• CiCi's to open 13 units around Cincy

CINCINNATI—Cici's Pizza, a 456-store Coppell, Texas-based all-you-can-eat buffet chain, plans to build 13 stores in the local area over the next four years.

According to the Cincinnati Business Courier, the first location will be in the suburb of Brentwood, and will open in early March 2004. Other locations will be in Hyde Park, Deerfield Township, Kenwood, Tri-County, Western Hills and Clifton. The units will be operated by Marwin Management LLC, a Dallas-based franchisee of CiCi's units in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Houston.

Finding the sites, according to Robert Bird, principal operator with Marwin, was simple. "We've already identified 11 sites without even digging hard into the market."

Cici's also is building 14 restaurants in each of the Dayton and Columbus regions. A related article in the Pittsburgh Business Journal said Cici's soon would open stores there, but it didn't specify how many or when.

CiCi's prefers locations where at least 50,000 people live within in a 3-mile radius of the store. Each store seats about 200, employs 45 to 50 people.

According to Chicago-based restaurant tracking firm Technomic, CiCi's sales were $334.2 million in 2002, up from $325.5 million in 2001.

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