Little Caesar's Franchise Logo


In Brief

  • Little Caesars is the third largest pizza chain in the US with international locations in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • In 1985, the Little Caesar’s Love Kitchen was created and began traveling around the country, making free pizzas for the hungry, homeless, and disaster survivors. For its service to underserved communities across the country, The Little Caesar’s Love Kitchen received its first President’s Volunteer Action Award from George H.W. Bush in 1991 and went on to receive the award again from President Bill Clinton.
  • Despite the consistent expansion and growth, Little Caesar’s retained Mike and Marian’s initial values of quality food and service.

Little Caesar’s Financial Summary

  • Initial Franchise Fee$20,000
  • Startup Costs: $354,700 – $1,433,500
  • Royalty Fee: 6.0%

Mamma Mia, that’s a tasty franchise! Little Caesar’s is one of the fastest growing pizza franchises in the United States and other parts of the world. The family-owned company is an established brand loved by everyone, and they could be your next, smart investment.

Photo: JeepersMedia via Flickr/Creative Commons

Little Caesar’s Franchise History

Currently, Little Caesars is the third largest pizza chain in the US with international locations in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Little Caesars has thousands of locations across the country and partners with some of the nation’s biggest corporations, such as Pepsi-Cola. It’s difficult to imagine that the pizza titan began with a really great blind date.

In 1954, Mike Ilitch’s father decided to set his son up on a blind date with Marian Bayoff. Needless to say, the two hit it off and were married within just several months. Happily married, the two decided to invest their life savings into a pizza store in Garden City, Michigan, a suburb near Detroit. This became the first Little Caesar’s location. A small and charming restaurant, Marian kept a record of the restaurant’s sales in a spiral notebook.

What began as a small Pizza Restaurant took off, filling with customers each day. As demand grew, the couple decided to open the first franchise location in 1962 in Warren, Michigan. The Warren location was the beginning of the franchise Little Caesar’s has become today.

As the franchise expanded, the Ilitches invested more time and money into the quality of their franchise locations. The two chose their employees carefully, considering all their workers to be part of one big family. According to the Little Caesar’s website, Marian was even quoted to say: “I consider Little Caesars my eighth child.”

In addition to the couple’s attention to their employees, the Ilithch couple paid close attention to their ingredient quality. In 1971, Mike and Marian purchased a mushroom farm to improve the quality and pricing of the mushrooms on their pizzas. In 1985, the Little Caesar’s Love Kitchen was created and began traveling around the country, making free pizzas for the hungry, homeless, and disaster survivors. For its service to underserved communities across the country, The Little Caesar’s Love Kitchen received its first President’s Volunteer Action Award from George H.W. Bush in 1991 and went on to receive the award again from President Bill Clinton.

Despite the consistent expansion and growth, Little Caesar’s retained Mike and Marian’s initial values of quality food and service. In fact, the franchise has even stayed in the family and is currently run by Christopher Ilitch, President, and CEO of Ilitch Holdings.

The Perfect Franchise for “Pizza! Pizza!” Lovers

1. An Established Brand for Five Decades with Simple Operations

Since the brand is already established, there is no need to build this business from the ground up. Current franchisees say all the procedures are laid out for them when they start their business and the Little Caesars’ 50-year-old model is proven to help the owners succeed.

2. Industry Leading Quality, Value and Convenience

Creating a good quality product that is affordable and convenient for families is Little Caesars’ first priority. Hot-N-Ready five dollar pizza is just one example of the franchise making buying pizza a better experience for the consumer, as well as the franchisee. In regards to types of outlets, each location is either a traditional store or one of the three non-traditional settings: a Classic Express, Self-Serve Express or Cashier Express. These non-traditional stores are perfect for grab-and-go, plus lower the cost of labor.

3. Ongoing, Strong Corporate Support and Training

Before opening the new Little Caesar’s, each franchisee must attend the franchisor’s training program. Only one person from each restaurant is required to attend and complete the program to full completion. Typically, the training program lasts approximately six to eight weeks, however, this length may be changed at any time. The program consists of a two-day real-estate training program, a food certification, and a six-week initial training process.

Aside from the food safety certification fee, the franchisor will provide training manuals, materials, and instructors free of charge. All other expenses incurred during the training program, including transportation, meals, and lodging must be paid by the franchisee.

The franchisee may send additional employees to the training program with a few of $250 per attendee. If at any time the franchisor believes the employee does not possess the necessary skills to run a Little Caesar’s restaurant, the franchisor may terminate the Franchise Agreement at any point.

4. Connect with Communities from Coast to Coast

When joining the Little Caesars’ franchise, you are joining a team of people from all over the country. It is a network that has grown exponentially throughout the 50 years and continues to grow today.

5. Benefits Franchisees Young and Old

For the older generation of Little Caesars’, their families benefit greatly from the success of the franchise. Some franchisees recruit family members and they are able to work together.

FDD Summary

Initial Franchise Fee: $20,000

The standard initial franchise fee for purchasing a franchise for your first restaurant is $20,000. For an existing franchisee purchasing an additional franchise, the fee is $15,000. There is also a non-refundable $5,000 initial franchise deposit fee due within 30 days after the franchisor approves the site of the proposed restaurant.

Startup Costs: $354,700 – $1,433,500

The startup costs are dependent on various factors, which is why Little Caesar’s provides an estimated investment range.

Name of Fee Low High
Initial Franchise Fee $20,000
Rent $1,500 $7,000
Leasehold Improvements $50,000  $750,000
Fixtures,
Equipment, and
Signage
$186,000  $392,000
Grand Opening
Advertising
$12,000 $20,000
Training
Expenses
$12,000 $16,500
Start-up Inventory
and Supplies
$63,000 $154,000
Insurance $1,200 $2,000
Utility Expenses $1,000  $5,000
Licenses and
Permits
$1,000 $20,000
Additional Funds
– 3 months
$17,000 $47,000
Total $354,700 $1,433,500

Royalty Fee: 6.0%

The royalty fee is $100 for each one week period.

Little Caesar’s is the ideal franchise opportunity for those who truly appreciate what goes into creating the ultimate pizza. When you join Little Caesar’s, you become part of a family. The franchise came from humble beginnings, and if not for that one blind date between the two founders, it definitely would not be the highly recognized food chain it is today.

Disclaimer: The above information was derived from the year 2019 FDD of Little Caesars. This data may not reflect the most current information. AskMrFranchise and affiliates are not responsible for any act or failure to act in reliance upon this report, article, data, and/or information.  None of the information mentioned above should be used to substitute or replace consultation with legal or other professionals.


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