Industry News | July 9, 2013

CiCi’s Targets Southern California

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CiCi's Pizza, home of an endless pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet, announced plans to open 16 new restaurants in the Southern California region over the next five years. Executives with the company have targeted San Diego, Los Angeles, and their respective surrounding communities for
development with the goal of finding the right franchise partners to operate the restaurants.

With more than 500 restaurants in 34 states, Coppell, Texas-based CiCi's Pizza is best known for its family-friendly atmosphere, endless variety of pizzas on its custom buffet and freshly-made dough at an affordable price. After conducting extensive research, including area demographics and other factors, CiCi's Pizza executives found Southern California to be an ideal selection for expansion of the brand.

"We're 100 percent committed to building our brand presence in Southern California, notably in Los Angeles and San Diego, and believe the specific territories we've identified for development are ripe for sustained success," says Thomas McCord, vice president of real estate and franchise development at CiCi's Pizza. "We've thoroughly examined the markets and found that the demand for our pizza buffet concept continues to grow. We're eager to find franchise owners who are passionate about delivering on our promise to consistently serve delicious food in a welcoming environment."

Executives with CiCi's Pizza have pinpointed specific, viable communities within the great metro areas of each city. Those near San Diego include Chula Vista, La Mesa, El Cajon, Escondido, Spring Valley,
and Carlsbad. The pizza brand has identified more than 30 communities in and around Los Angeles including Long Beach, Santa Monica, Burbank, Anaheim, and many others. To jumpstart the development, company executives are meeting with prospective multi-unit franchise owners while also searching for additional well-qualified franchisees.

Each new CiCi's Pizza will positively impact the local economy by creating about 40 to 50 new jobs and awarding roughly $280,000 in local development contracts. From an investor's perspective, CiCi's Pizza offers four distinct revenue streams: the custom buffet, catering, To Go orders, and the game room. Moreover, multiple prototypes are available to new franchisees designed to maximize profits for the owner and allow for improved brand availability. Restaurant design options include the traditional buffet model, To Go units and an Express prototype currently under test.

The Southern California development is part of a much larger company mission to aggressively grow the brand in the coming years. To help augment brand growth in new and mature markets, CiCi's Pizza has developed several financing and incentive programs, including its Patriot Program that offers veterans a better path to business ownership and a creative investment program to assist prospective franchisees in securing funding. During 2013, the company will also explore growth potential internationally, as well as in nontraditional venues such as airports, casinos, military bases, and universities.

In addition to the affordable food, variety, and family-friendly atmosphere, the new CiCi's Pizza locations will be well-embraced in Southern California because of the brand's commitment to community outreach. Since the company's inception, CiCi's Pizza franchisees have crafted a charitable culture by partnering with local schools, churches, and sports leagues.