expand its Florida footprint with the signing of a development agreement with investment group MPZ Holdings to open 15 new stores by the end of 2024.

The new stores will be opened in the Tampa metro market area.

Marco’s Pizza development vice-president Keith Sizemore said: “We’re placing an emphasis on growing, with incredible partners who truly embody our people-first approach to business.

“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.”

Currently, MPZ manages 21 Marco’s locations across South Carolina and Georgia.

With some of the key leadership team moving to the Tampa region, MPZ aims to grow the Marco’s Pizza footprint in the Florida region.

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Initially, two Marco’s Pizza outlets are planned for opening in Tarpon Springs and Dundee by the first quarter of next year.

MPZ has also set a target to open five stores every year, with all 15 new Marco’s Pizza locations projected to be open and operational by the end of 2024.

Additional areas targeted for development include Oldsmar, Winter Haven and St Petersburg.

The MPZ Holdings lead investor said: “The pandemic made it clear that consumer demand for quick and delicious carryout and delivery options was here to stay.

“Already impressed by the quality of Marco’s Pizza and its exceptional leadership team, we knew timing was right to further invest and be aggressive with growth.”

Last month, Marco’s Pizza announced plans to expand its footprint across the greater Cleveland area, in Ohio, with the opening of five new stores.

By partnering with qualified franchise operators in the region, Marco’s Pizza plans to open the new stores by 2025.