Coppell, Texas-based CiCi’s Pizza, the casual dining restaurant know for its mile-long endless pizza buffet, recently confirmed plans to expand its footprint beyond the continental United States, targeting Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada for future store openings.
As CiCi’s Pizza sets its sights on growth in key international markets, company executives are identifying master franchise partners and multi-unit franchisees with “business savvy and a strong understanding of the local economy and real-estate position.”
Plans call for opening restaurants on the island and elsewhere by 2015.
“Our unique concept and flexible prototype allows us to easily adapt to cultures new to our brand. The ability to adjust based on local consumers coupled with our emphasis on quality, variety and value makes CiCi’s internationally appealing and gives us a competitive position in the marketplace,” said Thomas McCord, vice president of Real Estate and Franchise Development at CiCi’s Pizza.
“We’ve thoroughly examined viable markets within Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico and found that the demand for our pizza buffet concept continues to grow. In fact, the timing has never been better for CiCi’s to grow internationally,” he said.
The development into the three markets is part of a much larger company mission to aggressively grow the brand in the coming years, which includes stateside development in underserved markets, including Los Angeles, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Washington D.C., Miami and St. Louis, the company said.
During 2013, the company will also explore growth potential in nontraditional venues such as airports, casinos, military bases and universities.
Founded in 1985, CiCi’s Pizza’s custom pizza buffet is always fresh and stocked with nearly 30 pizzas in rotation, crisp salads, hot soup, oven-baked desserts and more. Guests also have the option of requesting made-to-order pizzas that are delivered right to the table.
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 penetration for improved brand availability. Restaurant design options include the traditional buffet model, To Go units and an Express prototype currently under test.
On average, each new CiCi’s Pizza creates about 40 to 50 new jobs and awards roughly $280,000 in local development contracts.
To jumpstart the international development and to meet with prospective entrepreneurs, CiCi’s Pizza participated in the 2013 International Franchise Expo in New York City over the weekend.