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Private company
Founded1985; 35 years ago (1985)
Plano, Texas, United States
FoundersJoe Croce
Mike Cole
HeadquartersIrving, Texas
Number of locations
397 (2020)[1]
Key people
Bill Mitchell (CEO)
ProductsPizza, salad, pasta
ParentCiCi Enterprises Inc. Edit this at Wikidata

Cicis (formerly named CiCi's Pizza) is an American buffet restaurant chain based in Irving, Texas,[2] specializing in pizza. The company was founded in 1985, and started franchising by 1987.[3] There are over 450 franchised and corporately owned restaurants in 32 states.[4] In November 2015, the company began a new marketing campaign which included the renaming of the company to Cicis (by dropping the apostrophe and making the second 'C' lowercase), along with the addition of a new logo and redesigned website.


A CiCi's Pizza restaurant in Brooklyn, Ohio in February 2013 (closed in 2020).

Joe Croce and Mike Cole founded Cicis in 1985 in Plano, Texas.[5][6] In 2001, with 363 restaurants at the time, the chain expanded its buffet offerings and began remodeling restaurants.[6] Four years later, Cicis had more than 500 locations, and was the fastest-growing pizza chain in the United States.[7]

In 2003, Croce retired from the business, and passed ownership of the company to the company's executive team. Craig Moore, who was a general manager in Dallas, became vice president of the company, a position he held for five years before he was named president after the sale. Croce gave 20% of his proceeds to Gateway Church, where he was a member.[8] As president of the chain, Moore oversaw the company's operations and franchise growth.[9] Moore announced his retirement in 2009, after 17 years with the company.[9][10]

CiCi's macaroni and cheese pizza

Michael Shumsky, previously CEO of La Madeleine Restaurant, Inc. took over for Moore.[9][10] Shumsky retired in August 2013 and Darin Harris took over as CEO of the company.[11] Harris left the company in January 2018 and was replaced by Bill Mitchell as interim CEO.[12] Mitchell was appointed the position permanently in March 2018.[12]

In addition to its current restaurants, in 2010 Cicis announced plans to add another 500 restaurants in the next 10 years (with the possibility of expanding internationally into Canada and Mexico). Cicis has won numerous awards and has also been named one of the top 25 performing brands by The Wall Street Journal and a top 200 franchise concept by Franchise Today. The award for worst restaurant ideas has also been awarded to the pizza chain.[13]

In November 2015, the company began a new marketing campaign which included the simplified renaming of the company to just Cicis with the modifier "Beyond Pizza," along with the addition of a new logo and redesigned website. The campaign is aimed at proving that Cicis has more to offer than just pizza.[14]

Recognition and awards[edit]

From 2004 to 2009, CiCi's Pizza has held third place in the pizza category for Restaurants & Institutions' "Consumers' Choice in Chains" contest, which is judged based on consumer reviews of the competing restaurant chains.[15] In March 2009 Men's Health gave CiCi's Pizza "top marks" in providing healthy food choices among its list of "66 major chain restaurants".[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pizza Near Me – Find a Cicis Pizza Location". Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Revitalized Cicis Steps up New Restaurant Openings." Cicis Pizza. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  3. ^ "Cicis Franchise Information". Entrepreneur. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  4. ^ Harris, Darin. "Beyond Pizza: Cicis Overhauls Its 30-Year-Old Brand from the Ground Up". Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  5. ^ Voorhis, Dan (July 6, 2002). "Fast Growing Dallas Pizza Chain to Open Store in Wichita, Kan". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Quinn, Steve (October 5, 2001). "Locally based pizza chain is pursuing growth Cici's launches a new look and expands its trademark buffet". Dallas News. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  7. ^ Shlachter, Barry (July 5, 2005). "CiCi's budget buffets propel company to fastest-growing pizza chain". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved September 20, 2009.
  8. ^ CiCi's Pizza founder insisted sale be an inside deal Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ a b c "President of CiCi's Pizza Set to Retire". QSR magazine. August 24, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  10. ^ a b "CiCi's Moore Retires - Franchise Times - October 2009 -". Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  11. ^ Abril, Danielle (July 24, 2013). "CiCi's Pizza hires Darin Harris as new CEO". Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  12. ^ a b May 08, Peter Romeo on; 2018. "Cicis reveals it has a new CEO: Bill Mitchell". Restaurant Business. Retrieved December 10, 2019.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Zigu. "Rank 8 Cici's Pizza : Top 10 Pizza Restaurants in the World 2015". MBA Skool-Study.Learn.Share. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "Cicis debuts new branding". Nation's Restaurant News. November 4, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  15. ^ "Consumers' Choice in Chains Winners, 2004–2009". Restaurants & Institutions. Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. 2009. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009.
  16. ^ "CiCi's Pizza Scores Top Marks on Men's Health 'Eat This, Not That!' Report Card" (Press release). Coppell, Texas. PRNewswire. March 26, 2009. Archived from the original on May 3, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2015.

External links[edit]