September 29, 2009 (Coppell, Texas) – In recognition of sales growth, operational execution and guest service, 60 top CiCi’s Pizza general managers were awarded a three-day, two-night Nassau, Bahamas cruise. The WOW Cruise, set sail for the second tour, was designed to recognize exemplary general managers throughout CiCi’s 650 restaurants and provide them with tools to grow personally and professionally.
“We feel it is one of the best ways to demonstrate how important and truly valued our team members are to the CiCi’s brand,” said Kyle Smith, Vice President of Operations at CiCi’s Pizza. “The cruise was specially designed to celebrate team members by rewarding them for achieving their personal bests, which shine through in their restaurant’s performance. It’s a way for us to say thank you to those who have put their heart and soul into this brand.”
Part of the WOW cruise program looks at how CiCi’s managers “WOW” their guests. Feedback is in the form of stories and comments from guests, recognizing service that goes above and beyond in providing the kind of customer service CiCi’s guests have come to expect. Additionally, CiCi’s considered:
· Positive sales growth
· Operations performance
· Mystery shopper scores
Last year, the top 60 managers who were honored on the cruise were able to build sales at a rate eight times higher than the average CiCi’s restaurant. These key managers also ranked in the top ten percent in their CRI Operations Index in 2008 and were the only group in the system that ranked positive in comp sales over the prior year. In addition, out of last year’s group of 60 top managers, seven were approved as operators, four are now operating a unit, one is currently searching for his first site, one has already opened a new location as a first time franchisee, and one, Phil Santucci, was selected to partner with CiCi’s in his own franchise opportunity. CiCi’s hopes the WOW Cruise class of ’09 will exceed these accomplishments.
“This is about taking your career to the next level and possibly even realizing a dream of owning your own CiCi’s. The fact that those managers where able to adhere top sales in a challenging economic climate is very powerful,” Smith said. “Those managers have figured out how to execute CiCi’s as it’s designed, along with making local store marketing automatic and everyday, will continue to make their restaurants thrive even in a down economy.”
Founded in 1985, CiCi’s Pizza is a family-oriented restaurant serving guests fresh pizza, pasta, salad and dessert, all you want for about five bucks and change. 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 almost 650 restaurants in 32 states. In 2006, CiCi’s introduced the carry-out only To-Go restaurants with 13 operating in Texas, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma and California.
Industry professionals have taken notice of CiCi’s Pizza’s continuous growth and success. USA Today featured CiCi’s Pizza in the “Money” section positioning the brand as the value leader within the restaurant industry. In 2009, Restaurants & Institutions Consumers’ Choice in Chains recognized CiCi’s Pizza as a top pizza chain in America, as well as an honor in “Best in Value.” 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 2009 ranking, Entrepreneur magazine’s Annual Franchise Top 500 issue, ranked CiCi’s Pizza as number one in the Italian restaurant industry category an honor the company also received in 2007. Men’s Health recently included CiCi’s Pizza in it’s list of America’s Healthiest Restaurants. StartupJournal.com, 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. For more information visit www.cicispizza.com.