Coppell, Texas-based CiCi’s Pizza, a 600-unit pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert buffet chain, announced that it has signed agreements for the addition of 16 units over the next five years. CiCi’s also announced that it hired Bruce Evans, a Wingstop veteran, to lead franchise sales.
The moves are part of CiCi’s growth initiative, with the goal of adding 500 restaurants in the next eight to 10 years.
“Texas is a focus in our plan for strategic and sustainable growth,” says Mike Shumsky, CiCi’s Pizza CEO. “Texas has led the nation in job growth for the past decade, and we have strong brand loyalty and brand recognition here. As we continue to build restaurants for long-term success, Texas, as well as southern Californiaand southern Florida, will be key to our expansion goals.”
All 16 restaurants will open in the Houston and San Antonio areas. The restaurants will be built by current franchisees Tommy and Tami Marlin and Guillermo Perales, who leads Mucho Pizza, a subsidiary of CG Management. Mucho Pizza already operates more than 50 CiCi’s restaurants in Texasand Maryland.
Perales—a Dallas, Texas resident and prominent franchisee who oversees more than 200 big-name brand restaurants like Burger King, Golden Corral, Denny’s, and Popeye’s—will begin developing restaurants in the Houston area this year. One of the largest Latino franchisees in the U.S., Perales has been named one of the top 100 Hispanic entrepreneurs by Poder magazine and is regularly recognized by business organizations as an industry leader for his top-notch operations results.
Current franchisees Tommy and Tami Marlin have also signed on for additional units. The couple, along with their son Shane, already operates eight successful CiCi’s restaurants in Abilene, San Angelo, Laredoand San Antonio, Texas.
“Mr. Perales and the Marlins are exactly the kind of franchisees that will ensure CiCi’s remains profitable as it grows,” says Bill Spae, CiCi’s Pizza chief development officer. “Their experience with best practices and proven track records sets an example, and the tone, for future franchisees.”
New vice president of franchise sales, Bruce Evans, a 15-year restaurant and franchise veteran, will work directly with new and potential franchisees to make certain they’re poised for profitability. As director and then vice president of franchise development for Wingstop, Evans developed sales strategies that helped grow the franchise chain from 50 units to more than 500 in just nine years.
“Bruce understands the franchise world and has had measurable success driving the kind of aggressive growth we are seeking,” Spae says. “New franchisees will quickly recognize what an asset he is to our business.”