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CiCi’s Pizza, home of the endless pizza buffet, announces the next step in its “Build the Brand” growth strategy with the addition of two industry veterans who will drive the company’s increased focus on profitable innovation. In 2010, the company began implementing a growth strategy designed to add another 500 restaurants over the next 10 years.
Clif Geisler, who brings purchasing and supply chain expertise from Brinker International and Sonic, takes the post of CiCi’s first-ever Director of Operational Systems. He will spearhead initiatives to improve kitchen efficiencies and increase dining space in an effort to lower franchise investment costs, reduce waste, and increase ROI. Geisler is already leading company-wide equipment testing, like pursuing induction heating to improve the quality and consistency of CiCi’s soup, pastas, and sauces.
Rebecca Stone, senior director of food and beverage, who has research and development experience with major brands like Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s Pizza, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, and Burger King, will lead and improve CiCi’s R&D process. Through her expertise, the company has already launched a comprehensive new product testing initiative designed to incorporate guest and franchisee feedback early in the product development process. Ongoing new product testing, coupled with strides to bring down food costs, will enable CiCi’s to elevate its variety of offerings while still providing guests the high value and delicious taste they have come to expect from the pizza leader.
Recent product innovations include CiCi’s American Classics line, which showcases the unique flavor traditions of the US. As part of the American Classics line, CiCi’s also announced the Cheeseburger Pizza and the Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. The company has plans to announce additional new products this year.
“Our growth initiative is well underway with 25 restaurant openings planned this year, the hiring of our two new industry veterans, increased restaurant efficiencies for franchisees, and especially new product rollouts for our guests,” says Mike Shumsky, CiCi’s Pizza CEO. “We know our guests continue to consider all dining decisions carefully, and we’re committed to innovate as we grow to ensure each dining experience at CiCi’s is better than the last.”