23 Little Caesars Facts About The Fast Growing Pizza Chain For Foodies

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 09, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Apr 12, 2022
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Little Caesars facts will tell you more about the first Little Caesars at a strip mall by founder Mike Ilitch.

Little Caesars is a famous pizza chain in the US that became popular in a very short time span.

Little Caesars also has international franchises and is amongst the most popular pizza joints for serving the Hot n Ready pizza in Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. Little Caesars Pizza Restaurants have witnessed considerable growth under the guidance of founder Mike Ilitch.

The pizza chain was started by Mike and Marian Ilitch. They spent their life savings to open the first store.

Their rapid success encouraged many celebrity chefs to taste their pizza and innovate new recipes. Famous people who visited this pizza chain include Cliff Freeman, David Scrivano, and many more. The restaurant also started food trucks in many states to give away free food for the homeless and people struggling to buy enough food.

They serve innovative varieties of pizzas along with pretzel pizza, hotdogs and crazy bread on their hot n ready menu. The couple who founded the Pizza chain are an example of how efficient decision-making and hard work can create a successful business.

Little Caesars Foundation History

Little Caesars is a global chain that began with a blind date between two people. The couple went on to become the founders of this famous pizza chain.

In 1954, Mike Ilitch and Marian Bayoff went on a date which was arranged by Mike’s father. Soon the couple were married and in 1959 they decided to start a pizza store and invested their entire life savings in it. The name Little Caesars derives its origins from the nickname Marion used for Mike, Little Caesar.

Their journey of starting a small pizza store which became a worldwide franchise is inspiring. The first pizza store was opened in Garden city, Michigan which is a suburb of Detroit.

The first sales of the store were neatly recorded by Marian in a notebook and the couple was determined to make their business a success. In 1962, Mike and Marian opened up their first franchise in Michigan.

This was a life-changing business decision that paved the way for Little Caesars in claiming international pizza brand status. They also designed a 3D logo for Little Caesars and used it outdoors as signage.

In 1967, the first location of Little Caesars was opened in Detroit. Little Caesars went on to become one of the fastest-growing pizza chains in the USA. Their business flourished and people demanded more Little Caesars pizza. Within two years Little Caesars celebrated the inauguration of its 50th restaurant.

The first International store was opened in Canada in 1969. Mike and Marian considered Little Caesars as their eighth child and a part of one big family. The employees were also treated like family members.

Little Caesars has stores in all the 50 states of the US and 18 international stores. The business expansion was not limited to pizza.

In 1971, the couple decided to purchase a mushroom farm and improve the pricing quality of mushrooms. Thus Little Caesars Mushroom Farms Inc. came into being. This company today is known as Blue Line Foodservice Distribution.

In 1979, Little Caesars launched a new offer for their customers. It offered two pizzas for the price of one. This attracted more customers and kept pizza lovers loyal to Little Caesars. They coined the popular slogan 'Pizza! Pizza!'. The Little Caesars also started their own hockey team and played in many youth hockey competitions.

In 1985, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen started to travel to places in the country and gave free pizzas to the homeless. The hungry and poor, refugees, and disaster survivors were given free hot pizzas by the Little Caesars and thus made philanthropy a part of the business.

Little Caesars served many exciting dishes on their menu. Their menu card was diverse and added new innovative varieties. In 1988, they added a square deep dish pizza and named it Pan!

Pan!. the customers can take two pizzas or two pan pans or mix and match according to their choice. This strategy kept the customers engaged with their brand.

Soon the advertising campaign was carried through television and several commercials which gave recognition and reputation to the brand and reached new people through national television.

In 1991 the Little Caesars Love Kitchen was honored with the President's Volunteer Action Award from US President George Bush, for the work they have done in providing free pizzas to the needy. They received the same award a few years later from President Bill Clinton.

Little Caesars Founders

The Illitch family are credited to be the founders of Little Ceasars. The couple started young and made careful management and business decisions to make their store an international brand.

The International Franchise Association has now announced that the founders of Little Caesars Mike and Marian Ilitch will be named to the IFA Hall of Fame. It is the oldest and highly prestigious award.

The award is presented to an IFA member for the best franchise holder and having made significant contributions to the franchising community. In 2016 the founders of Little Caesars were awarded formally in Texas.

The couple invested their entire life savings and thus received exponential returns. Hence they deserved this award. The Ilitch family worked tirelessly and represented their hometown Detroit which shows their commitment and dedication towards their business and franchise.

Since their first restaurant opened in Detroit, innovation has been a constant to Mike and Marian. The restaurant flourished because of their innovation, hard work & excellent decision-making. Their innovation items include two pizzas for one deal. The revolutionary concept of Hot-n-Ready Pizza for $5 attracted a million customers.

They also invented a conveyor to bake pizza and innovative products like Crazy Bread. Little Caesars also introduced Detroit-style deep dish pizza, pizza cones, a pretzel-crust pizza, and a bacon-wrapped pizza on the menu. These items were introduced nationwide. Little Caesars’ pizza treat is always a preferred option by the youngsters.

Little Caesar was found by Mike and Marian Ilitch in the year 1959.

Little Caesars Store Locations

The franchise of the famous pizza joint Little Caesars was first sold in 1962. By 1987 restaurants were opened in all 50 states of the US.

The early 1900s and 2000s marked the opening of stores of Little Caesars in Big Kmarts. The first Little Caesars was first built in Garden city, Michigan along with the first Kmart in the same place.

Unfortunately Kmart went on to face bankruptcy issues and therefore replaced Little Caesars with their own brand of K-cafe.

Today, the fast-food industry is growing rapidly and one such fastest-growing pizza champion popular in the US is Little Caesars. It still continues to expand internationally. In 2017 this pizza chain had stores in 5463 locations.

By 1987, the company started operating outside the US and purchased the Mother's Pizza chain. The company of Little Caesars is now present in the US as well as countries around the world.

The locations include Canada, US Virgin Islands, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guam, Panama, Jordan, Guatemala, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jamaica, Australia, Bahrain, El Salvador, Trinidad, Chile, and Tobago.

Little Caesars Fame

Little Caesars is known for its variety of famous pizza dishes. The core items of the menu are already a part of the Hot-n-Ready menu.

The Hot-n-Ready menu was designed to make the most preferred items available instantly for carry-out. The other items on the menu are made to order and can be customized according to the customer’s choice of toppings.

The toppings and items on the menu are also different in every store. Usually, typical famous pizza options consist of classic cheese with pepperoni or Italian sausage pizza, three meat treat pizza, ultimate supreme pizza, hula Hawaiian pizza, veggie pizza, pizza cones, and even hotdogs.

Added to this menu were the famous deep dish pizza and a Detroit-style pizza to the Little Caesars menu card in 2013.

Additional items include flavored wings and bread, Italian cheese bread, or crazy bread. Some selected locations of Little Caesars also provide salads. Pepsi products are served in all the locations.

On festivals and several occasions, the Little Caesars also have limited-time offers to attract pizza lovers. They also introduced the pretzel crust pizza which has a soft crust. This was a limited-time offer but due to an overwhelming demand pretzel crust pizza was back on the menu card in 2015 for the second time.

One of their famous innovations is the Deep Deep Dish Pizza. In 2015, they also started bacon-wrapped crust pizza. It was basically a deep-dish pizza wrapped in 3.5 ft (107 cm) of bacon. Pizza cones and hotdogs are also part of the menu in many Little Caesars' stores.

Their success made the founders rich enough to buy two sports teams namely the baseball team the Detroit Tigers and an ice hockey team with the name the Detroit Red Wings. The Detroit Red Wings have bagged four Stanley Cups. Ilitch's family is also the owner of Olympia Entertainment and Fox Theater.

The famous actor's Bill Murray and Kerry Simon worked at a Little Ceasars when they were young. Kerry Simon became a celebrity chef later. Even Jimmy Kemmel worked at Little Caesars when he was a starving artist.

Did You Know!

  • Little Caesar's pizzas are cheap as they manufacture the dough and sauce in-house.
  • Little Caesars used to deliver pizzas around two decades ago and is thinking of bringing the service back.
  • One slice of pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars has around 246 calories, so consume it in moderation to ensure no adverse health effects. A complete pepperoni pizza features 30 slices of pepperoni.
  • Little Caesars is not a public company but a privately held entity.
  • Different promotions are run occasionally where two pizzas are given for the price of one. The original slogan 'Pizza! Pizza!' meant that customers can get two pizzas for the price of one.
  • The company uses fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and muenster cheese for its pizzas.
  • Recently, Little Caesars started offering Spaghetti as a side dish.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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