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NEWS Last modified on October 3, 2013

CiCi’s Pizza plans to expand into airports

Iconic US food chain, CiCi’s Pizza, is exploring growth opportunities in non-traditional venues after introducing several new restaurant prototypes designed exclusively for airports.

Tom McCord, VP of real estate and franchise development, comments: “It is exciting to offer airport prototypes that are built around exceeding the expectations of today’s travellers.

“We are fully committed to opening CiCi’s units in some of the country’s most highly visited airports, and we’re eager to find well-qualified franchise partners who are passionate about delivering on our brand promise.”

CiCi’s airport units will offer passengers a variety of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, wings, drinks and a “novel” breakfast menu designed for portability.

McCord told Airport World that Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is at the top of the brand’s wish list, followed closely by Houston; Miami; Los Angeles; Denver; and Salt Lake City airports.

“We’re highly saturated in the Dallas market, as that’s where our headquarters are. We have huge brand recognition there and we’re building up our reputation in the other cities.

“We’ve identified the areas where we can grow substantially. International passengers won’t recognise our brand as much but we’re known throughout the US for our quality, variety and value for money.”

He adds that the company is “absolutely” hoping to break into the global market, explaining that future expansion aims to bring CiCi’s to Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico, among others.

Flexible store design models have been developed already, including protoypes for food courts, ‘grab and go’ locations and a custom-designed kiosk.

While the company would like to partner up with airport concessionaires, McCord also says that it will be targeting individual airports as well.

The company publicised its plans at the 2013 ACI-NA conference and exhibition in San Jose last week, where McCord says there was lots of interest from delegates.

“The show was very helpful due to level of brand recognition that we have in North America,” he explains. “People were really friendly and excited that we want to get into airports.”

McCord says that CiCi’s is currently meeting with franchise prospects and selecting airport consultants to get the brand into America’s passenger terminals.

“Our goal is to get units opening within the next two years.”

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