Cici’s is a buffet-style pizza restaurant that first opened its doors in 1985. At the height of their success, there were 397 franchised and corporate restaurants in 29 different states. As recently as January 25th, 2021, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. What led to this decision? A history of changing menu items; financial crises; and the decision to file for bankruptcy.
Cici’s Pizza originated in 1985 and was founded by Joe Croce. Originally, the restaurant served only pizza. In 1987, Cici’s became a franchising company with its first franchise opening up outside of Chicago. By 1995, CiCi’s had expanded to 188 restaurants across 16 states; but then something changed dramatically for the company
In 1997, CiCi’s founder Joe Croce died. After his death, the company began to struggle financially and had difficulty with changing its menu items. In 2006, Cici’s went public as its stock price increased from $0.15 per share to over $14 a share in just six short years; however, this was followed by a financial crisis in 2008. Cici was then forced to file for bankruptcy protection.
Cici’s menu has changed over the years. Originally, Cici’s only served pizza and salad; but by 1995 they had expanded to include items such as calzones, pasta dishes, and chicken wings. The company also began offering a gluten-free menu in 2002
Cici’s Pizza is a restaurant chain that was founded in 1985 and specializes primarily in pizzas. The company currently has 39 cici’s locations across 29 states, with almost all of them being franchised stores. Cici’s menu includes both as-you-wish buffet items, such as salads and calzones, but also features entrees like pasta dishes and chicken wings.
The decision to file for bankruptcy protection came from the fact that they were unable to change their menu over time or keep up with other trends in the fast-food industry; this led some customers to not want anything more than just pizza at CiCi’s restaurants. They had trouble competing with other chains who offered cheaper options for kids meals and salad bars, and they also struggled with the decision to remove items like their famous CiCi’s macaroni & cheese.
The company has been working on a new marketing campaign since 2015 which includes changing its name from “CiCi’s pizza” to just Cicis in order to better reflect what it offers as well as update its logo and website; this was done in an attempt to attract more customers by making these changes so that the cici’s brand would be recognizable for years into the future.
Cicis is now looking forward to getting back on track after filing bankruptcy protection – while there are no specifics yet about when or how they will do this, CEO Anthony Graziano reported during his interview that he believes Cicis will come out of this stronger and more competitive in the pizza industry.
The company has faced difficult financial times for years, including that they were unable to meet payroll on a regular basis which caused them to close locations with no notice as well as laying off staff members – but Graziano also mentioned during his interview that there are plans in place now to prevent these types of issues from happening again. Cicis is looking forward to not only moving past bankruptcy protection but getting back into business soon so it can offer its customers both quality food and customer service once again.
CiCi’s menu items have changed over time. Starting with their decision in 1985 not only allow vegetable toppings but make them a required topping on each personal pizzas they offered. This was after years of people asking about adding vegetables as well as pressure from some franchise owners who wanted healthier options that were more appealing to health-conscious consumers. Their most recent change came in 2017 when they eliminated pepperoni slices from all carryout pizzas due to customer requests – this resulted in an uptick of complaints because there is no additional charge if customers want peppers or onions on their pizza.
CiCi has been through some difficult financial periods and had to make changes that may have not made customers happy but were necessary for the company to survive. In 1998, they eliminated their salad bar in order to cut down on costs; this was a very unpopular decision with customers who loved it because they could get both pizza and vegetables without having two meals at once or paying more. In 2009, after going public three years earlier, Cici’s announced that due to economic conditions they would be closing 16 restaurants nationwide as well as heavily reduce employee hours – this resulted in layoffs of up to 800 employees nationally.