Welcome to Cicis!

Because I was on that side of town today and needed a quick easy lunch, I found myself inside a CiCi’s Pizza

It’s one of those places that for under 5 bucks, you can pull a chair up to the trough. Their slogan is “The best pizza (slight pause) value anywhere”. That pause is important.

The entire business is founded on 2 core principals – 1) Pizza Crust expands in the stomach and fills you up fast…and 2) Anything off a food service truck can be placed on a pizza.

But as I’m sitting there today trying to get the parmesean from the food service truck to come out of the shaker, I kept hearing the employees yell – “Welcome to Cicis!” – everytime someone came in the door…..and – “Thanks for coming to Cici’s!” – everytime someone left.

Actually, the manager kind of half-heartedly yelled it and the workers kind of joined in off key at the end. It was dependant on how busy they were.

I’m sure the employees at the Cici’s locations near corporate headquarters are very vigilent to make sure they extend hearty and sincere ‘Welcome to Cici’s” just in case one of the suits comes walking in.

But in Bowling Green, Ky? Eh…not so much.

It was annoying….to the customers, to the employees, and even to people who were walking by on the sidewalk.

So why do they continue do it? My guess is that someone at corporate originally thought it was a great idea. The edict went out for employees to do it and now it’s one of those things that no one can stop. You can tell the employees hate it. The customers roll their eyes and snicker at it. But I bet those Cici’s suits at corporate brag about the “hearty welcome our customers get when they enter one of our locations.”

Lots of businesses get away from the fundamentals when there’s a lot of group-think marketing strategy. Once bad practices start popping up in the S.O.P, they become part of the marketing culture. So it’s important to make sure the items you drop in to the mix are sound to start with.

And sometimes it’s good to just do zero-based marketing where you evaluate everything you’re doing with customer relations and ask, “Is this helping or hurting us?”.

Thanks for reading the Shotgun Marketing Blog!!!

Chris Houchens is a marketing raconteur & writer. Connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

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One comment on “Welcome to Cicis!
  1. Sandy says:

    I avoid CiCis Pizza (and the similarly arranged Funhouse Pizza back home) due to that “trough” and the obnoxious “welcome” that you hear like the tolling of bells when you’re there…

    Ask not for whom…etc.

    Nice blog, by the way, from a marketer!
    Sandy L.
    “Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”