Fort Myers, Fla., Nov. 6 // PRNewswire // -- Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. today celebrates the grand opening of U.S. veteran Martin Lorenz's second store in Fort Myers at 3501 Fowler Street. Less than 18 months ago, Lorenz became the first U.S. veteran to open a Little Caesars location under the Little Caesars Veterans Program. "Since applying my benefit from the Little Caesars Veterans Program and opening my first location in Fort Myers, I have been looking forward to expanding in the area with a strong brand," said Lorenz. "I am excited to be growing my business for my family and the Little Caesars Veterans Program has made it possible."
Since the program launched nearly two years ago, interest has remained high in the Little Caesars Veterans Program. Currently, 45 veterans collectively are applying credits and benefits to help them grow their Little Caesars businesses. To date, 2,400 inquires have been made about the program. Several veterans have also opened second stores and many are expected to open their stores under the program in the coming months.
"I've enjoyed growing my Little Caesars business, and I encourage other veterans to explore the opportunity to transition into a second career with Little Caesars. The response from veterans to the program has been extremely positive," added Lorenz.
In fact, Tony Ceppaluni, a U.S. military veteran recently opened his first Little Caesars store in North Port, Fla., after first learning about the opportunity of owning a Little Caesars pizza restaurant from Lorenz.
"With talented veterans such as Martin joining the Little Caesars team and opening more stores, the Little Caesars Veterans Program continues to grow and provide veterans with business ownership opportunities," said David Scrivano, president, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. "Providing benefits to veterans is a critical first step toward their becoming entrepreneurs, but the fact that they are starting to build their second stores really demonstrates the strength of the program."
Prior to becoming a Little Caesars pizza store owner, Lorenz honed his professional skills in the real estate industry. Earlier, Lorenz worked as an engineer with General Motors in Detroit. Throughout his career Lorenz developed a strong appreciation for providing quality products and services to his customers. When he learned about the training and ongoing support Little Caesars offered, Lorenz was convinced the Little Caesars franchise opportunity was right for him.
Created on Veteran's Day 2006 to thank individuals such as Lorenz for their service, the program provides veterans with career opportunities when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change. The Little Caesars Veterans Program provides honorably discharged service-disabled veterans who qualify a benefit of up to approximately $68,000. It grants honorably discharged, non-service-disabled veterans who qualify as Little Caesars franchisees a benefit of up to $20,000.
Little Caesars was recently listed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as one of the best loan performers among franchises with more than 60 SBA-guaranteed loans.* Little Caesars also works with preferred lenders who understand the business, which becomes increasingly important as it gets more difficult for entrepreneurs to secure financing in today's economy.
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 and offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized characters in the country, Little Caesar, who 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, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Uptown Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, and a variety of venues within these entities. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.
For more information about the Little Caesars Veterans Program and available franchise opportunities, visit http://www.LittleCaesars.com or call 1.800.553.5776.
*Source: Coleman Report, an annual compilation of performance data on thousands of SBA-guaranteed franchise loans.
SOURCE Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.