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Multi-Brand Franchisee Lucas Farnham Brings Mici Italian to Phoenix

With previous franchise experience under Black Bear Diner and Smashburger, Farrnham brings his long standing restaurant insights with him as he introduces the emerging Italian franchise concept to the Arizona market.

By 1851 Staff1851 Staff Contributions
SPONSOREDUpdated 2:14PM 01/13/22

A family-friendly atmosphere 18 years in the making is how Mici Italian has separated itself in a hyper-competitive pizza industry — and why new franchisee Lucas Farnham decided to join the brand as its first-ever franchisee. And, while Farnham may be a new Mici franchisee, he is no stranger to the franchise process. 

Farnham’s continued work as a franchisee with Black Bear Diner and Smashburger ultimately brought him together with Mici CEO Elliot Schiffer. “Elliot and I became quick friends; he’s super smart, and I found out over time that he was doing big things with Mici,” Farnham said.

 The more Farnham learned about the brand – from its commitment to the highest quality ingredients to how Mici was finding continued success despite the challenges of the pandemic, the more he became convinced he wanted in. As a nearby resident in Colorado Springs, Farnham witnessed first-hand the success that Mici was having in the Denver area; when the brand officially announced its intentions to begin franchising last year, Farnham was first in line, inking a 30-unit deal for locations in Phoenix, where he has relocated with his family.

“Mici isn’t a test tube brand,” said Farnham. “You can really feel the family presence behind the model and it has been paired with a great operational strategy. I was immediately confident that this concept would succeed in Arizona. There is a huge market for pizza in the Phoenix area and a real need for better, high-quality options. As a tried-and-true 18-year old family concept, Mici has a competitive menu combined with high-horsepower metrics. When a brand has both, the sky's the limit.” 

Farnham’s knowledge, combined with his previous business relationship with Schiffer, ultimately helped him to identify the prime investment opportunity in Mici. “People are looking for great pizza and Italian food that can be delivered to their homes with quality they can rely on. This is the brand promise that Mici delivers…along with their pizza!,” said Farnham. 

Matt Stanton, chief growth officer at Mici, spoke on how a thorough onboarding process has set the brand’s expansion goals in motion. “Maintaining our family-style approach is a huge pillar of our brand and that mission is only possible by bringing on the right, committed franchisees. Mici is a brand launched through family recipes and relationships, and Lucas is helping us grow while keeping that intact.”

Mici’s streamlined menu and operations model has allowed it to scale quickly and embrace new franchise opportunities while simultaneously reducing pain points for new franchise owners.  “When you specialize in wood-fired pizza, there’s generally one, highly-skilled individual who is solely in charge of the pizza dough and oven,” said Farnham. However, a patented dough press, designed by Mici executives, has allowed the brand to standardize back-of-house operations, creating a consistent and high-quality product without the need for specialized professionals. “The need for skilled cooks can make or break your operation,” Farnham said. “As a franchise owner, eliminating the need for specialized kitchen staff immediately simplifies the already complex process and increases the margin for success.” 

As the brand continues to deliver on its aggressive franchise goals, Farnham himself is open to even more expansion in the future. But, for now, he’s committed to maintaining the family-style atmosphere the Mici brand has become known for, working to create the best possible experience for every single one of his guests.

For more information on franchising with Mici Handcrafted Italian, visit