Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cici's Pizza Experience

The experience that is Cici’s Pizza should be an experience educators try to create for kids. As the front door opens, the manager, Jimmy, hollers out as he twirls some pizza dough, “Welcome to Cici’s.” The price for the buffet is so inexpensive that people everyone can have a delicious pie with their favorite toppings. Cici’s was my go to pizza shop as a first year teacher.

Round 1: Begins the personal adventure of selecting how many pieces and what type of pizza to scrape off the tray from under the warming lamps. Sometimes it’s a cheese and mushroom day, other days it’s a supreme pizza day. The wonderful part about Cici’s is that it can be a variety day…a couple pieces of Hawaiian Pizza next to the meat lovers. And it is always a breadstick day. As one gets to know Jimmy and the other employees, the Oven Update can be acquired. This is essential to check on the pies in the oven so one does not take the last piece of pizza as a fresh one is on its way out. Beverage of choice and then the big question, booth or table? Each piece of pizza is consumed along with a good conversation among friend(s). After the first plate, it is time for some quarters and a round of Hoop Fever. I’d like to think that it burns a few of the calories consumed, but lets be honest …. it’s Hoop Fever. I burn more calories chewing at Cici’s than I do shooting a round of Hoop Fever. Finding the rhythm, getting on a hot streak, and achieving the high score (of the day or the machine) are the goals of Hoop Fever.

Round 2: Add a few pieces of the pizza that was tasty from Round 1, search through new additions for pizzas that have improved from Round 1, and begin looking towards the future…dessert pizza or cinnamon breadsticks? Top off the beverage and thank the person clearing off the plates from Round 1, maybe making a conversation with them depending on how many tables need cleared. After the plate is cleared, it is off to the second round of Hoop Fever.

Round 3: If the cinnamon breadsticks or apple cinnamon pizza does not look enticing, then the day can be wrapped up with one more plate of pizza. There is plenty of other work that needs to be done on this day, therefore, a final round of Hoop Fever is passed over. Although if you’re visiting the Cici’s in North, maybe Northeast, Indianapolis, a final round of air hockey is required…’s not every day that you can play air hockey.
Feeling satisfied from another great experience at Cici’s Pizza, a boisterous “Thank you. See you next time,” is given to Jimmy and the staff. With the sun on our face and the wind at our back, it’s on to our next adventure.

I will admit that Cici’s Pizza is not the best pizza I have ever had. I’d have to say the brick oven pizza shop on Daniel Island and Sal’s on St. Simons is at the top. However, the experience at Cici’s Pizza is the best that I have ever had at a pizza shop. We became familiar with our hometown Cici’s and Jimmy the manager. Although every Cici’s that we have visited has a similar experience for its customers. The relationship begins to form at the door when each customer is greeted. The experience is personalize for every customer by offering a variety of pizzas, a basic garden salad and some type of pasta dish as well. Round 1 allows for data to be collected so that the customer can self assess on the choices to chose for Round 2. And each round is the formative assessment so that each customer can have an excellent summative experience at Cici’s. The final touch to the Cici’s experience is that Play is incorporated, or should be, in every trip. Every customer looks forward to the next time they can experience Cici’s pizza again, leaving with a smile on their face, all the while believing Jimmy and the staff cares about them.

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