Little Caesars #1 Pizza Chain in 2007 U.S. Store Growth
Achieves Seventh Consecutive Year of Significant Sales Increases Named Highest Rated Quick Serve Restaurant Chain in Value for the Money
DETROIT, April 2, 2008 // PRNewswire // -- Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. today announced that it built more domestic units than any other pizza chain in 2007, while being recognized as the top value quick serve restaurant chain in the U.S. "Our strategic new store growth continues, and we're very pleased that 2007 marked our seventh consecutive year of significant sales increases outpacing industry growth," said David Scrivano, president, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. "Even with current economic pressures, we are growing the chain by executing our strategy."
Recognized as the world's largest carry-out pizza chain, Little Caesars' year-over-year sales increases again led to significant franchisee growth and entry into new markets. This growth, coupled with fresh, quality products, outstanding value for customers and strong national brand recognition, positions Little Caesars for continued and accelerated growth in 2008 and beyond.
In one of the largest U.S. quick serve restaurant research studies in 2007, Little Caesars was named for the first time the "best value for the money" of all quick serve restaurant chains. Sandelman & Associates' Quick- Track(R) research study tracks key consumer behavioral and attitudinal measures for all major fast-food chains. Surveys were conducted among more than 84,000 quick service restaurant customers in 70 major markets across the U.S. Little Caesars was also named highest rated pizza chain for "Convenience of Locations" and "Speed of Service."
"Our customers are telling us they appreciate the great value we provide," said Scrivano. "Value is created by offering top quality pizza made with fresh ingredients for a great price. This recognition from Sandelman clearly validates our market position as the value leader and is a testament to our competitive advantage."
Attracting a Broad Range of Investors
In 2007, Little Caesars built new stores in eight countries and 36 states. Little Caesars plans to continue the growth by opening hundreds of stores worldwide in 2008. Numerous business investors are seeing value in Little Caesars, including individuals experienced with other brands, people transitioning to a second career and investment companies.
"I left an executive position with another food chain and became an entrepreneur with Little Caesars because of the high quality products and simple operating model," said Mike McGuire, Little Caesars Minneapolis-area franchisee. "With the strong training and ongoing support Little Caesars offers franchisees, I have been able to open six Little Caesars stores and plan to open three additional locations in 2008." Three years ago there was one Little Caesars store and one franchisee in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market area. Today there are more than a dozen stores and five franchisees.
People from many backgrounds have chosen Little Caesars as a second career. Former Ford autoworker Dale Beck took a buyout in 2006 and opened his St. Louis-area Little Caesars in June of 2007. "I made a plan to transition to a different career, and I've enjoyed bringing the same discipline I developed in the auto industry to my own business," said Beck. "I encourage other auto workers, and people from any field desiring to get into business for themselves, to explore opportunities with Little Caesars."
Investment companies are also interested in Little Caesars. For example, Sizzling Caesar, an experienced restaurant group with several brands, recently purchased dozens of Little Caesars stores in Utah and Colorado to expand their holdings. "We have many food service interests and we were looking for an investment that would help us expand in today's economy," said Ted Morton, CEO of parent company Sizzling Platter. "We're so happy with our Little Caesars business that we have signed an agreement to expand the Little Caesars brand with dozens more stores in Utah and Colorado."
Domestic Expansion Plans
In 2008, Little Caesars is focusing on growing in areas across the country including Boston, St. Louis, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, among many others, providing opportunities for individuals looking for more independence through business ownership.
To maintain its continued growth, Little Caesars supports franchisees with strong processes and a proven system that includes: ongoing training and support, architectural services to help with store design and construction, preferred lenders to assist with financing, the ongoing research and development of new products, and effective marketing programs and support.
"We continue to innovate to provide more value to more people in more places," said Scrivano. "Little Caesars has been in business for nearly 50 years, and remains well-positioned today in this competitive market segment."
International Expansion Plans
Little Caesars intends to expand its international presence and has approved franchisees in Costa Rica, Peru and Ireland. To support its long term focus on international growth, Little Caesars promoted Michael Therrian to Vice President, International. He will focus on growing stores and strengthening the Little Caesars brand globally. Little Caesars has a presence or approved franchisees in more than 20 countries.
The Little Caesars Veterans Program continues to provide business ownership opportunities to military veterans. Currently 25 veterans have become Little Caesars franchisees under the program. It offers honorably discharged, service-disabled veterans who qualify as Little Caesars franchisees a benefit of up to $68,000. Honorably discharged, non-service- disabled veterans who qualify as Little Caesars franchisees are eligible for a benefit of $10,000.
The Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a pizza kitchen on wheels that travels the nation providing hot pizza meals to the homeless, disaster survivors and rescue workers, made a difference for more than 15,000 people in 60 locations. Since its inception in 1985 the Little Caesars Love Kitchen has provided meals to more than two million people.
About Little Caesars
Little Caesars Pizza founders Michael and Marian Ilitch opened their first restaurant in Garden City, Michigan in 1959. Little Caesars built more stores in the U.S. in 2007 than any other pizza chain and today is the largest carry- out chain internationally with restaurants on five continents. Little Caesars is growing in prime markets across the country, and is offering strong franchisee candidates an opportunity for independence with a proven system. In addition, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized characters in the country, Little Caesar, that appeals to both adults and children.
In addition to Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include -- the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Uptown Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, and a variety of venues within these entities. Marian Ilitch also owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.
For more information about Little Caesars and available franchise opportunities and markets, visit http://www.LittleCaesars.com or call 1.800.553.5776.
SOURCE Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.