CiCi’s Pizza, home of the $4.99 endless pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert buffet, announced its plans to add 500 restaurants in the next eight to 10 years.

“Our ‘One Brand’ mission is well underway, ensuring we have a repeatable approach to operations that gives guests across the country a consistent, high-quality experience with every visit,” says Mike Shumsky, CiCi’s Pizza CEO. “Our team of industry leaders will take CiCi’s to the next level and grow the company.”

CiCi’s hired two industry veterans, Bill Spae and Nancy Hampton, to drive the expansion of the more than 600-unit company. Spae brings more than 30 years of experience as a president, CEO, investor, and franchisee to his position as chief development officer. Hampton, a 20-plus year restaurant veteran, will serve as chief marketing officer. She brings experience from big-name brands like Chili’s Bar & Grill and Corner Bakery Cafe and most recently ran her own consulting firm.

Both executives were brought on to help lead CiCi’s strategic growth plan. Spae’s team will seek out developers and potential franchisees, particularly those interested in multiunit agreements. Additionally, the plan targets nontraditional locations, like airports.

“CiCi’s Pizza has an opportunity to double in size,” Spae says. “The company’s value proposition will remain attractive in the marketplace going forward, and CiCi’s pizza buffet is a simple concept that translates well to all kinds of customers.”

Through recent market and demographic research, the company has identified these prime areas for expansion: California’s Inland Empire, Chicago, Upstate New York, Philadelphia, Miami, and Phoenix.

“My goal is growth and lots of it,” Spae says. “But I also want to ensure that CiCi’s grows in a well-researched, strategic, and, most importantly, profitable way. I’m ready and available to talk to those who can partner with us to achieve those goals.”

Marketing will play a key role in CiCi’s strategic plan. As CMO, Hampton will draw on her experience leading successful reimage campaigns, increasing sales and profits and delivering consistently positive ROIs. Her experience and skills will ensure the success of CiCi’s continued growth initiative and value proposition.

“With its devoted fan base and strong value message, CiCi’s is already on the right path,” Hampton says. “As more consumers get to know CiCi’s and the incredible quality, value and extraordinary service we offer, we know even more pizza lovers will become our loyal guests.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Employee Management, Marketing & Promotions, News, Pizza, CiCi's Pizza