CiCi's Pizza will open 16 new restaurants in Southern California over the next five years, according to a company press release. Executives with the company have targeted San Diego, Los Angeles and their surrounding communities for development with the goal of finding the right franchise partners to operate the restaurants.

The Coppell, Texas-based chain has more than 500 restaurants in 34 states and is focusing on California after conducting research and studying demographics and other factors, said Thomas McCord, VP of real estate and franchise development at CiCi's Pizza.

"We're 100 percent committed to building our brand presence in Southern California, notably in Los Angeles and San Diego, and believe the specific territories we've identified for development are ripe for sustained success," he said. "We've thoroughly examined the markets and found that the demand for our pizza buffet concept continues to grow. We're eager to find franchise owners who are passionate about delivering on our promise to consistently serve delicious food in a welcoming environment."

Executives with CiCi's Pizza have pinpointed specific, viable communities within the metro areas of each city. Those near San Diego include Chula Vista, La Mesa, El Cajon, Escondido, Spring Valley and Carlsbad. The pizza brand has identified more than 30 communities in and around Los Angeles including Long Beach, Santa Monica, Burbank, Anaheim and many others. To jumpstart development, company executives are meeting with prospective multi-unit franchise owners while also searching for additional well-qualified franchisees.

Each new CiCi's Pizza will have a positive impact the local economy, creating about 40–50 new jobs and awarding roughly $280,000 in local development contracts, McCord said.

From an investor's perspective, CiCi's Pizza offers four distinct revenue streams: the custom buffet, catering, To Go orders and the game room. Moreover, multiple prototypes are available to new franchisees designed to maximize profits for the owner and allow for improved brand availability. Restaurant design options include the traditional buffet model, to-go units and an express prototype currently under test.

The Southern California development is part of a much larger company mission to aggressively grow the brand in the coming years. To help augment brand growth in new and mature markets, CiCi's Pizza has developed several financing and incentive programs, including its Patriot Program that offers veterans a better path to business ownership and a creative investment program to assist prospective franchisees in securing funding.

During 2013, the company also will explore growth potential internationally, as well as in nontraditional venues such as airports, casinos, military bases and universities.

Read more about growth.

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