A Smith County restaurant, a favorite of kids and families, is making high marks when it comes to keeping a clean kitchen. Cici's Pizza on the southeast loop in Tyler has been open nearly 10 years. In that time, it has racked up perfect score after perfect score on its health inspection.
Bob Westbrook, franchise owner of Cici's said, "We had a little over 370,000 guests in this restaurant last year. We've been the number two restaurant in the entire chain out of 500 stores for the last four years in a row."
For nearly 10 years now, Bob Westbrook's flagship Cici's restaurant has been hopping. Slice after slice, 1,000 pizzas a day, can create a mess.
Westbrook said, "Pizza's a finger food so it's going to be handled and it's going to be messy, but our employees are passionate about what they do, and they're quick to respond to spills."
So quick, so often, that their marks from the health department are consistently tops. So much so, they got the KLTV Blue Ribbon in 1998. Now, another one is headed for the wall.
KLTV 7 General Manager Brad Streit congratulated Westbrook on his accomplishment, "Bob, at Channel 7, we wanted to create some sort of recognition for those restaurants that consistently get high marks on their restaurant inspection. And we call this the Blue Ribbon Award. And I'm pleased to present to Cici's pizza the second blue ribbon award that you've received.
Westbrook responded, "It just shows how committed we are to public health, and the food safety for our guests, and they know when they come in, they're going to get fresh, hot food, but they know it's going to be safe and sanitary."
It's the staff that makes the difference, Bob says. The law requires only one manager to be trained in food safety. All six Cici's managers in Tyler are. That commitment is also on the front lines.
Westbrook said, "Really go out of our way to hire people through the interview process that have their passion about cleanliness and their standards are high also."
High standards and a cheerful attitude is what folks at Cici's say is just in a day's work.
Morgan Palmer, reporting.