Little Caesars

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Little Caesar Enterprises Inc.
Little Caesars
IndustryFast food
FoundedMay 8, 1959; 62 years ago (1959-05-08)
Garden City, Michigan, U.S.
FoundersMike Ilitch
Marian Ilitch
Headquarters2125 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Number of locations
5,463 (2017)
Area served
Key people
David Scrivano (President and CEO)[1]
Paula Vissing[2] (COO)
ProductsPizza, wings, bread, drinks
OwnersMarian Ilitch, Ilitch family

Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. (doing business as Little Caesars) is an American multi-national pizza chain. Based on 2020 statistics, Little Caesars is the third-largest pizza chain by total sales in the United States, behind Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza.[3] It operates and franchises pizza restaurants in the United States and internationally in Asia, the Middle East, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The company was founded in 1959 and is based in Detroit, Michigan, headquartered in the Fox Theatre building in Downtown Detroit.[4] Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. is owned by Ilitch Holdings.[5]


Little Caesars Pizza was founded on May 8, 1959, by Mike Ilitch and his wife Marian Ilitch. The first location was in a strip mall in Garden City, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, and named "Little Caesar's Pizza Treat". The original store closed in October 2018.[6][7]

The first Little Caesar's franchise location opened in 1962 in Warren, Michigan, and at the time was still called Little Caesar's Pizza Treat. The same year the Little Caesar's logo became a 3D figure and was used in outdoor signage.[8]

The company is famous for its advertising catchphrase "Pizza! Pizza!", which was introduced in 1979. The phrase refers to two pizzas being offered for the comparable price of a single pizza from competitors. Originally, the pizzas were served in a single long package (a piece of corrugated cardboard in 2-by-1 proportions, with two square pizzas, placed side by side, then slid into a form-fitting paper sleeve that was folded and stapled closed). Little Caesars has since discarded the unwieldy packaging in favor of typical pizza boxes. In addition to pizza with "exotic"[9] toppings, they served hot dogs, chicken, shrimp, and fish.

Starting in 1997, the chain introduced shaker boards to advertise their "Hot-N-Ready Pizza", a large pepperoni pizza sold for $5. The concept was successful enough to become a permanent fixture of the chain, and Little Caesars' business model has shifted to focus more on carryout.[10]

In 1998, Little Caesars filled what was then the largest pizza order, filling an order of 13,386 pizzas from the VF Corporation of Greensboro, North Carolina.[11]

Little Caesars was among the first to use a new kind of speed-cooking conveyor oven, the "Rotary Air Impingement Oven".[12]

On December 10, 2014, Little Caesars announced plans for a new eight-story, 205,000-square-foot Global Resource Center to be built at Woodward Avenue and Columbia Street in downtown Detroit. Intended to double the size of Little Caesars World Headquarters Campus, the new building's location was chosen near the Fox Office Center building, which houses both the Fox Theatre, and 186,000 square feet of office space for Little Caesars, and other Ilitch-affiliated ventures. An overhead pedestrian bridge over Columbia Street was planned to connect the Fox with the new Little Caesars Global Resource Center, and workspace for an additional 600 jobs to be brought to Detroit over time.[13][14] On January 31, 2016, it was announced that the proposed new Little Caesars Pizza Global Resource Center had grown by one floor to be a nine-story building at Woodward and Columbia Street.[15] The building was scheduled to be completed in 2018, but in October of that year, was pushed back due to construction delays.[16]

In 2017, to coincide with the opening of Little Caesars Arena, the company launched a slightly updated logo, which removed Caesar's chest hair, updated the wreath, and updated the toga to have hidden letters spelling "LC" for "Little Caesars". The company also started using the updated Caesar in its advertising, replacing the more cartoonish Caesar that had been used in ads since the 1980s.[17]


Fox Theatre, where the headquarters of Little Caesars is located

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. manages professional services to companies owned by Marian Ilitch. These include the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (whose NHL arena, as of 2017, is named for the pizza chain), the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Little Caesars Pizza Kits, Champion Foods, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Uptown Entertainment, the Hockeytown Cafe (also the site of City Theater), and the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit.[18]


Franchise in Marquette, Michigan
A Little Caesars in Gillette, Wyoming

Little Caesars sold its first franchise in 1962 and, by 1987, had restaurants in all 50 states.[19] Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Little Caesars were commonly found in Kmart stores, more specifically in Big Kmarts and Super Kmarts. Little Caesars pizza was also included in many older, remodeled Kmart locations. The first Kmart and the first Little Caesars were both built-in Garden City, Michigan. After Kmart's bankruptcy issues, many Kmarts replaced the Little Caesars with their own branded "K-Cafe". However, as of 2021, one Little Caesars Kmart location remains in Guam.

Between 2008 and 2015, Little Caesars was the fastest-growing pizza chain in the United States.[20] As of 2017, the company has 5,463 locations including U.S. and international units.[21]

International growth[edit]

By 1987,[22] the company was operating across the Northern United States, purchasing the Mother's Pizza chain out of receivership in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom in 1989.[23] As of 2020, the company is present in Canada (some Canadian cities had locations since 1969), Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Guatemala, Barbados, Bahamas, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Bahrain, Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, Singapore, and India.[24][25][26]

The Little Caesars brand in the Philippines was present since the 1990s but gradually closed down in the 2000s. It reentered the market 25 January 2019, with its launching under a new franchisee and new branch in Ermita, Manila.[27][28]

In 2019, Little Caesars restaurants in Australia closed their doors and went into administration, having entered the Australian market in 2014.[29]

Little Caesars entered the Indian market on January 29, 2020, opening two stores in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.[30][31]


Little Caesars produces a variety of pizzas. Several core menu items are part of the HOT-N-READY menu, designed to make popular items available for immediate carry-out, while others are considered either specialty pizzas or custom pizzas. In 2013, they added the Deep!Deep! Dish Pizza, a Detroit-style pizza, to the menu. Select locations also offer salads.

Additional entrée options include flavored Caesar Wings and bread, such as Crazy Bread and Italian Cheese Bread.[32] Select locations offer salads. All Little Caesars locations carry Pepsi products.[33]

In 1996, they introduced Pizza by the Foot, which was a three-foot-long rectangular pizza. The product has since been discontinued; however, its equivalent Pizza by the Meter has been sold in the Saudi Arabian market since the 90s and is a very popular product.[34][35] On occasion, Little Caesars releases limited time offers. In 2014, they introduced the Soft Pretzel Crust Pizza,[36] and in 2015, the "Bacon Wrapped Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza."[37]

In May 2019, Little Caesars began testing a pizza with meatless sausage made by Impossible Foods.[38]

In June 2020, Little Caesars reintroduced Stuffed Crazy Bread. They first introduced it in 1995.[39] The original Crazy Bread was first introduced in 1982.[40]

Community programs[edit]

Love Kitchen[edit]

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen is a kitchen on wheels that serves pizza to those in need. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush recognized the Love Kitchen by awarding Little Caesars with The President's Volunteer Action Award Citation.[41][better source needed]

Veterans Program[edit]

In 2006, Little Caesars started its Veterans Program, which provides incentives to honorably discharged veterans looking to open their own business when transitioning back to civilian life or seeking a career change. Mike Ilitch was inspired to start the program after hearing a story about a veteran, who lost both legs in the war, returning to civilian life.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hail pizza! Little Caesars HQ unveils homage to its own". The Detroit News. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Stych, Anne (February 26, 2021). "New Little Caesars Pizza COO has a track record of driving growth". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Pizza Power Report 2020: Taking Advantage of Digital Disruption". PMQ Pizza Magazine. December 2019. Archived from the original on January 25, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  4. ^ "Franchise Opportunities". (Archive) Little Caesars. 5/5. Retrieved November 2, 2009.
  5. ^ "Ilitch Companies: About Us". Retrieved May 24, 2021.
  6. ^ Clarke, Rod Meloni, Kayla (30 October 2018). "Original Little Caesars pizza shop location closing". Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Rubin: At the original Caesars, life and pizza go on". Detroit News. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Wilcox, Mike (September 27, 1979). "Tasters Disagree Pizza Test Proves No One is Best pg.26". The Reminder. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  10. ^ Skid, Nathan (April 27, 2009). "Hot-N-Steady: Renewed focus on value keeps Little Caesars cooking at age 50". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  11. ^ Inc., Fanpop. "Little Caesars Article: Miscellaneous Facts About Little Caesars". Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Patent US5676044 - Rotary air impingement oven - Google Patents". Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  13. ^ "Little Caesars Pizza Doubles Down on Detroit". Archived from the original on February 26, 2015. Retrieved February 26, 2015.
  14. ^ Press, By Tom Walsh and John Gallagher, Detroit Free. "Little Caesars to build 8-story downtown HQ next to Fox". Detroit Free Press.
  15. ^ "Building city blocks: Area around new Detroit Red Wings arena teeming with proposed retail, office, multifamily housing, hotel projects". Crain's Detroit Business. January 31, 2016.
  16. ^ "Those pizza-slice windows may be delaying Little Caesars HQ opening". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "Hidden Image In Little Caesars Logo That You Won't Be Able To Unsee". October 20, 2017. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  18. ^ "Ilitch Holdings, Inc". Archived from the original on 2006-12-15. Retrieved 2006-01-23.
  19. ^ "Milestones | Little Caesars | Australia". Archived from the original on December 26, 2015. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  20. ^ "Pizza Franchise Opportunities". Little Caesars' official webpage. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  21. ^ "Little Caesars Franchise Information". Archived from the original on July 29, 2016. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  22. ^ "LITTLE CAESARS PIZZA ANNOUNCES 700 NEW INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANTS". 1999-12-09. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  23. ^ MacLeod, Meredith (2 February 2013). "Mother's Pizza rising again in east Hamilton". The Spectator. Hamilton ON. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  24. ^ "Little Caesars Pizza International".
  25. ^ "Chile: Little Caesars continúa su expansión en América Latina" (in Spanish). 30 June 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
  26. ^ "Peru: Little Caesars: "Esta vez regresamos para quedarnos"" (in Spanish). 18 December 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  27. ^ "Remember Little Caesars pizza? It's returning to PH". ABS-CBN News. 2018-12-19. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  28. ^ "American pizza chain Little Caesars is making a comeback in the Philippines next year". Coconuts Manila. 2018-12-19. Retrieved 2020-04-05.
  29. ^ Hall, Nick (2 January 2020). "Little Caesars Australia collapses under debt mountain". Inside Franchise Business. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  30. ^ Umarji, Vinay (27 January 2020). "Little Caesars Pizza enters India with two stores, eyes 10 more by 2020-end". Business Standard India. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Little Caesars Pizza forays into India". ET BrandEquity. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  32. ^ "Little Caesars Pizza - Pizza Franchise Opportunities Available". Archived from the original on September 17, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-08.
  33. ^ "Free 2-Liter Promotion 2018". Little Caesars. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  34. ^ "Thread: Little Caesars' Big New Idea: Pizza by the Foot (1996)". Ad Age. October 28, 1996. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  35. ^ "Pizza by the meter". Archived from the original on 2021-09-23. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  36. ^ "Little Caesars is bringing back pretzel crust pizza". WXYZ. January 29, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  37. ^ "Little Caesars' Bacon-Wrapped Crust is the Crust to End All Crusts". Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  38. ^ Wiener-Bronner, Danielle. "Little Caesars is testing out an Impossible pizza". CNN. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  39. ^ "Little Caesars Bakes New Stuffed Crazy Bread".
  40. ^ Baetens, Melody (2020-06-01). "Little Caesars launches stuffed crazy bread and a $3.99 pizza deal". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on 2021-09-23. Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  41. ^ "Little Caesars Pizza > Giving Back > Love Kitchen". Archived from the original on July 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-08.

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