Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Yes the residential housing market is the worst in nearly 10 years and our job growth rate is essentially 0% here in Minnesota but some encouraging business news was reported by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recently.

Indeed -- Little Caesar's Pizza has returned to the Twin Cities market after closing all its locations about a decade ago. Now this caught my attention for two reasons -- 1.) I am always watching the business news looking for economic growth, and 2.) I love pizza!!

The article I read regarding Little Caesar's return to our market included a bar graph which ranked the "Largest Pizza Chains" in the USA (according to revenue in billions of dollars) so here it is reproduced for readers:

#1 - Pizza Hut with just over $5 billion in revenues
#2 - Domino's Pizza
#3 - Papa John's Pizza
#4 - Little Caesar's Pizza with $810 million in revenues
#5 - Cici's Pizza
#6 - Sbarro
#7 - Papa Murphy's Pizza

SOURCE: QSR Magazine , based on 2006 system wide sales

If you have traveled the small towns in Minnesota and Iowa like I have then you know that numerous Pizza Huts have been closed and/or converted into other businesses -- primarily Mexican restaurants if you ask me!! -- yet they have nearly double the total revenues of the #2 on this list, Domino's Pizza.

As I noted earlier -- I love pizza especially Chicago style deep dish stuffed with spinich. My other bias is for the local mom and pop pizza shops like, "Fat Tony's Pizza Cave" , which doesn't exist but I would eat there just because of its name -- wouldn't you? So while I am not a huge fan of the multi-location, chain pizza operations I will admit that I think the "Pizza Ranch" chain operation has a great product but clearly is not an industry leader yet but your pizza lovers out there should be watching for opportunities to eat at the ranch.

Regarding the seven pizza operations noted on the list above I have eaten at all of them except for #5 -- Cici's Pizza, -- so I was intrigued to know more about this company. Cici's was formed in 1985 in Plano, Texas (Ross Perot country!!) and today has stores in 29 states primarily across the southeastern/south central USA. Their expansion plans include heading north to create locations in Minnesota so I will likely see them soon in my area.

Speaking of local pizza -- Roasted Pear restaurant in Burnsville, Minnesota serves some very tasty wood fire grilled pizza. Their corned beef pizza served around St. Patrick's Day (March 17) is a nice break from the same old pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut that millions of Americans eat.

Seek variety,



jdsqrd said...

CiCi's is nothing special. Pizza Pit is still tops in my book.

Anonymous said...

First, my apologies for the late delivery of the Business Journal. Second, you must try the flatbread pizza at Chianti Grill (North side of County Rd 42 at Plymouth Ave, Burnsville -- Just east of the 35w/35e interchange). They serve up great martini's too, but I know you don't drink!! DJM

Anonymous said...

We really used to have a Tony's Pizza Cave here in Abilene, Texas. Nice place. I sure miss it. No, Cici's can never make up the difference.