History of Little Caesars
By: Eric Zeng
The huge global pizza chain Little Caesars is started with a date between Mike Ilitch and Marian Bayoff arranged by Mike’s father in 1954. They were married in just months after they started dating. Five years later in 1959, They invested their life savings into opening their first pizza store in a strip mall in a suburb of Detroit called Garden City. The original store that was opened in 1959 was closed in October of 2018.
The Ilitches’ store was not a specialized pizza restaurant at the time, it offered other types of food like spaghetti and french fries. Within the first week of the new store opening, the Ilitches had sold 296 pizzas and had just found a niche by offering very cheap and high quality food. The first franchise opened in 1962 in Warren, Michigan. At the time, it was called Little Caesars Pizza Treat. The decision Little Caesars made to expand using franchising contributed greatly to its success. The Little Caesars logo became a 3D figure that year and was used in outdoor signage. By the end of the 60s, Little Caesars had either built or franchised over 50 restaurants, including one of them in Canada. The restaurant was different from many other competitors because it only used natural ingredients such as High gluten flour for the dough, California grown tomatoes for the sauce and grade A cheese. Little Caesars is still proud of itself using natural ingredients today!
Before, Most little Caesars restaurants could do delivery but in 1971, Little Caesars moved to carry out only. In 1977, Little Caesars added drive through windows and in 1979, it added conveyor ovens to increase pizza production.
Little Caesars is famous for its ad catchphrase: “Pizza! Pizza!” This phrase refers to two slices of pizza from Little Caesars being the similar price of one slice of pizza from other competitors. By 1980 the pizza chain had 226 stores with sales of $63.6 million. In 1984 the 500th restaurant of Little Caesars was built. The 1000th Little Caesars restaurant was built just two years later. In 1989, the company moved its headquarters to the fox office center next to the theater.
In 1995, the very popular stuffed crust pizza was introduced. In 1998, Little Caesars fulfilled its largest order of 13,386 pizzas from the VF Corporation of Greensboro, North Carolina. One of Little Caesars famous pizzas, the DEEP! DEEP! Dish pizza was added in 2013.
Little Caesars announced plans for a new eight-story 200,000 square foot global resource center to be built at Woodward Avenue and Columbia Street on December 10th, 2014. It was about twice the size of the previous headquarters location. On January 31st, 2016, it was announced that the proposed world resource center for little Caesars had grown to nine floors instead of eight. The building was originally scheduled to be completed in 2018. But, in October of that year, the date was postponed due to construction delays. The Little Caesars world resource center was completed in 2018 anyways even with the delays.
That is how Little Caesars went from just a date between Marian and Mike arranged by his father to the gigantic global pizza chain that it is today.
“Little Caesars History: Founding, Timeline, and Milestones.” Zippia, 21 July 2023, www.zippia.com/little-caesars-careers-29693/history/.
Little Caesars, littlecaesars.com/en-us/our-history/. Accessed 25 Aug. 2023.