Mici Handcrafted Italian, a fast-growing six-unit fast casual chain based in Denver, announced the launch of its comprehensive national franchise program. The award-winning brand will be available for qualified operators in markets throughout the U.S. beginning July 10, 2020.
“The Miceli family has built the Mici brand over the past 16 years and I've been grooming it for future growth since 2017,” says partner and CEO Elliot Schiffer. “Despite a lot of interest, we've held off on franchising in order to get our systems and product in place. We cannot wait to open up the brand to growth through franchising.”
Mici is focused on selling development territories to multiunit developers who have restaurant operating experience and who understand Mici’s commitment to company culture, integrity, and customer service. Its primary geographic targets are those markets with proximity to Colorado: Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Idaho, and Missouri. However, Schiffer says the brand is open to working with the right prospect anywhere in the U.S.
The Mici Handcrafted Italian brand features family friendly, affordable eateries with a menu that focuses on authentic Italian family recipes and uses all-natural, unprocessed, clean ingredients. The made-to-order pastas, artisan pizzas, salads, and more are all available for dine-in, carryout, catering, and delivery.
Founded in 2004 by siblings Jeff, Kim, and Michael Miceli, Mici brought on Schiffer as partner and CEO in 2017 to grow the brand in partnership with the Miceli family. The company then added operations veteran Joe Melton (27 years with Outback Steakhouse) as SVP of operations and focused on streamlining operations and increasing efficiency across a number of areas in preparation for both corporate and franchise growth.
In the last two years, Mici has expanded by 50 percent with the opening of its fifth and sixth locations in the Denver metro area, and is looking to aggressively build company-owned stores over the next five years, targeting 25 locations in Colorado.
Mici has received a full utility patent on founder and president Jeff Miceli’s invention, the Mici-Z Pizza Press, which he has been developing and perfecting for the last decade. The Mici-Z Pizza Press allows Mici locations to make consistently perfect crust with minimal training, ensuring that the quality customers expect will be constant across the country. Mici is also busy retrofitting its restaurants with state-of-the-art conveyor-belt brick ovens that make perfectly cooked pizza every time, solving the issue of heat loss when opening a pizza oven during busy service.
One of Schiffer’s main priorities of the last 18 months has been optimizing all of Mici’s digital platforms, including the online ordering and mobile platforms, point of sale, third-party integrations, and a completely revamped loyalty program—all of which are now updated and ready for franchise growth.
For the franchising launch, Mici Handcrafted Italian has engaged with exclusively Colorado-based businesses: Franchise Evolution Partners, a full-service outsourced sales organization with whom Mici has partnered to represent the brand and secure franchise leads; Artizen Advisors, a local real estate and development firm that was brought on board to help franchisees find real estate and build restaurants; Jumpstart Franchise Services, which is finalizing Mici’s Operations Manual and training materials; Drumm Law, which will manage the legal aspects of franchising; Proof PR, which will represent the brand for public relations outreach surrounding the franchising launch, as well as in new markets; and Sunnyside Social Media, which is building the franchising website.