Little Caesers Pizza Review ~ The Inside Stories

Little Caesers Pizza Review

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Little Caesers Pizza Review
Posted by Karl Keller
Business Owner & Franchise Wisdom Editor


From a Single Store to a Global Chain…and More

Michael and Marian Ilitch, the founders of Little Caesars, dreamed big, took risks and grew one pizza shop in a Detroit suburb into an international pizza chain.

It started with a little-known snack food called pizza brought home by World War II soldiers returning from Italy. Mike and Marian saw promise in this new food and were passionate about starting their own pizza business. They invested their $10,000 life savings toward opening a single Little Caesars shop in 1959. To grow the chain, they franchised their stores, ultimately giving thousands of individuals the opportunity to own their own business.

More than 50 years later, Little Caesars is the largest carry-out pizza chain in the world and an internationally known brand.

Innovation has given Little Caesars its unique place in the pizza industry, even from day one. When they opened their doors in 1959, people thought a carry-out restaurant without tables and chairs would fail, but their innovative move paid off.

Little Caesars has a history of industry firsts: they pioneered the two-for-one pizza deal later known as Pizza!Pizza!®, and then created a conveyor oven specially designed to bake pizza quickly and consistently to keep up with customer demand. The chain built stores where pizza was never served before, such as sports arenas, college dormitories and military bases. Little Caesars introduced Crazy Bread®, which became a standard side dish with pizza and was mimicked by other pizza chains. Little Caesars also broke the status quo by making pizzas ready when customers walk in, with no need to call ahead or wait in line.

Throughout its 50-plus years, Little Caesars has provided quality pizza at a great price, resulting in outstanding value for customers. Quality and value are the backbone of Little Caesars, but the brand also represents passion, fun, commitment and a focus on family. This spirit comes to life in the fun-loving “Little Caesar” character who is loved by kids and adults alike around the globe. These characteristics are also reflected in breakthrough advertising and marketing campaigns with the iconic Pizza!Pizza!® phrase that resonated with customers.

Little Caesars will continue to innovate to provide more value to more people in more places. This means business opportunities for entrepreneurs, new stores across the world, tasty and convenient new products, and marketing innovations that delight customers. Most importantly, Little Caesars will remain focused on what it does best: providing top-quality pizza made with fresh ingredients at a great price!

Currently there are over 2,400 Little Caesar locations worldwide and is considered the fastest growing pizza chain in the world.


Detailed Information Not Available


Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing

Total Investment: $193,050 - $622,500
Franchise Fee: $20,000
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years. renewable (one more 10-year period with $2,500 renewal fee)

Financial Requirements
Net Worth: $150,000
Liquid Cash Available: $50,000

- Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 10
- Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT Allowed
- Training available on-site (1-2 weeks) or at Franchisor Headquarters (5 weeks)


Little Caesars Pizza has been around for a while, 1959, which is actually before this reviewer was born. It's been in all 50 states in the US since 1987 and has been international since 1969 (when they opened their first location in Canada).  They've blazed alot of trails but the one it appears they've staked out for a while now is the budget-priced pizza.  That has it's pros and cons.  The pros are struggling students love it, especially late at night when $5/pizza is affordable to almost any student's budget. And it's also great when you have a party and need to order 10, 20, or even 30 pizzas.  Talk about making your dollar stretch.

The downside is $5/pizza doesn't do alot of good on the bottom line for the Franchisee.  There are more expensive pizzas on the menu but when you advertise $5 per pizza as your lead headline, expect to sell alot at that price.  There's something to be said in the old "quantity vs quality", but honestly, how much profit is there to be had at $5 a pop?

Unfortunately, with those low prices, the amount of money a Franchisee can put towards ingredients is limited.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them, it's just that at those prices it's difficult to buy premium ingredients that many of their competitors offer.

Although, Little Caesars has a very recognizable brand (how many times over the years have you heard "Pizza, Pizza) but when it comes to owning and running a franchise, make sure you do your Due Diligence and look around to see if there aren't other opportunities that offer a better return on your investment.



Key "Pros" Of This Business

Recognizable brand
Although not guaranteed a protected territory, but Franchisor commits to not establishing another franchise within a given location
Affordable to almost everybody's budget
Fastest growing pizza chain in the world


Key Headaches ("Cons") To Consider

Buying an expensive job?
Elapsed time to profit- moderate start up costs coupled with thin profit pizzas
Quality of ingredients isn't as high as other pizza competitors... $5 a pizza goes only so far
Number of in store owner hours 

Is this the right economy to have a long term 3-5 year investment locked up when sudden shifts are readily forecast? Why not invest a minute fraction of that amount in a business that is actually designed for today's economy?



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