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Cicis Pizza’s Stephanie Hoppe on bouncing back from bankruptcy

After seeking Chapter 11 protection in January 2021, Cicis Pizza needed an injection of life. That’s where new owners and a new CMO came in. Stephanie Hoppe joined as CMO of the pizza brand in February 2022, focused on getting Cicis back to its roots. The company, which opened in 1985 and has over 300 restaurants in 30 states, strives to be family oriented while providing great value with its unlimited pizza buffet. Hoppe says dialing back in on those key ingredients set the table for success.

“People were ready to come back in,” Hoppe says on the season 5 premiere of The Current Podcast. “There’s so much nostalgia with this brand. People remember taking their kids. Kids remember, and now they have children whom they want to take to the Cicis experience.”

Those brand marketing efforts showed instant success, with Cicis seeing double-digit increases in sales the past two years. Now, just two years after the bankruptcy filing, Hoppe says the company’s next big step is opening more locations to keep giving people the pizza experience they want.