COPPELL, TX, February 28, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Coppell-based CiCi's Pizza, a rapidly-expanding 600-unit pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet chain, announced today it has signed agreements for the addition of 16 units over the next five years and hired Wingstop veteran Bruce Evans to lead franchise sales. The moves are part of CiCi's growth initiative, with the goal of adding 500 restaurants in the next eight to 10 years.
"Texas is a focus in our plan for strategic and sustainable growth," said Mike Shumsky, CiCi's Pizza CEO. "Texas has led the nation in job growth for the past decade, and we have strong brand loyalty and brand recognition here. As we continue to build restaurants for long-term success, Texas, as well as Southern California and Southern Florida, will be key to our expansion goals."
All 16 restaurants will open in the Houston and San Antonio areas. The restaurants will be built by current franchisees Tommy and Tami Marlin and Guillermo Perales, who leads Mucho Pizza, a subsidiary of CG Management. Mucho Pizza already operates more than 50 CiCi's restaurants in Texas and Maryland.
Perales, a Dallas resident and prominent franchisee who oversees more than 200 restaurants across big-name brands like Burger King, Golden Corral, Denny's and Popeye's, will begin developing restaurants in the Houston area this year. One of the largest Latino franchisees in the U.S., Perales has been named one of the top 100 Hispanic entrepreneurs by Poder magazine and is regularly recognized by business organizations as an industry leader for his top-notch operations results.
Current franchisees Tommy and Tami Marlin have also signed on for additional units. The couple, along with their son Shane, already operates eight successful CiCi's restaurants in Abilene, San Angelo, Laredo and San Antonio, Texas.
"Mr. Perales and the Marlins are exactly the kind of franchisees that will ensure CiCi's remains profitable as it grows," said Bill Spae, CiCi's Pizza Chief Development Officer. "Their experience with best practices and proven track records sets an example, and the tone, for future franchisees."
New Vice President of Franchise Sales Bruce Evans, a 15-year restaurant and franchise veteran, will work directly with new and potential franchisees to make certain they're poised for profitability. As director and then vice president of franchise development for Richardson-based Wingstop, Evans developed sales strategies that helped grow the franchise chain from 50 units to more than 500 in just nine years.
"Bruce understands the franchise world and has had measurable success driving the kind of aggressive growth we are seeking," Spae said. "New franchisees will quickly recognize what an asset he is to our business."
CiCi's Pizza, started in Plano, Texas in 1985, is as a family-oriented restaurant with a fresh, hot pizza, pasta, salad and dessert buffet featuring up to 20 varieties of pizza made with fresh ingredients for $4.99. CiCi's was recently again ranked No. 1 in its category in Entrepreneur Magazine's 2011 Franchise 500, and has been recognized as a top franchise business. Nation's Restaurant News ranked CiCi's No. 1 in the pizza category for the past three years and QSR Magazine named CiCi's to the 2010 list of the top 50 quick-service restaurant concepts. CiCi's has also been recognized by USA Today, Restaurants & Institutions, the Wall Street Journal, Franchise Today and Parents. CiCi's has more than 600 restaurants in 35 states and the recent One Brand Tour, led by CEO Mike Shumsky, ensures each and every franchisee upholds the highest brand standards. CiCi's corporate support center is led by a strong team of experts with more than 150 years of combined experience in franchising, business, operations, human resources, growth strategy, advertising, marketing and public relations.