Why Did Cici Pizza Close?

Cicis declared bankruptcy Monday as the COVID pandemic and economic downturn “severely strained” finances. The 318-unit pizza chain agreed to sell itself to D&G Investors as part of a pre-packaged and expedited bankruptcy process. The move came after D&G acquired $81.6 million in debt from Cicis previous lenders.
Why is Cicis closing? Cici’s files for bankruptcy as pandemic accelerates the decline of the all-you-can-eat buffet. Cici’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced its sale to D&G Investors.

Why did Cici’s Pizza go out of business?

Even before COVID, the chain was suffering from the growth of fast casuals and the third-party delivery market. Cicis was in the middle of a turnaround strategy when COVID hit in March 2020. The instability caused CiCis to default under its credit agreement.

Who owns Cicis pizza?

Cicis was acquired by Arlon Group in 2016 and currently has approximately 430 restaurants in 31 states.

How much does it cost to buy a Cici pizza franchise?

Cici’s Pizza Franchise fee is $30,000 (and $25,00 for each subsequent restaurant), although the total initial investment ranges from $446,000 to $715,000. Franchisees must allocate 4-6% of their net sales (depending on the rate of profitability of the store) to an ongoing royalty fee.

What was Cicis pizza before?

Cicis (formerly named CiCi’s Pizza) is an Italian American chain of buffet restaurants based in Irving, Texas, specializing in pizza. The company was founded in 1985, and started franchising by 1987.


Type Private
Products Pizza, salad, pasta
Parent CiCi Enterprises Inc.
Website www.cicis.com

Did all Cici’s Pizza close?

Cici’s files for bankruptcy as pandemic accelerates the decline of the all-you-can-eat buffet. Cici’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced its sale to D&G Investors. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the downfall of all-you-can-eat buffets.

Is Cici’s Pizza still around?

Cicis operates just over 300 locations, or about 25% fewer than the 420 it operated at the end of 2019, and about half of where it was at the chain’s 2009 peak. Cicis system sales in the five years going into the pandemic averaged a 2.4% decline, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

What does Cicis stand for?


Acronym Definition
CICIS Chemicals in Commerce Information System

How Much Is a Little Caesars franchise?

Opening one Little Caesars pizza restaurant franchise requires a total investment of $350,000 to $1,427,500, including a $20,000 franchise fee. Potential owners should have a net worth of at least $250,000.

How do I invest in Cicis pizza?

To buy a franchise with CiCi’s Pizza Buffet, you’ll need to have $57,765 – $213,858 in liquid capital. Franchisees can expect to make a total investment of $192,550 – $712,860. They also offer financing via 3rd party.

How do I open a pizza buffet?

How to Start a Buffet Restaurant

  1. Write a Buffet Restaurant Business Plan.
  2. Identify a Commercial Space.
  3. Apply for Permits and Licenses.
  4. Determine What Equipment You’ll Need.
  5. Decide on a Buffet Restaurant Layout.
  6. Hire a Staff.
  7. Advertise Your Buffet Restaurant.
  8. Open Your Buffet Restaurant.

Where did Cici’s Pizza get its name?

Joe Croce and Mike Cole opened their first pizza joint in Plano, Texas in 1985, using the name Cici’s because both their names started with the letter C. (Contrary to popular belief, they never left the pizza business to open a music factory.)

What happened to Cicis Pizza?

Cicis Pizza emerged from bankruptcy protection this week, less than two months after it declared Chapter 11, with new owners and a hope that consumers will return to the dine-in service in which it specialized before the pandemic. The Irving, Tex.-based chain was sold to D&G Investors in a credit deal.

Is Cicis Pizza Hut a dine-in or takeout chain?

Pizza Hut, historically a dine-in chain, has been quickly closing those units, replacing them with delivery and takeout locations. Cicis could use its value proposition—its buffet generally costs $6—while banking on a return of customers to dine-in service.

Why is CiCi’s growing faster than the restaurant industry?

Cici’s has seen digital ordering and delivery grow 300% faster than dine-in traffic, according to the reports. And since pandemic shutdowns forced dining rooms to shutter, Cici’s has been able to negotiate rent with its landlords and shift to emphasize its takeout and delivery options.

How many CiCi’s restaurants are in the US?

There are just 318 Cici’s locations in 26 states. That’s half the number of restaurants the chain had 10 years ago, according to Restaurant Business. The company had also tried to make itself more efficient before the bankruptcy filing, QSR reported.

Cicis Pizza Declares Bankruptcy

The COVID epidemic, along with the economic slump, ″severely strained″ the finances of Cicis, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday.As part of a pre-packaged and accelerated bankruptcy procedure, the 318-unit pizza business decided to sell itself to D&G Investors for an undisclosed sum.After purchasing $81.6 million in debt from Cicis’ prior lenders, D&G made the decision to close the deal.The corporation will convert all of its secured debt into equity in Cicis and give the company with $9 million in debtor-in-possession funding to assist it through the bankruptcy process.In order to combat the unpredictable environment, Cicis implemented a four-pronged strategy: reopening with the goal of health and safety; pursuing off-premises opportunities; repositioning the marketing strategy to emphasize digital, the value-oriented experience, and the company’s target demographic; and optimizing the cost structure by reducing supply chain costs, negotiating rent reductions, reducing overall square footage and corporate overhead, and managing commodity costs.

The efforts were in vain since the blows were too great.In the fiscal year 2019, the brand generated sales of $177.3 million and adjusted EBITDA of $14.2 million.However, sales fell to $76.3 million in 2020, and adjusted EBITDA dropped to a negative $2.7 million figure.

Fast casual restaurants and third-party deliveries have put pressure on Cicis’ buffet business, which is dependent on in-store eating for 99 percent of its income, in addition to the COVID epidemic, the company claims.According to court records, digital ordering and delivery at Cicis has risen at a rate that is 300 percent faster than dine-in traffic in the past year.According to the court filing, ″CiCi’s introduction of digital ordering and delivery services has increased its ability to reach customers, but the Company’s reliance on third party dispatch and delivery platforms has impacted margins and may reduce customer loyalty over the long term by lowering switching costs,″ said CFO Richard Peabody.Because the in-store experience is less important in today’s entire consumer value proposition, CiCi’s must work harder and more creatively to differentiate its offers from those of its competitors, according to the company.

The Cicis management team began implementing a strategy to increase efficiency and flexibility in late 2019 and early 2020.In 2019, it shuttered three company-owned locations and transferred 29 others to franchisees, according to the business.Starting in 2020, it will begin the process of refranchising its remaining shops, which will include the closure of seven restaurants and the transfer of ten to franchisees.In addition, the pizza company intended to shut one of its three distribution hubs in order to streamline operations.When COVID struck in March, Cicis was in the midst of implementing its turnaround strategy.Cicis was forced to default on its loan deal as a result of the instability.

For several months, the pizza restaurant engaged in negotiations with lenders to determine a strategy for dealing with debt and defaults.According to court records, Cicis lenders expressed a desire not to be shareholders in the firm, and as a result, the brand began a sales process in cooperation with those lenders.While that procedure was in progress, the lender group sold all of its debt to D&G, completing the transaction.Cicis then approached D&G regarding the possibility of a deal.After reaching a deadlock over prices, the two parties came to an agreement that calls for a 45-day bankruptcy procedure to be initiated.Cicis has changed hands four times in less than two decades, with the latest transaction involving D&G.

  • Cicis was bought by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in 2003 as part of a management buyout.
  • The company then sold the pizza business to ONCAP Management Partners for an undisclosed sum in 2007.
  • By 2009, Cicis has grown to over 650 stores in 33 states, thanks to the ONCAP program.
  • Cicis was acquired by Arlon Food and Agriculture Partners seven years after it was founded.
  • By that time, the company’s footprint had shrunk to 430 shops.
  • As of the beginning of 2020, Cicis has a total of 395 units available.
  1. As a result of the bankruptcy, the total number of franchisees dropped to 318, including 307 businesses.
  2. Buffet ideas have taken a significant hit as a result of the epidemic.
  3. Garden Fresh Restaurants, the parent company of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection this spring and shuttered all 97 of its locations permanently.
  4. 1069 Restaurant Group, the largest franchisee of Golden Corral, filed into bankruptcy in October, owing a total of $49.7 million in unsecured debt to the company.

Cicis Pizza Emerges from Bankruptcy with New Game Plan

Cicis Pizza has emerged from bankruptcy after less than two months, armed with a reorganization plan that ″strengthened the corporate team, company operations, and financial structure,″ according to the firm’s website.The brand, which has a total of little under 300 locations, is currently owned by D&G Investors, a new firm formed by SSCP Management and Gala Capital Partners to invest in the retail sector.In this case, the purchase was part of a pre-packaged and accelerated bankruptcy proceeding.After purchasing $81.6 million in debt from Cicis’ prior lenders, D&G made the decision to close the deal.The corporation converted all of its secured debt into equity in Cicis and provided the company with $9 million in debtor-in-possession funding to assist it in navigating the bankruptcy proceedings.

Cicis Enterprises, JMC Restaurant Distribution, and all of their assets and companies are being sold as part of the transaction.According to Jeff Hetsel, president and chief operating officer of Cicis, ″We are looking forward to working with D&G Investors in the future and ensuring that the brand is prepared for an extraordinarily bright future.″ The company says that for for than 35 years, Cicis has occupied a particular position in the hearts, minds, and appetites of many Americans, and its top priority is to guarantee that our visitors maintain that connection with the brand for many years to come.Cicis’ business strategy, like that of other buffet chains around the country, suffered a significant setback when the pandemic struck, despite efforts to expand off-premises, reorient marketing methods, and improve cost structures.

It was already suffering from the expansion of quick casual restaurants and the third-party delivery sector prior to the implementation of COVID.When COVID struck in March 2020, Cicis was in the midst of implementing a turnaround strategy.CiCis was forced to default on its loan agreement as a result of the turmoil.In the fiscal year 2019, the brand generated sales of $177.3 million and adjusted EBITDA of $14.2 million.

However, revenue fell to $76.3 million in 2020, and adjusted EBITDA dropped to a negative $2.7 million figure in the following year.While the chain was negotiating with its lenders, D&G stepped in and purchased the whole debt.Cicis then approached D&G regarding the possibility of a deal.Following a deadlock over expenses, the two parties came to an arrangement that included the possibility of a rapid bankruptcy proceeding.Anand Gala, founder and managing partner of Gala Capital, and Chris, Sunil, and Puja Dharod, founders of SSCP Management, were the driving forces behind the development of D&G.In the words of Cicis, D&G is ″infusing operational know-how and investment resources in order to support near and long-term company objectives.″ According to Chris Dharod, CEO of Cicis, ″Cicis has so many enticing characteristics, and we feel that the company has a bright future in this post-pandemic era.″ Although the pandemic has been a challenging period for many restaurant businesses, including Cicis, the brand has retained its strength as a result of the strength of the brand and the business strategy,″ says the spokesperson.

We are devoted to the advancement of the firm and to collaborating closely with franchisees in order to expand their respective companies.″ Cicis has changed hands four times in less than two decades, with the latest transaction involving D&G.Cicis was bought by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners in 2003 as part of a management buyout.The company then sold the pizza business to ONCAP Management Partners for an undisclosed sum in 2007.CiCis expanded to around 650 locations in 33 states by 2009, thanks to the ONCAP program.CiCis was acquired by Arlon Food and Agriculture Partners seven years after it was founded.By that time, the company’s footprint had shrunk to 430 shops.

  • As of the beginning of 2020, Cicis has a total of 395 units available.
  • As a result of the bankruptcy, the total number of franchisees dropped to 318, including 307 businesses.
  • The footprint is now less than 300 square meters.
  • Due to its ″proven capacity to expand concepts and optimize unit-level economics through operational and supply chain efficiency,″ Cicis believes D&G will be able to reverse its downward trend.
  • ″Chris, Sunil, and I are franchisee-focused executives who adhere to a set of values that are strikingly similar in our approaches to nurturing and growing franchise networks.
  • A statement from Gala added, ″We are committed to fostering the success of our franchisees on a local level.″ ″At the same time, we believe there is a tremendous opportunity to build on the successful business model that Cicis has developed and expand on it in order to extend the franchise system to its full potential.″

Cicis Names New CEO

  • William M.
  • Mitchell, a veteran industry executive, has been appointed to oversee the expanding pizza buffet business.
  • IRVING, Texas (May 8, 2018) — The city of Irving, Texas, has a new mayor.
  • ″Bill″ Mitchell has been named as the new CEO of Cicis, the nation’s leading pizza buffet restaurant known for its unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert buffet.

Mitchell previously served as the president of Cicis.Mitchell has served as the company’s temporary CEO since January and was appointed to the position on a permanent basis in March.Preceding his current position, he worked as the president of Dunkin’ Brands International at Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.and Dunkin’ Donuts LLC, where he was in charge of nearly 8,500 Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins locations in more than 60 countries around the world.In addition to his previous positions at Papa John’s International, where he most recently served as president of global operations, and AFC Enterprises (Popeyes Restaurants), where he was responsible for the business planning and operation of 1,400 franchise locations, he has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and business executive.

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Managing Director Ben Fishman of Arlon said, ″Bill has a proven track record as a leader of major franchise systems, with a focus on enhancing operations, customer service, and overall business growth.″ ″We have complete faith in his ability to further enhance and improve Cicis in significant ways for our strategic partners and, most importantly, for our visitors.″ Cicis was bought by the Arlon Group in 2016, and the company today operates roughly 430 restaurants in 31 states, according to the company.Since then, the company has witnessed strong revenue growth as well as general improvements in guest happiness and food quality, and it expects to maintain its momentum under Mitchell’s leadership in the future.″This is an exciting time to join the Cicis team because, while the system has progressed significantly, there is still so much more we can do to become stronger operators, provide better service to our guests, and grow the business,″ Mitchell said.

  • ″My first priority is to get out into the field and meet with our franchisees, as well as listen to their suggestions for how we can improve how we do things at Cicis.″ Mitchell takes over for Darin Harris, who stepped down as CEO in January after taking a new position in another company.
  • Concerning Cicis When Cicis Pizza opened its first location in Irving, Texas, in 1983, it was hailed as the world’s first Unlimited Pizza Buffet, serving a wide variety of pizzas, including both traditional and flatbread varieties.
  • The company also offers pasta dishes, salads, and desserts for dine-in, carry-out, and catering.
  • Cicis, which has more than 430 locations in 32 states, has been ranked No.
  • 1 in Technomic’s ″most craveable pizza chains,″ and Entrepreneur magazine named Cicis to its Franchise 500 list in 2015.
  • Cicis may be found online at cicis.com and on Facebook at Facebook.com/cicis for additional information.
  • In order to obtain more information about franchising, you can contact Michael Iglesias at [email protected] or 972-745-9313, or you can go to franchise.cicis.com.
  • Nikki Richardson or Alvin Jordan may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected] or by phone at 817-329-3257.

Cici’s files for bankruptcy as pandemic accelerates the decline of the all-you-can-eat buffet

  • A Cici’s Pizza restaurant in the Florida city of Buena Vista.
  • Photo by John Greim via LightRocket/Getty Images Cici’s Buffet has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and stated that it will be sold to D&G Investors, the company’s major lender, as part of the process.
  • As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, sales at pizza franchises such as Papa John’s, Domino’s Pizza, and Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut have increased, whilst sales at buffet-style restaurants such as Cici’s have decreased.
  • All-you-can-eat restaurants were already faltering prior to the crisis, but the tightening of eating limitations and consumers’ increased concern about cleanliness hastened the enterprises’ demise.

There are 318 Cici’s locations in 26 states in the United States, which are operated by the company and its franchisees.It has more than 650 restaurants in 2010 according to the company.Cici’s stated in bankruptcy documents on Monday that company has assets ranging between $10 million and $50 million and liabilities ranging between $50 million and $100 million.Weingarten Realty Investors and Saputo Cheese were the company’s two largest debtors.According to the trade newspaper Restaurant Business, D&G Investors bought $82 million in debt from Cici in December.

It revamped in 2015, omitting the word ″Pizza″ from its moniker in an attempt to bring attention to the company’s other menu offerings.It was purchased by the Arlon Group, an investment business that specializes in food and agriculture, a year after it was founded.When it comes to seeking bankruptcy protection amid the flu epidemic, Cici’s is just one of a number of other restaurant companies that have done so, including Punch Bowl Social and Friendly’s Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

  • Approximately 110,000 restaurants are expected to close permanently in 2020, according to projections from the National Restaurant Association.

Cicis Pizza quickly emerges from bankruptcy with new owners

  • FinancingThe pizza buffet restaurant, which is now controlled by a group of operators that have transformed themselves into brand owners, has shuttered a fourth of its sites.
  • Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock Cicis Pizza emerged from bankruptcy protection last week, less than two months after filing for Chapter 11 protection.
  • The company now has new owners and is hoping that consumers will return to the dine-in service in which it specialized prior to the influenza epidemic.
  • As part of a loan agreement, the Irving, Texas-based chain was sold to D&G Investors.

It was created by SSCP Management, an Applebee’s franchisee, and Gala Capital Partners, the owner of the Mooyah Burgers restaurant chain.It bought Cicis’ $82 million in debt prior to the filing of the lawsuit and converted that debt into stock during the selling process.They will be taking on a brand that is far smaller than it was before to the outbreak, and that was already decreasing before the pandemic began.At the end of 2019, Cicis had just over 300 sites, which is roughly 25 percent fewer than it had at the end of the previous year and nearly half the number of locations it had at its height in 2009.According to statistics from Restaurant Business sister firm Technomic, sales of Cicis systems had declined on average by 2.4 percent in the five years prior to the pandemic.

The new owners, on the other hand, think that the operators who are in charge of the brand are in good form.They hope that, with new owners and a changed financing structure, the brand will be able to swiftly return to where it was when the economy returns to normal.According to Chris Dharod, a principal of SSCP along with Sunil and Puja Dharod, ″the methodology is still effective.″ ″We are fans of the brand.

  • The economics are appealing to us.
  • ″The franchisees are successful entrepreneurs in their own right.″ SSCP and Gala have already taken on well-known brands.
  • Bloomin’ Brands sold the Roy’s Restaurant business to SSCP in 2014, and the two companies have been working together since then.
  • A consortium of investors, including Gala Capital, invested in the acquisition of Mooyah in 2017.
  • Following years of turmoil, both chains looked to have found their footing in 2019.
  • Cicis will benefit from the new owners’ capacity to enhance unit-level economics, according to the new owners.
  • As a result, they feel that their previous experience as franchisees will be beneficial, especially given that Cicis is primarily a franchised business.
  • According to Anand Gala, managing partner of Gala Capital Partners, ″Chris, Sunil, and I are franchisee-focused CEOs who share very similar ideas in how we nurture and build franchise systems.″ Gala Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests in and develops franchise systems.
  • ″We are committed to ensuring the long-term success of our franchisees on a regional and local level.″ Furthermore, according to Gala, the new owners see ″an immense opportunity to utilise the established business model Cicis now has and improve on it in order to extend the franchise system to its full potential.″ Customers have increasingly turned to delivery services to supplement their pizza consumption, causing dine-in pizza shops to struggle in recent years, in general.

During the epidemic, this increased in speed.Same-store sales at Pizza Inn, another buffet chain, fell by as much as 39 percent last year, according to company data.In the final three months of 2020, they were still down 18 percent from the previous year.

  • Pizza Hut, which was once primarily a dine-in establishment, has been rapidly shutting those locations and replacing them with delivery and takeout facilities.
  • It is possible for Cicis to capitalize on its value proposition—its buffet is typically $6—while betting on a return of consumers to its dine-in service.
  • In order to get consumers back into their establishments when restrictions loosen following the epidemic, some typically dine-in companies are banking on ″pent-up demand.″ ″We don’t expect COVID will be around forever,″ Chris Dharod stated.
  • ″COVID will no longer exist.
  • The business will revert to its previous state.″Members contribute to the success of our journalism.″ Become a Restaurant Business member now to take advantage of special perks, such as unrestricted access to all of our content and discounts on products and services.
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  • In its admission, Cicis acknowledges that the intrusion took place more than a month after KrebsOnSecurity first reported on it.
  • Cicis claimed in a statement that the restaurant chain got reports from some of its sites in early March 2016 that their POS systems were not functioning correctly.
  • The 12th of September, 2016 – Cicis, a pizza buffet restaurant company situated in Coppell, Texas, has been bought by Arlon Group, a food and agricultural investment organization based in New York City, according to the company.
  • Cicis was the first company to provide an Unlimited Pizza Buffet, and the company has grown to more than 440 locations in 33 states since its foundation in 1985.

Cicis was sentenced to five years and four months in prison at Derby Crown Court after admitting to burglary in which a victim was subjected to physical abuse.″Cicis had left his fingerprints at the scene, and we were able to identify him through his DNA on a cigarette that was later discovered inside the stolen bag,″ Detective Sergeant Steve Shaw of Derbyshire Police said.New York, NY, February 24, 2011 -(PR.com)- New York, NY, February 24, 2011 -(PR.com)- It was reported today by BoeFly, the foremost online marketplace linking lenders with business borrowers, that CiCi’s Pizza, an award-winning pizza franchise, has chosen the company’s online marketplace to aid its franchisees in getting bank financing.CiCi’s serves a never-ending buffet of fresh salad, tasty pasta, delectable desserts, and hot-from-the-oven pizzas at a reasonable price at locations all around the United States.CiCi’s Pizza, a family-dining restaurant company established in the United States, has announced a franchise extension in the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

‘For more than 25 years, CiCi’s has been offering its quality, made fresh daily pizza buffet, and we’re delighted to expand our footprint in Phoenix,’ said Jim Sheahan, the company’s head of franchise sales.

What Does a CiCi’s Pizza Buffet Franchise Cost?

In order to purchase a franchise with CiCi’s Pizza Buffet, you must have at least $57,765 in liquid capital on hand. Franchisees can expect to invest a total of $192,550 – $712,860 in their businesses. They also provide financing through a third-party provider, as well as a 10% discount for veterans.


Options available to franchisees:

Financing: Via 3rd party
Training: Available
Veteran Discount: 10%
  • Hi CiCi’s is pleased to welcome you.
  • A never-ending pizza, spaghetti, salad, and dessert buffet that offers incredible value for money.
  • A place where the first word you hear is ″hello,″ and the last word you hear is ″thank you.″ Where the pizza is always hot and fresh, and the desserts are delectable.
  • Where second and thirds are OK and fourths are not an issue.

And while making them happy is only the first step on the way to making them become friends is the ultimate goal.We are looking for pizza entrepreneurs.Passionate entrepreneurs who want to start their own business and take control of their financial destinies will find an incredible chance at CiCi’s to do it.As reported by Entrepreneur Magazine, CiCi’s Restaurants was named first in the Italian restaurant franchise category, and the Wall Street Journal’s Guide to Entrepreneurship ranked CiCi’s Restaurants as one of the top 25 highest performing brands in the country.You will have access to cutting-edge technology and people who will assist you in realizing your full potential as a CiCi’s Franchisee when you join the CiCi’s Family.

Join today!Opportunities CiCi’s size and scale, with more than 650 outlets, provides the system with significant purchasing power, which helps to keep expenses down while also enabling national television and radio advertising.The company, however, is small enough to give hands-on help to franchisees in site selection, shop operations and training, and local store marketing.

  • The firm is concentrating on expanding its presence in the areas that it presently serves, as well as in new markets.
  • Restaurants owned and operated by CiCi’s are currently located in 31 states: Arizona; Alabama; Colorado; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Mississippi; Nebraska; North Carolina; New Mexico; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Virginia; and West Virginia.
  • So what are you waiting for?
  • Get started today!
  • There are now open franchise possibilities available!


CiCi’s Pizza Buffet is currently accepting inquiries from the following states:

  • Among the states are Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico Nevada, New York State, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina and South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
  • Interested parties should have a minimum of $57,765 in liquid funds on hand to make an investment.
  • * It is possible that this material has changed since it was initially published.
  • Always double-check fees, investment amounts, and offers with the business opportunity directly before deciding whether or not to proceed with the investment.

This website makes use of cookies.By continuing to explore the site, you acknowledge and consent to the use of cookies on our site.For more information about cookies, please see our cookies section.We are requesting your phone number so that the firms from which you have requested further information can contact you by phone or text to discuss their offer with you further.Our policy is that we do not disclose your phone number with anybody other than the businesses that you have expressed an interest in knowing more about.

How to Start a Buffet

  • Buffet restaurants are a common sort of restaurant in the United States, and they may be found all throughout the nation in a variety of configurations.
  • Because of the large volume of food they must create, they face a variety of distinct aims and obstacles that distinguish them from other types of restaurants.
  • As a consequence, as compared to creating a typical restaurant, there are several peculiarities when it comes to starting a buffet.
  • Listed below, we’ll go over everything you need to know about buffets, including how they earn money, the numerous sorts of buffets, and the procedures you must follow in order to start your own establishment.
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What Is a Buffet?

  • ″All You Can Eat″ restaurants, often known as buffet restaurants, are a type of restaurant where guests pay a certain fee to fill their plates with as much food as they want for a set period of time.
  • Buffets that specialize on Chinese or Indian cuisine, for example, usually have a theme that they follow while creating their menu selection.
  • Aside from that, certain buffets are associated with hotels, and this sort of buffet is particularly popular in Las Vegas and casinos.
  • All Buffet Supplies may be found here.

How to Start a Buffet Restaurant

Setting up and running your own restaurant may be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor, particularly if you are inexperienced with the intricacies of the industry. As a result, we’ve broken down the process of starting a buffet restaurant into eight simple phases to help you along the way.

1. Write a Buffet Restaurant Business Plan

  • In order to start any form of business, the first step is to develop a comprehensive business plan.
  • Business plans provide vital information about future businesses, including a description of the firm, what meals you want to offer, your location, a market study and financial predictions.
  • Your business plan will not only serve as a guideline for the operation of your buffet, but it will also assist you in attracting the attention of possible investors and obtaining bank financing.
  • In a business strategy, there are seven major components that you should make sure to include:
  1. A one-to-four-page overview of your company and everything else in your business plan is known as an executive summary. It should be the final item you write, even though it will appear at the top of your business plan
  2. it should be the most concise
  3. Overview of the company: Your overview should elaborate on the material contained in your executive summary and outline, as well as answer queries such as who your target audience is and what market segment you are targeting.
  4. Market analysis: The market analysis is the process by which you break down the demographics of your target area and determine who your competitors are in that location.
  5. Offerings in the business world: This is the area where you’ll outline the kind of foods you’ll be serving at your buffet as well as the sources from which you’ll be obtaining your components.
  6. Develop an outline of the management structure you want to use and the number of staff you expect to require for your company’s operations.
  7. Describe to possible investors your marketing tactics, which may include advertising, coupon marketing, and special promotions for the restaurant’s big debut.
  8. Project your buffet’s expenditures and income based on prior restaurant experience, competitive analysis, and market research
  9. financial forecasts

2. Identify a Commercial Space

  • Once you’ve built the foundation for your restaurant and secured financing, you can begin looking for a location to lease.
  • When it comes to commercial real estate, while some new restaurant owners may be tempted to purchase, we prefer leasing since it gives greater flexibility in the event that you need to grow or have any business challenges after your business is up and running.
  • When looking for a rental property for your buffet, you should consider the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood and whether or not they correspond to your target clientele.
  • Also take into account parking availability, especially if you anticipate high foot traffic if your business is located in a prominent neighborhood.

3. Apply for Permits and Licenses

  • A variety of permissions and licenses are required for new buffet restaurants to be granted at the federal, state, and municipal levels before they may begin operating.
  • The complex nature of some of these documents, as well as the difficulty in navigating them, makes it imperative that you get legal advice before submitting your application for restaurant permits and licenses to ensure that you complete everything correctly.
  • Additionally, if you plan on offering alcoholic beverages at your buffet, you’ll need to secure additional special permits from the appropriate authorities.

4. Determine What Equipment You’ll Need

  • You’ll need a variety of kitchen appliances depending on the sort of buffet you’re opening and the exact dishes that you’ll be preparing in your kitchen.
  • Even yet, there are a few items of equipment that are required for any buffet table.
  • The following list is a detailed breakdown of the numerous sorts of equipment your buffet will require in order to outfit its kitchen and dining area efficiently and effectively.
  • To access the downloaded PDF, please click on the button below.

Download the Equipment List in PDF format.

5. Decide on a Buffet Restaurant Layout

  • You may next concentrate on front-of-house elements, such as the design of your dining room and the actual buffet line, once you’ve agreed on a kitchen layout and bought all of your heavy equipment.
  • The color palette, lighting, and kind of furniture you want to use in your dining room should all be considered when creating a design and layout for the area.
  • Once you’ve chosen how many steam tables you’ll need, you’ll need to work out how you’re going to arrange them and how you’re going to arrange the food on your buffet.
  • As you plan the arrangement of your buffet, remember to place the most cost-effective and filling foods, such as vegetables and rice, at the front of the line, so that guests may load their plates with them before moving on to the more expensive items, such as fish and meat.

6. Hire a Staff

  • It is critical to the success of your company that you hire qualified employees.
  • If you don’t already have someone in mind, an executive chef should be the first person you recruit when starting a new business.
  • The executive chef is often in charge of managing the culinary crew and developing recipes for usage in the buffet, so it is important to bring them on board early in the planning phase.
  • Following the hiring of your executive chef, you may hunt for other positions such as a general manager, line cooks, wait staff, dishwashers, and other support workers.

It’s crucial to note, though, that because consumers serve themselves at buffets, they can run on a smaller crew.To reduce employee turnover, once you’ve hired your employees, you’ll need to keep them engaged and committed to the success of your restaurant.Even though staff turnover is frequent in the foodservice sector, the process of repeatedly hiring, training, and terminating personnel has the potential to deplete your revenues.Instead, make an investment in your staff and ensure that they are satisfied by listening to their problems and rewarding them with incentives and other benefits.

7. Advertise Your Buffet Restaurant

  • When your buffet is almost ready to open and your staff has been trained, you must publicize your business and create excitement among those in your target market in anticipation of your grand opening day. There are several ways to publicize your company that do not entail airing commercials on television or purchasing advertising space in the local newspaper. Two of the most common alternatives are given below: Promote your business on social media: Create accounts on all of the main social media marketing platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, before you begin promoting your company to the general public. This will allow you to communicate with clients online once your company has opened, but you can also use social media to spread the news about your new buffet restaurant and the date of its grand opening before it really opens its doors. You may post in local Facebook groups to tell people in your neighborhood about your food products, or you can publish photographs of your food items on Instagram to stimulate the curiosity of potential clients.
  • Print advertising should be used: Advertising your company outside, such as with signs and fliers, is a cost-effective approach to attract new customers. The use of signage to announce your opening date and the fact that you’re a new business are excellent methods to generate curiosity among customers passing by on foot or by car if your new buffet restaurant is in a city or a prominent area in town. Printing up fliers with information about your buffet and when it will open would be another approach to provide customers with a tangible reminder. Use printed flyers to promote your event and include a voucher for a free drink or a small discount as an additional incentive.

8. Open Your Buffet Restaurant

The final stage in establishing a buffet restaurant is to make the buffet available to the general public. There are two basic ways in which you may launch your company: through a soft opening and through a grand opening.

Hosting a Soft Opening

  • A soft opening is a trial run for your company’s operations.
  • A single night or supper service is required in order to make your restaurant available to the public.
  • This will provide your employees with valuable experience, as well as help you to identify any possible problems or weaknesses, as well as obtain feedback from clients.
  • Following your soft opening, you will have the opportunity to make changes to your service, menu, and overall atmosphere.

Additionally, if your soft opening goes well, you will be able to generate some excitement among clients in anticipation of your major opening.

Hosting a Grand Opening

After working out any kinks in your service or menu, your buffet restaurant will be ready to begin entertaining customers shortly thereafter. An official grand opening is also an excellent advertising and marketing opportunity, so you’ll want to publicize your event on social media and, if possible, reach out to local journalists and food bloggers.

Tips for Opening a Buffet

  • The following are some pointers to keep in mind while opening your buffet to guarantee that you get off to a successful start: Pick a day that is convenient for you: Before you open your doors, go online to make sure there aren’t any other events taking place in the same location on the same day as yours.
  • Participate in community activities to promote your business: Examples include handing out samples at local farmers’ markets or partnering with a nonprofit that will benefit from a portion of your opening day sales.
  • On the first day of operation, distribute the following coupons: In order to generate interest in your buffet and attract guests for your big launch, offering discounts and offers is a great strategy. For example, you may send out coupons for 10 percent off or fliers for free beverages to customers.
  • Signage and outdoor advertising are effective tools: Making signage for your company on the sidewalk or in front of your establishment is a terrific method to alert those who are strolling or driving by that your establishment will be operating shortly. Make sure to publish the date and time of your grand opening on your website so that potential consumers can plan their calendars accordingly.

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Types of Buffets

  • The concept of your institution as well as the topic of your meals must be settled upon before you can open your doors to the public. Even though there are several varieties of buffets available, some are more popular and profitable than others. Buffets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with the following being the most popular: Buffets of Chinese cuisine: The fact that Chinese buffets contain a wide variety of cuisines makes them one of the most popular types of buffets. Furthermore, most Chinese buffets are willing to be flexible when it comes to cost.
  • Buffets of Indian cuisine: Indian buffets are another sort of buffet that is commonly found. Buffets are essential to Indian food, and India is often regarded as the birthplace of the all-you-can-eat buffet, which explains the widespread use of these establishments. When starting an Indian restaurant, one advantage is that some Indian meals are quite full, allowing you to serve fewer amounts to your guests while still increasing your profitability.
  • In the United States, this style of buffet is popular, and several well-known restaurants provide typical American meals as part of their offerings. They often provide standard American fare such as french fries, fried chicken, steak, and roast turkey, among other things. These sorts of buffets are quite popular among baby boomers and other older generations.
  • For a variety of reasons, pizza buffets are a fantastic choice. They provide unlimited recipe possibilities and capitalize on one of the most popular dishes on the planet, which is pizza. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to include meals such as soup, spaghetti, and salad on your menu in order to increase your revenues while also helping to fill the stomachs of your clients.
  • Sushi buffets: Due to the high cost of sushi-grade fish and the difficulties of keeping sushi out on a buffet for extended periods of time, it can be difficult to run a successful sushi buffet while still being profitable. However, this style of buffet may be quite successful, particularly if you sell things other than sushi, such as other Japanese dishes.

How Do Buffets Make Money?

  • As a result of the large amount of food required by buffets, you may be asking how buffets earn money. Cutting expenses wherever possible, selecting foods with care, and structuring your buffet’s layout based on psychology are all important aspects of being successful as a buffet owner. Here are a handful of further instances of how buffets may generate revenue: Preparation of the food: Many buffets prepare their food in bulk so that they only have to arrange the dishes before restocking the buffet table. A smaller back-of-house workforce allows buffets to run more efficiently and reduce their personnel expenditures.
  • Because clients serve themselves at buffets, you simply require wait staff to bring beverages and remove tables, which reduces your overhead costs. As a consequence, you will be able to significantly reduce your front-of-house workforce and lower your overhead costs.
  • There is a markup on beverages because most buffets do not include them in the price of the meal. Many buffets charge their customers 2-3 times the price of typical restaurants for their beverages, allowing them to increase their earnings.
  • Reducing food prices: By lowering their food costs, buffets save money, allowing them to retain more of their profits.
See also:  If You Were A Pizza Delivery Man How Would You Benefit From Scissors?

Tips to Increase Your Buffet’s Profits

  • There are also a variety of innovative strategies you may employ to assist minimize food expenses at your buffet while simultaneously increasing revenues. Here is a list of some of the most effective strategies to use: Larger serving spoons should be used for foods that are both economical and satisfying, such as rice and vegetables. Make your protein stations more user-friendly by providing smaller spoons or tongs so that clients consume less food.
  • Include a salad bar as part of your buffet. Salad, soup, or bread may be served as an appetizer to some customers to fill them up so that they have less space for your pricier entrees later on.
  • On your steam table, use smaller pans to save space. By utilizing smaller pans, you’re not only putting out less food at a time, but you’re also minimizing waste, which helps you save money on your food expenses.
  • Provide your customers with smaller plates, bowls, and cutlery to make them feel more at ease. If they choose smaller plates, they will have less room to eat their full of delicious cuisine. Furthermore, the smaller silverware will induce children to eat more slowly, resulting in their becoming more satisfied sooner.
  • Keep track of the things on your buffet and notice which products are being consumed rapidly and which products are remaining on the table. Make adjustments as needed. This will aid in the prevention of food waste.
  • If you’re intending on serving ham or turkey, set up a carving station and assign one of your cooks to work at the station. You’ll be able to keep track of your servings and ensure that your visitors don’t consume too much.
  • Buffets may be viable business endeavors, but establishing one needs a great deal of preparation and knowledge on the part of the owner.
  • Although it will take some careful planning and preparation, you will be able to have your new buffet organized and furnished.
  • Additionally, having a solid business plan and strategy can assist you in ensuring that your company becomes lucrative and successful.

The Cici’s Point

  • I realized too late that my last blog article had been published on the one-year anniversary of my very first Broken Chains entry, which had been published the day before.
  • That’s correct, Broken Chains has reached the one-year milestone.
  • Since then, I’ve had a lengthy number of memorable encounters, learnt a great deal about endangered restaurant and retail brands, and logged a significant amount of trip miles.
  • I’d like to think that I’ve improved as a writer as a result.

The fact that this blog is held together by a set of rules and guidelines that I’ve imposed on myself gives me some comfort.One of those rules and guidelines is my working definition of what a broken chain is: ″A business that, at some point in its history, had multiple, similarly-functioning, physical locations where a customer could purchase goods and/or services but which, today, has a significantly diminished presence and/or value as a brand compared to the same brand in its heyday.″ When I developed that term, I was about to embark on an investigation into Ponderosa, a chain that was larger than any other I had previously investigated, with around 60 outlets.Since then, I’ve published pieces about defunct chains like Blimpie and Shoney’s, which still have three-figure location counts despite their degraded status.I’ve also written about franchises such as Burger Chef and Red Barn that have officially closed all of their locations, but still have unofficial locations open that are run by holdout franchisees under various names, as I’ve done here.I regard these chains that are defunct on paper but not in practice to be the bottom limit of what might be termed a broken chain under the circumstances.

It is more difficult to establish the top limit.I don’t believe I’ve covered a chain that even comes close to that yet.The performance of every restaurant and retail chain fluctuates in response to changes in the economy and demographics, but at what point does a chain’s presence and brand value deteriorate to the extent that it meets my definition of a broken chain?

  • I propose that the Cici’s Point be designated as the highest limit of what may be deemed a broken chain from this point forward.
  • After deciding on the name Cici’s since both of their last names began with the letter C, Joe Croce and Mike Cole opened up their first pizza parlor in Plano, Texas, in 1985.
  • Contrary to common perception, they never left the pizza business to start a music manufacturing company.) The family’s takeaway pizza company later transformed into a buffet restaurant after they began serving a lunch buffet to attract customers during the noon hours.
  • Due to the fact that the buffet was more popular than takeaway, franchised Cici’s outlets with all-day buffets and takeout service began to spring up all over the place.
  • Under Croce’s leadership, the chain had steady growth throughout the 1990s.
  • The company had 420 (Nice!) sites by the time Joe Croce retired in 2003 and sold his interest to the management team.
  • Cici’s was one of the first restaurants I found around this period.
  • I was a high school student in Central Kentucky at the time, and I was always on the lookout for locations where I could fill my adolescent stomach for very little money.
  • Working at McDonald’s after school and on weekends, I returned a considerable percentage of my earnings to the firm by purchasing double cheeseburgers and McChickens from the dollar menu on my days off.

I was a high school senior.Similarly, I could frequently be seen at Taco Tico on Sunday afternoons, when they were offering tacos and burritos for 49 cents.When the original Cici’s restaurant debuted in Lexington’s Turfland Mall, which was then failing and is now dead, it quickly became one of my favorite hangouts.

  • After adding a drink and sales tax, the price of admission to the buffet rose just marginally to $3.99, or five dollars and change.
  • The buffet was an incredible bargain.
  • For that fee, you were entitled to an infinite supply of salad, dessert, spaghetti, and pizza.
  • But you could eat as much as you wanted despite the fact that the pizza crust had an unmistakable cardboardy texture.
  • Even terrible pizza is still a rather satisfying meal.
  • I used to gorge myself on heaping platters of the flimsy pieces of bread.

Cici’s became popular with everyone because of its affordable pricing.There was always a very broad audience eating there, or at least more diversified than you’d expect for a pizza buffet with an arcade in the back of the establishment.Several additional Cici’s outlets sprouted in and around Lexington, most of them in similarly depressed and presumably inexpensive to rent retail areas, but they were all shuttered within a few months of the start of the 2008 crisis.Cici’s has 650 locations in 2010 and plans were reported to add another 500 by 2020, bringing the total number of sites to 650.Cici’s Pizza has instead downsized back down to 423 stores distributed across 30 states, despite the fact that they have less than a year remaining to achieve their target.

However, more than half of those sites are concentrated in only two states: Texas and Florida, with the remaining 10 states having no more than three Cici’s locations each.In the past nine years, Cici’s has gone from being the fastest growing pizza company in the United States with a nearly national presence to a regional brand with a few vestiges of its once-vast empire dispersed around the country.Perhaps the recession played a role in curbing their expansion.Perhaps they underestimated the rise in popularity of home meal delivery and the subsequent drop in popularity of buffets, or perhaps the rapid expansion they saw in the late 1990s and early 2000s was just unsustainable.Since my last visit to Cici’s Pizza in Ohio a few months before I wrote my first Broken Chains essay, it had been more than a decade since I had eaten there.Even though I’m confident that there are shining examples of locations in Cici’s core markets that demonstrate the brand’s current approach to operation and image, I was more interested in checking out, and being geographically closer to, the vestiges of the brand’s former presence, which had been long since isolated by the brand’s retreat.

That’s how I landed myself at the Cici’s restaurant in Goshen, Indiana.Saturday, I arrived a few minutes after the restaurant’s scheduled 11 a.m.opening and parked in the lot in front of it.The building that houses Cici’s is a two-slot strip mall, with one of the slots taken by a liquor shop and the other by a Cici’s.The front facade of the building was visibly dirty and in desperate need of a good pressure washing, and as I was making my way from my van to the front door, a large group of other patrons materialized in front of me, consisting primarily of unruly children and an indifferent adult or two, which seemed to me to be a sign of things to come.

This was the nicest booth in the place. 
I hope the sneeze guard will keep the falling bits of plaster out of my salad. 
I guarantee these graphics have been up there for at least 15 years. 
  • While I waited for the people in front of me to complete their transaction and then scatter in a cacophonous commotion, I took a look about me.
  • There were many rows of booths in the dining area, and the cushions on nearly every one of them were ripped.
  • (I double-checked!) Even though the L-shaped buffet was well-stocked, exposed plaster and a gaping hole in the ceiling above the salad bar indicated that a fixture had been removed or had simply fallen out of place.
  • For the most part, the logos and signage on display looked exactly the same as they did when I first walked inside Cici’s at Turfland Mall more than 15 years ago.

It was unable to find the updated exploding pizza emblems that had been featured on their website.I did not go out of my way to find a decaying Cici’s site on purpose.I chose this particular location since it was the most convenient for my intended trip, but if one of Cici’s, chosen at random, is in such poor condition, there are undoubtedly others in similar or worse condition.

I didn’t try the wings. I may have to next time.
  • When it came time for me to order, I requested a buffet and a drink, for which I ended up spending more than $8.
  • This isn’t a bad deal when you consider the cost of living over the last few decades.
  • At my local sit-down Pizza Hut, unlimited midday pizza is more than $10, and there isn’t quite as much selection as there is here.
  • Cici’s had discontinued the use of reusable cups at some time during my adolescence and replaced them with disposable paper cups, probably in order to keep expenses down.

My disappointment at seeing tangible proof of their cost-cutting efforts outweighed my joy at receiving a keepsake.On this trip, the exploding pizza logo was only visible on the cup I was drinking from.

The elusive exploding pizza logo adorned my cup. 
Small, but reasonably comprehensive salad bar
  • In order to trick myself into believing I’m eating healthfully at buffets, I always start with a salad before heaping up my next plate with a mountain of carbohydrates and other unhealthy foods.
  • Cici’s current salad bar is a little on the tiny side, but it appeared to be clean and well-organized in general.
  • The dressings were served in unique canisters that reminded me of IHOP syrup dispensers and were designed to fit into interlocking slots on the salad plates.
  • Strangely, there was no grated cheese available on the salad bar, but there was a good array of veggies available to choose from.

With an unexpectedly vegan first dish and an acidic Italian dressing on the side, I stuffed my plate full of deliciousness.It was totally okay, but it paled in comparison to the salads I’ve been able to create at Rax or Bonanza Steak and BBQ in the past.

Pizza pile
  • As soon as I had completed most of my salad, I was ready for pizza.
  • Several slices were heaped on my second plate, and I returned to my seat at the table.
  • The deep pan crust slices were about the same as they had always been, but the thin crust options were more airy and chewy than I had come to expect from Cici’s based on past encounters.
  • Cici’s cardboard crust pizza, which I had become accustomed to and tolerated, was no longer available and had been replaced with a more premium-tasting product.

The toppings and sauce were almost exactly as I remembered them, especially the delectable barbecue chicken pizza, but the crust, which was made of real flour rather than what I can only imagine was sawdust back in the day, was a significant improvement.

I can’t think of a brownie I’ve ever enjoyed more than a Cici’s brownie. 
  • My palate had been pleasantly delighted, so I made my way through my second dish and then returned to the buffet for the dessert round.
  • I went out and bought the brownies and cinnamon buns that I used to serve as a sweet ending to my adolescent Cici’s meals.
  • The macaroni and cheese pizza was also on my list, since a wedge of carbs topped with even more carbohydrates is delicious to the point that I consider it a dessert, regardless of how much sugar is in it.
  • The soft buttery cinnamon buns, as well as the delightfully undercooked brownies, were just as I remembered them.

Something, however, was lost in translation when it came to the macaroni and cheese pizza slice.The nuanced tastes and textures of the toppings were overshadowed by the fluffier, lighter crust.The macaroni and cheese pizza at Cici’s seems to be the only one that works better on the old crust than the others.The Arlon Firm, an investment group with a subsidiary that owns multiple Taco Bell, KFC, and Golden Corral franchises, purchased the struggling Cici’s brand in 2016, following the company’s failure to fulfill its anticipated growth targets and in the middle of a steadily declining site count.The fact that the new parent business has experience in the restaurant industry appears to be beneficial to the Cici’s brand.

Although the food’s earlier flaws have been corrected, most of the iconic Cici’s tastes have been retained, all without causing a significant increase in the price

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