CiCi's pleases penny pinchers and pizzaholics alike. CiCi Enterprises operates and franchises about 650 CiCi's Pizza restaurants in more than 30 states that offer several types of pizza along with salad, desserts, and pasta at an all-you-can-eat price. Concentrated in Texas, Florida, and other southern states, many of the eateries are located in shopping malls and other suburban retail areas. About 15 of the restaurants are company-owned, while the rest are franchised. CiCi Enterprises supplies its franchisees through its JMC Restaurant Distribution unit. Joe Croce opened the first CiCi's Pizza in Plano, Texas, in 1985. A group including current and former management controls the company.
CiCi's Pizza has grown rapidly into a leading quick-service pizza brand through its emphasis on franchising, which reduces the cost and risks associated with building a large chain. The company generates revenue mostly through fees and royalties paid by its franchise operators, as well as by selling food ingredients and other supplies through its JMC distribution arm. Operating in the quick-service pizza segment, CiCi's Pizza faces intense competition from #1 pizza chain Pizza Hut (owned by YUM! Brands) and home delivery king Domino's Pizza, but in its core Texas market the company also competes with such regional brands as Sonic and Whataburger.
Michael Shumsky was hired as CEO of CiCi Enterprises in 2009, replacing Craig Moore who retired. Shumsky previously served as chief of the bistro-inspired La Madeleine chain. CiCi's Pizza rolled out a line of thin crust pizzas in 2010 as the company continued to market its "endless" buffet. – less