This 300-Unit Pizza Chain Went From Bankruptcy to Growth By Providing Entertainment


It seems that one chain's all-you-can-eat pizza promotion was insufficient to keep it viable during the pandemic.

After years of hardship, the go-to place for birthday celebrations, sports team celebrations, and all things carbohydrates entered bankruptcy in 2020. However, new owners changed the game, very literally.

Cicis Pizza, a 300-unit, low-cost pizza buffet business with a Texas base, has struggled in recent years as customers have shifted from eating in to takeout and delivery.

According to Restaurant Business, the chain filed for bankruptcy and was then bought by a new consortium that includes SSCP Management, the management company behind Applebee's.

Cicis restaurants have been enhancing their entertainment options, establishing bigger game rooms and even allowing patrons to participate in arcade-style contests to earn tickets and prizes.

The idea of gaming is not new to Cicis, but its contribution to revenue has increased from 1% to 10% to 20% currently.

According to Stephanie Hoppe, chief marketing officer of Cici, "the focus is on engaging our past, present, and prospective customers in a fun and innovative way that shows the value and the experiences we offer."

New wacky spokesperson C.C. Pazzini, a four-inch man with a flying machine and rhymes, was also developed by Cicis Pizza.

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