CiCi’s Pizza Continues to Build Strength of Executive Leadership Team
July 12, 2007 (Coppell, Texas) CiCi’s Pizza, a family-oriented pizza buffet chain, has promoted two executives to advanced leadership roles as the company continues to gain momentum in the restaurant industry. Kyle Smith was promoted to vice president of operations and Steve Hawter to vice president of training.

“CiCi’s Pizza is experiencing an outstanding year, and both of these individuals played a critical role in that success,” says Craig Moore, president and CEO of CiCi’s Pizza. “These individuals have been vital in the development and execution of our long-term strategy, and will continue to lead their respective teams to category leadership.”

Kyle Smith joined CiCi’s Pizza in 1999. Prior to his promotion, Smith served the company as director of operations for four years and as franchise district manager for three years. Since joining CiCi’s, Smith has seen CiCi’s nearly double in unit size. As vice president of operations, Smith will continue to focus on building operational initiatives that drive CiCi’s reputation for exceptional customer service and outstanding menu choices.

Steve Hawter brings a tremendous amount of experience to his role as vice president of training having served four years as the director. Hawter, who joined CiCi’s in 2000, draws from his ten year experience as an owner and operator of a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Under his leadership, the company added a training program for general managers and a multi-unit manager conference. Along with the company’s existing five week manager certification program, CiCi’s has lowered general manager turnover to 18 percent, down from 60 percent.
Founded in 1985, CiCi’s Pizza is a family-oriented restaurant serving guests fresh pizza, pasta, salad and dessert, all you want for under $5.00. CiCi’s mission then and now is to exceed each guest’s expectation in food, service and cleanliness at an affordable price. Since opening its first restaurant in Plano, Texas, CiCi’s has grown to over 600 restaurants in 28 states.

Industry professionals have taken notice of CiCi’s Pizza continuous growth and success. Nation’s Restaurant News has ranked CiCi’s number one for sales and unit growth in the pizza chain category for the past three years. In its recent 2007 ranking, Entrepreneur magazine designated CiCi’s as the top brand in the Italian restaurant franchise category., The Wall Street Journal’s guide for entrepreneurs, ranked CiCi’s as one of the top 25 highest-performing brands in the nation and Franchise Today placed the company in the top 200 of all franchise concepts. Other honors include “Best in Value” award among national pizza chains in Restaurants and Institutions magazine’s 2006 Consumers’ Choice Report and “Best Customer Service” from Corporate Research International in 2006 and 2005.

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