Industry News | November 14, 2011

New CiCi's Unit May Offer Glimpse of Things to Come

When the new CiCi’s Pizza location opened in Murphy, Texas, last Monday, it introduced a range of new design elements and features that could offer a peek into the future of the company.

The new unit sports a brighter color palette; new uniforms and menuboards; an expanded buffet and carryout; and even a new pricing structure.

Mike Shumsky, CEO of CiCi’s, says the company has undergone a reimaging the last two years that has transformed roughly 85 percent of its stores. But the Murphy location represents a whole new phase of branding.

“We have to look out further,” Shumsky says. “By talking to franchisees and trying to understand what the next image will look like for CiCi’s, we developed this team that came together and built a company store, obviously trying to use our own resources and not use a franchisee’s resources.”

On top of its brighter color scheme, the Murphy unit also features many wood, glass, and ceramic-tile elements that Shumsky says give it a “higher-end” finish.

“The finishes were important; we’re looking to have more adaptive finishes that adapt more to the local community and lifestyle of that community and economics of that community,” he says, adding that this includes local sports team memorabilia.

A new menuboard greets CiCi’s customers at the Murphy location, updating the simple display that other stores feature.

“We have a very simple menu—it’s basically a one-price menu,” Shumsky says. “An adult buffet, a child buffet, an adult drink, and a child drink. It’s worked for many years, but the consumer, we learned, wanted more than that, so we wanted to add some elements to the menuboard.”

One of these elements is the new pricing structure. The menuboard now showcases three different buffet prices: $4.99 for lunch, $5.49 for dinner, and a $3.99 happy hour special from 2–4 p.m.

The new menuboard also showcases more drink sizes, combo offerings, and additional real estate dedicated to the concept’s carryout options.

Shumsky says the changes were designed with input from franchisees, and that many franchisees have given positive feedback on the new store. Still, he says it will be six or seven months before the company will be able to decide “whether we want to make it a part of our ongoing prototype.”

“The brand needs to move forward—you can’t sit still,” Shumsky says. “In order to be competitive in this environment, all of us have to keep pushing forward, and we think that’s an important part of this campaign."

By Sam Oches

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


Place looked great!!

Hi,I am the VP of a square dance club in Phoenix, AZ and I was very disappointed when I spoke with the manager Daniel at 2270 N 75th Avenue, Ste 101, Phoenix, AZ 85035.I told him that we had a fundraiser event planned and were interested in ordering pizza. I told him I had just saw the add for 3 large pizzas for $9.99. He did not let me finish my statement before he cut me off and stated, in his words, we don't do that no more. I told him I had just seen that add right before I called but once again he cut me off and said he did not do that. I asked him if there was any kind of discount for someone ordering a large amount of pizza. He asked how many and I told him between 20 and 30 pizzas. He stated that was too much and he would not be able to help me. I asked him what the number to the corporate office and he stated he did not know. He said that I could look it up online. I was so disappointed because it was very obvious that he was not interested in helping or even trying to listen to what I had to say. He was very rude. I hope you do not treat all your customers like that. I had no other way of letting you know this took place other than this web site.

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