May 25, 2010 // Franchising.com // DETROIT – First-generation Americans seeking the entrepreneurial opportunities that the United States offers and a chance to run their businesses based on traditional family values are becoming franchisees with Little Caesars. Ambitious and determined to fulfill their potential as business leaders, first-generation Americans are investing in the well-known pizza brand to reach goals that were unavailable to them in their native countries.
David Scrivano, president and CEO of Little Caesar Enterprises Inc., said he is proud to see these individuals investing in the Little Caesars franchise opportunity as a business they can keep in their family for the years ahead. "We value the diversity of our franchisees and appreciate the unique perspectives they bring to their businesses," Scrivano said. "Little Caesars offers a dynamic business opportunity for first-generation Americans looking to go into business for themselves."
To support its franchisees and to maintain continued growth, Little Caesars offers the tools of its proven system, including ongoing training, architectural services to help with design and construction, preferred lenders to assist with financing, the ongoing research and development of new products, and continuing, effective marketing programs.
Transitioning into a professional career as a business owner can be challenging, but many first-generation Americans bring with them a strong work ethic learned in their native countries that can help them achieve their goals in the United States. Some, like Duc Huynh, who was born in Saigon, Vietnam during the Vietnam War, have overcome adversity in their homelands to become entrepreneurs here.
"I came from a war-torn country, and because of that I have developed an appreciation for working hard and helping others who work in my stores expand their professional skills," Huynh said. "As a first-generation American I had a lot of obstacles to overcome, such as learning a new language and adapting to a new culture."
Prior to becoming a Little Caesars franchisee, Huynh worked as a general manager with Little Caesars for several years in California. In 2003, he opened his first Little Caesars restaurant in San Jose, Calif. He and a cousin opened a second store in 2007 and are planning to open a third.
Elie Feghali was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and immigrated to the United States when he was 14 years old. As a child he opened an ice cream store on the roof of his house in Beirut, and when customers bought treats from him he persuaded them to also become customers of his father's tailor shop.
"I dreamed of owning a business, just like my father," Feghali said. "It's in my blood. When a friend became a Little Caesars franchisee, I went to work for him and learned the business before opening my own location."
With a passion for sales and marketing, Feghali recognized that the high-quality food, great value, and the simple operating model made Little Caesars the right choice for him. He opened his first restaurant in 1985 and now operates 12 locations in Bakersfield, Calif. Additionally, he is a partner with his two brothers in five Little Caesars restaurants in San Diego.
Family heritage and values also play a significant role in shaping the approach Marino Lluberes, from the Dominican Republic, takes with operating his two Little Caesars restaurants.
"My father's influence has played a major part in my ability to launch my entrepreneurial career and grow my Little Caesars business," said Lluberes, who owns locations in New York's Bronx neighborhood and Union City, N.J. "He was a businessman since I was a little kid, and I worked with him in every business he owned."
One of those businesses was a used-car dealership, where Lluberes worked for eight years with his father. Later, Lluberes opened a cell-phone store in the Bronx, but the mealtime crowds at the Little Caesars restaurant next door constantly caught his attention. He bought the restaurant in 2007 and plans to open 10 others during the next five years, all in the Bronx and Union City, N.Y.
"Little Caesars is a great opportunity for a first-generation American," Lluberes said. "The proven business model, reasonable startup costs, and growth opportunities make it an attractive investment. Plus, Little Caesars' corporate staff is always right there when we need anything. They are always supporting us."
Like Lluberes, Huynh and Feghali encourage first-generation Americans in the U.S., who want to own businesses, to join Little Caesars as franchisees.
"Little Caesars is a great company with a great corporate philosophy," Feghali said. "I would recommend that first-generation Americans seriously consider owning a Little Caesars franchise."
Little Caesars Pizza founders Michael and Marian Ilitch opened their first restaurant in Garden City, Michigan in 1959. Little Caesars added more stores in the world in 2009 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. For the third year in a row, Little Caesars was named "Best Value in America"* of all quick-serve restaurant chains. In addition, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.
In addition to Little Caesars Pizza, Michael and Marian Ilitch's 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.
* "Highest-Rated Chain – Value for the Money" based on a nationwide survey of quick-service restaurant consumers conducted by Sandelman & Associates, 2009