Cici's gears up for milestone anniversary
BARBOURSVILLE -- Cici's Pizza Buffet began as an independent operation in Plano, Texas, in 1985. Over the past decade, it's become one of the fastest growing pizza chains in America with more than 650 restaurants in 32 states. The Barboursville location, near the Huntington Mall, first opened its doors in June 2003. The chain is gearing up for its 25th anniversary.
Mark Wilson has been the franchise owner of the Barboursville location since September 2009.
"We are hoping to improve service." Wilson said. "A lot of the equipment was outdated. ... We now have the kitchen up to date, and we will be remodeling the dining area later this year once the chain establishes its construction model for 2010."
The remodeled store will feature a variety of tables as well as games, he said.
"There will be new booth seats, secured tables and eight-seat tables," Wilson said. "We are also going to be adding a party room/extended game room in the back. We are going to have as many as 40 games and 1,000 square feet dedicated to catering, large parties and church groups with its own buffet in the back."
The chain will be conducting a special promotion for its 25th anniversary. For two weeks, the buffet will be available for $3.99 starting Wednesday, Feb. 17. The buffet currently costs $5.49. The restaurant also will be lowering the price of its takeout pizzas from $5.99 (for a large one-topping pizza) to $4.99. This price change will remain permanent. The buffet is also adding some new pizza selections such as the Rustic, which features a zesty sausage and Greek sauce on a thin square crust. There is also a flipped over calzone-style pizza filled with melted cheese and pepperoni. Other new additions included baked pasta, flatbread garlic sticks and a classic Italian salad premixed with a house-made spicy Italian dressing.
"Our hidden secret is that we also sell to-go and take-out pizzas. " Wilson said. "We can have any pizza, including our buffalo chicken pizza or our spinach Alfredo pizza, out the door in 10 minutes or less. We will also have a 'ready right now' pepperoni pizza for $5 that you can have right out the door the moment you walk in."
Wilson, a graduate of Concord University, worked at Cici's first West Virginia location in Princeton. He has worked with the chain for seven years and worked in the group's corporate office before being given an opportunity to own his own franchises in Barboursville and Beckley.
The restaurant wants to work with customers to give them exactly what they are looking for.
"If your family is willing to wait, we can also do special orders at the buffet if you want something specific, say mushrooms and banana peppers. It's no extra charge," he said.
"We have guys come in at 8 a.m. in the morning to work on our dough and sauce," Wilson said. "Our dough doesn't come in frozen. It's made fresh. We set 30 pounds of dough in the mixing bowl each morning, and the dough takes about 10 minutes to fix and 30 minutes to roll out. We then let it set and age for seven hours prior to use. We also make our cinnamon rolls in the morning. It takes about a 45-minute prep time before we open to setup the buffet. We don't set the salads out until about 5 minutes before we open. We get our salads pre-mixed from a local grocer. Our signature dressing is made in the back."
Cici's Pizza buffet is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cash, check and most major credit/debit cards are accepted (no American Express.) There is also an ATM machine if needed. Customers who want to place an order or for more information can call 304-736-8399.
Cici's Pizza Buffet
TYPE OF FOOD: Pizza buffet
ADDRESS: 8 Mall Road, Barboursville, WV 25504
PHONE NUMBER: 304-736-8399
PAYMENTS ACCEPTED: Cash, check, ATM, credit/debit (no American Express)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Herald-Dispatch welcomes your comments on this article, but please be civil. Avoid profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, accusations of criminal activity, name-calling or insults to the other posters. Herald-dispatch.com does not control or monitor comments as they are posted, but if you find a comment offensive or uncivil, hover your mouse over the comment and click the X that appears in the upper right of the comment. If you do not want your comment to post to your personal Facebook page, uncheck the box below the comment.