Since 1985, the restaurant franchise CiCi’s Pizza has grown from one location in Plano, Texas to nearly 500 restaurants in 34 states. CiCi’s Pizza is beloved in part for its endless pizza, pasta, salad, soup, and dessert buffet, but it has also been recognized as a top kid-friendly, family-friendly establishment, earning listings by Zagat and Parents magazine.
In Liberty, Missouri, the CiCi’s Pizza location sees over 350 customers come through their doors each day. Owner Ray Downey has searched for the best ways to keep his restaurant clean and inviting while serving a demographic of sometimes-messy customers.
“We have a high volume of people come through, mostly families with kids,” said Downey. “The flooring takes a beating. There are a lot of spills. Pizza sauce gets on the carpet.”
Of the location’s 3,700 square feet, 2,200 square feet are carpeted. Every employee shares the responsibility of cleaning as needed during the day, then the closers tackle deep cleaning after hours. Like many restaurants, Downey’s staff is predominantly young high school students who are unlikely to observe cleaning equipment for performance issues or do preventative maintenance on a vacuum cleaner.
“They will keep cleaning until the vacuum stops sucking completely,” said Downey, who, until recently, was buying unreliable, bargain backpack vacuums to clean the restaurant.
“I can’t count the number of times I was stopped during a shift to fix a problem with a vacuum,” said Downey. “A motor burned out, or a hose had a hole. It was always something. Even with a unit that was only a few months old.”
That’s why he decided to switch to the ProVac FS 6 backpack vacuum from ProTeam. Designed specifically for foodservice, the ProVac is a reliable vacuum; it is durable and easy-to-use for teenage employees.
“I look for a reliable vacuum with consistent performance. Suck it up. Get it clean. Those are the things that are critical for me,” said Downey. “We like the ProVac. It’s been very sturdy. We use it seven days a week for about an hour a day. It holds up well under heavy use.”
With over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Downey has learned that sometimes the greatest benefit from a piece of equipment is not having to think about it.
“I have enough things to worry about in my business, the last thing I need to worry about is my vacuum,” said Downey. “The ProVac is a stress reliever, because I know that it’s going to work well for me. It lets me focus on other things.”