Little Caesars is one of the largest pizza chains in the U.S., just behind Domino’s and Pizza Hut. The company's signature competitive differentiations are its HOT-AND-READY, which allows walk-in customers to purchase fresh, pre-made food with little to no wait time, as well as its large $5 pizza offerings. Customizable made-to-order items are also available. Within a crowded industry, Little Caesars competes by unapologetically selling immediate gratification and affordability. Franchisees can open a standard Little Caesars restaurant or a variety of non-standard models.
Facts & Figures
Liquid capital required
Net worth required
$350,000 - $1,427,500
Units in operation
Own a Little Caesars Franchise - Questions & Answers
What is it?
- National fast casual pizza retail restaurant franchise
- Offers a variety of pizza styles as well as side dishes
How does it make money?
- In-store sales of pizza and other menu items
- Payment for deliveries and catered events
- Sales of brand merchandise
Who is it for?
- Someone with knowledge or experience in food service
- People who love pizza
- Franchisees who seek a high-volume restaurant
What would you do as a franchisee?
- Open and oversee operation of a fast-casual pizza restaurant
- Hire food and management personnel as necessary
Little Caesars Franchise Formats Offered
The timeline for opening a Little Caesars is 4 to 12 months from initial application to grand opening, depending on factors like store location, permitting, and the franchise format selected. Little Caesars is, of course, known for its walk-in restaurants, but, beyond the traditional carryout format, Little Caesars franchise owners have several non-standard options for their store build-out:
Classic Express Format
- Store size: 800+ sq feet
- Menu: full
- Employees: full staff
- Entrance: must have separate entrance
Self-Serve Express Format
- Store size: 475 sq feet
- Menu: Limited with optional breakfast items, sold via self-service
- Employees: 1 or 2 employees
Cashier Express Format
- Store size: 675 sq feet
- Menu: Limited, sold via separate register
- Little Caesars Franchise Opportunities - History
Little Caesars Franchise Opportunities - History
Mike Ilitch and his Wife Marian founded the first Little Caesars in 1959 in Garden City, Michigan. Originally named Little Caesars Pizza Treat, the first franchise was sold in 1962 and began expanding quickly thereafter. By 1969, Little Caesars began its international expansion into Canada, and by 1987, had locations throughout all 50 states in the US. The pizza chain began offering its "Hot- N-Ready" menu item, which is a large pizza sold for $5, in 2005. This new feature was a major success, which led the item to become a permanent fixture on the menu. Little Caesars has remained the fasted-growing pizza chain for nearly a decade.
Little Caesars Franchise Cost / Initial Investment / Little Caesars Franchise Income
Opening one Little Caesars pizza restaurant franchise requires a total investment of $350,000 to $1,427,500, including a $20,000 franchise fee. Potential owners should have a net worth of at least $250,000. Reserving a territory for future development of up to four Little Caesars restaurants requires a total investment of $21,000 to $25,000, which is additional to the cost of every franchise unit to be developed. Franchisees pay an ongoing royalty that is the greater of 6% of the week's gross sales or $100, payable weekly. For national advertising, franchisees must contribute up to 7% of gross sales toward the franchisor advertising fund.
Little Caesars Franchise System Size and Composition
Little Caesars has expanded to around 6,000 locations worldwide. About 90% of the chain's locations are franchised and about 10% are corporate owned. Roughly 80% of the restaurants are located in the United States. Systemwide, the chain generates approximately $4.4 billion in sales.
Convenience, Quality and Value
Little Caesars Pizza Has the Recipe for Growth
When you’re the fastest-growing carryout pizza chain in America,* you’re obviously doing something right. Or, in the case of Little Caesars, you’re doing many things right. The company isn’t even thinking of resting on its laurels, however. Instead, it’s actively working toward even more growth, by targeting communities across the country through an aggressive multi-unit franchisee growth strategy. These communities are poised for growth, and provide excellent opportunities for franchise developers who want to be associated with a leading national brand and a simple business model.
“As we implement our strategic plan focused on bringing in experienced restaurant operators to add new franchise units into previously untapped markets, we anticipate that consumers and franchise developers alike will be eager to connect with Little Caesars Pizza’s globally recognized brand name,” said Ed Ader, director of franchise development for Little Caesars.
In addition to in-line shopping center and strip mall locations, the expansion plan also includes opportunities for franchise locations to open in non-traditional franchise venues—unique settings like convenience stores, college campuses and military bases, just to name a few.
The beauty of this model is that Little Caesars Pizza will work closely with its franchisees to develop locations with customized architectural and build-out plans. That design flexibility makes it an attractive fit for all kinds of venues.
A Brand You Can Believe In
Year after year, for more than a decade, Little Caesars Pizza has experienced significant sales increases and store growth. The company is planning for the continuation of this trend with this franchise expansion program, and an unwavering focus on providing high quality products with great value for a low price.
In fact, Little Caesars Pizza has been named “Best Value in America”** for ten straight years, and the brand appeals to consumers on several levels.
“Little Caesars Pizza takes pride in its ability to connect with consumers on what matters most to them,” added Ader. “Whether it’s our HOT-N-READY® pizza or famed Crazy Bread®, our loyal and growing fan base is looking for a great value, and we consistently deliver on our promise to do just that.”
The brand equity built throughout the past six decades, along with the proven Little Caesars Pizza business model and ongoing franchisee support, are driving the company’s growth. Couple that with the brand’s high quality, affordable products that are ready when customers are, and you’ve got a recipe for remarkable consumer convenience and value.
Building on Franchisee Success
Little Caesars provides qualified franchisees with the tools they need to follow the brand’s proven system, including ongoing training, architectural services to help with design and construction, preferred lenders to assist with financing, sustained research and development of new products, and continuing, effective marketing promotions.
For more information about Little Caesars and available franchise opportunities, visit Franchise.LittleCaesars.com or call 1-800-553-5776.
*“Fastest growing carryout pizza chain in America” based on the net number of stores added 2008-2014.
**“Highest Rated Chain - Value For The Money” based on a nationwide survey of quick-service restaurant consumers conducted by Sandelman & Associates, 2007-2015.
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