Private company
Founded1985; 33 years ago (1985)
Plano, Texas, United States
FoundersJoe Croce
Mike Cole
HeadquartersIrving, Texas
Number of locations
Key people
Darin Harris (CEO)
ProductsPizza, salad, pasta

Cicis (formerly named CiCi's Pizza) is an American buffet restaurant chain based in Irving, Texas,[1] specializing in pizza. There are approximately 440 franchised and corporately owned restaurants in 35 states. 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.

Joe Croce and Mike Cole founded Cicis in 1985 in Plano, Texas.[2][3] In 2001, with 363 restaurants at the time, the chain expanded its buffet offerings and began remodeling restaurants.[3] Four years later, Cicis had more than 500 locations, and was the fastest-growing pizza chain in the United States.[4] 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.[5] As president of the chain, Moore oversaw the company's operations and franchise growth, eventually announcing his retirement in 2009, after 17 years with the company. Michael Shumsky took over after Moore retired in late 2009 through July 2013.

Michael Shumsky took over after Moore retired in late 2009 (He had previously served as CEO of La Madeleine Restaurant, Inc.). Darin Harris is the current CEO of Cicis Pizza after joining the company in August 2013.

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.[citation needed]

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.[6]

In 2015, Cicis announced its first mobile-based loyalty program [7] with Punchh. The app aims to drive customer spend, frequency, and increase user convenience. “CiCi’s is moving into the digital space as part of our new feeding individuality positioning. We are working to connect with our guests in ways that makes it more convenient to them,” said Sarah McAloon,[8][9] CMO of CiCi’s.

Recognition and awards[]

CiCi's macaroni and cheese pizza

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.[10] 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".[11]

See also[]


  1. ^ Revitalized Cicis Steps up New Restaurant Openings." Cicis Pizza. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  2. ^ Voorhis, Dan (2002-07-06). "Fast Growing Dallas Pizza Chain to Open Store in Wichita, Kan". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  3. ^ a b Quinn, Steve (2001-10-05). "Locally based pizza chain is pursuing growth Cici's launches a new look and expands its trademark buffet". Dallas News. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  4. ^ Shlachter, Barry (2005-07-05). "CiCi's budget buffets propel company to fastest-growing pizza chain". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
  5. ^ CiCi's Pizza founder insisted sale be an inside deal Archived October 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "CiCi's Pizza Engages Guests More Frequently with Branded Loyalty App". The Hospitality Tech. October 15, 2015.
  8. ^ "CiCi's Names Industry Veteran Sarah McAloon Its CMO". October 8, 2014.
  9. ^ "CiCi's Pizza Brings On New CMO Sarah McAloon". October 8, 2014.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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[]