Celebrating explosive global growth in its hometown

Nine thousand Little Caesars franchisees, employees, suppliers from around the world gather at Little Caesars Arena to celebrate major milestone

Three-day conference included tours of resurgent City of Detroit and business events at Cobo Convention Center, Fox Theatre, and Little Caesars Arena

DETROIT – Little Caesars is celebrating its 60th anniversary today by welcoming thousands of franchisees, suppliers and employees to the company’s hometown for its annual Global Business Conference.   The first Little Caesars location opened in the Detroit suburb of Garden City, Michigan on May 8, 1959 – sixty years ago today.  Little Caesars is the third largest company in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry.

Founded by Mike and Marian Ilitch as a single pizza shop in Garden City, Michigan, Little Caesars has grown into a globally-recognized brand headquartered in Detroit with locations in all 50 U.S. states and 24 countries around the world.   Today, Little Caesars employs more than 200,000 people throughout its corporate offices, its franchise and corporate stores, and its distribution networks worldwide.

“True to the American entrepreneurial spirit, our founders invested their life savings in their dream. Through hard work and a focus on offering customers a great value, they found success,” said Dave Scrivano, President and CEO of Little Caesars. “Sixty years later, we are celebrating that success by welcoming franchisees from around the world to our hometown as we work together to build our future.”

Thousands of people have been able to follow their dreams, too, by owning and operating their own Little Caesars franchise businesses.  As one of the country’s most successful franchises, Little Caesars has provided the independence of entrepreneurship and the stability of a proven business model to thousands of franchisees.

“We wanted to be successful and build a future for our family,” said Leo Gonzales, franchisee from Chula Vista, California. “This company gave us that opportunity, and it is a great company to work for.”

As part of the three-day franchisee Global Business Conference, attendees are experiencing many of Detroit’s sights and sounds while attending dozens of meetings and events focused on Little Caesars and its rapidly growing business.  Conference activities are being held at Cobo Convention Center, Comerica Park, the award-winning Little Caesars Arena, and the historic Fox Theatre.  Participants are enjoying an immersive experience across the City of Detroit, including tours of Detroit’s resurgent downtown, the Fox Theatre, Little Caesars Arena and enjoyed a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park.  Thousands of attendees are staying at area hotels, enjoying the city’s dynamic and growing restaurant and retail scene located throughout downtown Detroit.   

Continued growth and success driven by six decades of relentless innovation

Little Caesars has a long-history of driving innovation that has revolutionized the industry time and time again.  Little Caesars invented Crazy Bread, one of the most beloved foods in the world. The company invented and pioneered the conveyor pizza oven, which dramatically increased productivity and became the global standard for baking pizzas. The company introduced the world to Pizza!Pizza! – delivering incredible value to millions of families for decades with the legendary and highly popular buy-one, get-one-free offer.  Little Caesars’ 2004 launch of the $5 HOT-N-READY pizza changed the industry landscape once again by delivering incredible value and convenience to busy families.  And most recently, Little Caesars launched the revolutionary Pizza Portal, which has been recognized with prestigious awards for innovation from QSR Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, and the International Franchise Association. The Pizza Portal is the industry’s first heated, self-service mobile order pickup station, and allows customers to conveniently place their orders online or via the Little Caesars mobile app, arrive at the store, and pick up their pizza in seconds.

Hometown success story contributes to Detroit’s resurgence

Little Caesars, and its sister companies, employ roughly 8,000 people in the City of Detroit, where the company has been headquartered since 1989. In that year, founder Mike and Marian Ilitch moved the company’s headquarters to downtown Detroit when they purchased the Fox Theatre and restored it to its former glory while renovating the adjoining offices. Little Caesars’ move downtown, at a time when many other companies were leaving the city, was the beginning of a decades-long resurgence that has once again made downtown Detroit a magnet for living, working, dining, and entertainment.

Little Caesars has continued its long-standing commitment to its hometown through the construction of its new world headquarters facility in downtown Detroit.  The $150 million, 9-story, 235,000-square-foot building located at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Columbia Street is the first newly constructed major company headquarters building in the City of Detroit in more than a decade.   

Living up to company’s most important values: serving others and giving back

Little Caesars is dedicated to giving back. Founded in 1985, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a mobile pizza kitchen housed in a semi-trailer that travels all over the contiguous United States and Canada, has provided free, hot pizza to more than 3.4 million people, including the homeless, the military, and disaster survivors and rescue workers. Each year, in February, it visits Little Caesars hometown of Detroit to serve those in need.  Additionally, more than 50 honorably discharged U.S. veterans have taken part in the company’s life-changing opportunity to start their own Little Caesars franchises through the Little Caesars Veterans Program. In 1967, the company also created and annually sponsors the Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League, one of the country's largest and most respected youth hockey programs with over 10,000 athletes. Hundreds of Little Caesars Amateur youth hockey players have earned NCAA collegiate hockey scholarships and more than 100 have gone on to play in the National Hockey League.  Little Caesars franchisees also support countless charities, schools, religious organizations, and sports teams in their communities throughout the world.

“Since the opening of our first store in 1959, more than two million people have been a part of our extended Little Caesars family, owning and operating franchises, working in our stores, working in our corporate office, or working throughout our distribution networks around the world,” said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped to build this iconic and beloved brand and allowed us to return that generosity to the thousands of communities in the 25 countries where we do business, including right here in our hometown of Detroit.”

About Little Caesars® Pizza

Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, Little Caesars was founded in 1959 as a single, family-owned restaurant.  Today, Little Caesars is the largest carryout-only pizza chain in the United States and the third largest pizza chain in the world, with stores in each of the 50 states and 24 countries and territories around the world.

Known for its HOT-N-READY® pizza and famed Crazy Bread®, Little Caesars has been named “Best Value in America” for the past twelve years (based on nationwide survey of national quick service restaurant customers conducted by Sandelman & Associates - 2007-2018 entitled “Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money”).  Little Caesars products are made with quality ingredients, like fresh, never frozen, mozzarella and Muenster cheese and sauce made from fresh-packed, vine-ripened California crushed tomatoes.

An exceptionally high growth company with nearly 60 years of experience in the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry, Little Caesars is continually looking for franchisee candidates to join our team in markets around the world. In addition to providing the opportunity for entrepreneurial independence in a franchise system, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized and appealing characters in the country, Little Caesar.