Little Caesars is one of the fastest growing pizza chains in the United States since the 1950s. They have been serving their signature Crazy Bread and Hot-N-Ready pies to busy Americans who don’t have time to wait for their food to be prepared. Most people love them for their timeliness and delicious treats, but there are many facts about Little Caesars you may not know.
If you are a fan of Little Caesars and hungry to know more about this brand, keep reading!
18 Fascinating Facts about Little Caesars
1. Little Caesars Is Owned by Two of the Richest Americans
Mike and Marian Ilitch have been on the Forbes annual list of wealthiest Americans for many years. Mike was ranked #86 in 2016 (he passed away in 2017), and his wife, Marian, was ranked among the top 400 wealthiest Americans of 2021. The family’s net worth is more than $4 billion, and Little Caesars has contributed the most to it!
2. Mike Ilitch was a Former Baseball Player
Mike Ilitch played the shortstop position for the Detroit Tigers when he started his first Little Caesars store back in 1959. His priority was his baseball career at the time, so the pizza place never got much of his attention until an unfortunate accident happened. A traumatic injury ended Ilitch’s baseball career, and he put all his effort into making Little Caesars the business that it is today.
3. He Used to Scout Pizza Places During His Baseball Days
Pizza hasn’t always been a usual dinner option for Americans. It was considered a novelty snack back in the 50s, so people were naturally intrigued by this unique dish. Mike Ilitch was also the same as he used to scout local pizza places when he traveled to different towns for his baseball games.
4. Ilitches Put All Their Savings into the First Little Caesars
The Ilitches weren’t a middle-aged couple when they decided to enter the pizza restaurant business. They were married for four years with $10,000 in savings, and they put all that into the first Little Caesars’ location in Garden City, Michigan. Within three years, they sold the first franchise and built an empire out of their pizza business!
5. They Stopped Offering Limited Run Special Pizzas for a Decade
Their weird pizza combinations mostly worked for pizza lovers who wanted something unique and delicious at an affordable rate. However, Little Caesars went an entire decade without offering any new limited-time pizza specials. They came back with their special pizza limited-time offers in 2014 with Pretzel Pizza.
6. They Bought Sports Teams with Little Caesars’ Money
Little Caesars’ success was not an ordinary event for the Ilitches. It made them rich enough to buy two sports teams, and guess which one Mike Ilitch wanted? Yes, one of the teams they bought was the Detroit Tigers. The other is an ice hockey team with four Stanley Cups, the Detroit Red Wings. They are also the proud owners of Fox Theater, Olympia Entertainment, and many other little companies.
7. Little Caesars Sold Spaghetti in Buckets During the 1990s
Like every other pizza chain, Little Caesars has experimented with the menu over many decades. They started selling spaghetti buckets in 1993 filled with spaghetti, sauce, and bread. Spaghetti fans loved it, but Little Caesars discontinued it as they didn’t want to make the spaghetti bucket a permanent menu item.
8. They Also Sold French Fry Crust Pizza
This was also back in 1993 when Little Caesars was experimenting with their menu. They were offering limited-run special pizzas, and French Fry Crust Pizza was one of them. The campaign ran alright, but it didn’t last as this variation was not something people would want as a fixed item on the menu.
9. They Stopped Selling the Pretzel Pizza then Brought It Back!
The pretzel pizza was a hit among Little Caesars’ fans, but the limited-time label became a huge problem for the pizza chain. After the discontinuation of pretzel pizza, the customers who enjoyed it signed a petition to bring it back on the menu. To make their customers’ wishes come true, Little Caesars brought the pretzel pizza back on the menu for a limited time again but did not make it a permanent menu item.
10. Marian Ilitch Coined Little Caesars’ Name
An interesting fact that most people do not know is that the famous pizza chain’s name was not Mike Ilitch’s creation. He wanted to name the business ‘Pizza Treat,’ but Marian wanted to give it the pet name she used for her husband, ‘Little Caesar.’ They met each other halfway and called it ‘Little Caesars Pizza Treat.’ Later, ‘Little Caesars’ became the official name of the pizza chain.
11. The Famous Bill Murray Worked Here!
Bill Murray is an outstanding actor and comedian who has won millions of fans over decades. But many fans do not know that Bill Murray used to work at Little Caesars before all the fame and fortune came his way. He used to work at the same time Kerry Simon worked there. Simon was also not a famous person back then, but he became a celebrity chef later.
12. Bill Murray Used to Eat Little Caesars’ Raw Dough
Bill Murray worked as a pizza maker at Little Caesars, and he occasionally used to eat raw pizza dough. It’s an unusual fact to know about the pizza chain’s most famous employee, who is now a famous entertainment star. We all know that there are health risks related to eating raw dough, but Murray didn’t have any side effects of this habit.
13. The Famous ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ Slogan Started in 1979
It’s common for big companies and food chains to rebrand their logo and slogans to keep up with the changing trends, not Little Caesars. They have been using the same ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ slogan for more than 40 years, and it still works! They found their advertising element with this slogan and were smart enough to know that keeping it the same way was the right thing to do for their fans.
14. The Slogan Guy Was Also the Voice Actor
Cliff Freeman was the adman behind the slogan ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ that worked for Little Caesars. The Ilitches auditioned many voice actors, but they didn’t find the right person for the job. Mark Ilitch asked Freeman to do it himself, to which he agreed. Interestingly, Freeman is also behind Wendy’s ‘Where’s the beef?’ slogan!
15. ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ Was Inspired by a Two for One Deal
The ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ slogan was not a shot in the dark by the advertising people at Little Caesars. They used it during their two pizzas for one price deal to stay ahead of their competitors who were offering the same deal. Luckily, the slogan stuck with Little Caesars and became part of their advertising campaign.
16. Little Caesars Made Pizza Cones for Charity
In 2012, Little Caesars ran a campaign for a pizza kit fundraiser program where they let their customers make their pizza cones for charitable purposes. They promoted the program by asking sports teams, schools, and churches to partner with them and sell the pizza cones. The event was a big hit, and everyone acknowledged the efforts of Little Caesars to help the community.
Their efforts to help others did not end there. Little Caesars still offers the opportunity to make pepperoni or cheese pizza cones at different fundraising events.
17. They Also Operate a Food Truck to Give Free Food
In 1985, Mike and Marian Ilitch started the Little Caesars Love Kitchen Foundation. This one is not a famous fact about the famous pizza chain, but there is a food truck filled with their pizzas going around places that need food. They feed hungry people and victims of disasters without charging them for the pizzas. The mobile truck has already helped more than two million people.
Little Caesars – The Rise and Fall…And Rise Again
Little Caesars is traditionally one of the four largest pizza chains, and they do an excellent job of separating themselves from the others. They’re the cheapest AND the fastest, which is especially important for a fast-food chain. But from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s, they had some major troubles. This video profiles their rise to popularity, decline during those years, and how they brought it all back.
Little Caesars Summary
We hope these facts about Little Caesars helped you know more about the franchise that has been a part of your life for so long. As one of the top pizza businesses in the United States, Little Caesars has been offering delicious and affordable treats to all pizza lovers. It’s not common for franchisees to manage low rates and high expectations for decades, but Little Caesars does it effortlessly!
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I’m Natalie Garcia and I started this website to share my love of trivia, facts and fun knowledge tidbits. We cover things like celebrity gossip, historical facts, tv shows, world leaders and just odd and random fun things. I started this site to have some fun with my hobby and share some useful information with you, our community. Please feel to send me your suggestions and feedback through the contact form. And if you have suggestions for things to write about, please shoot me a message!