Little Caesars Pizza History, Menu & Why It's So Popular

Little Caesars Pizza History, Menu & Why It's So Popular
Table Of Content

The History of Little Caesars Pizza

Little Caesars pizza has become one of the most popular pizza chains in the United States. Founded in 1959 by Mike and Marian Ilitch, the first Little Caesars pizza restaurant opened in Garden City, Michigan. The name Little Caesars was chosen as a play on the name of Roman ruler Julius Caesar. The original logo even featured a toga-clad Caesar giving a thumbs up.

Mike had experience in the pizza business, having co-founded a pizza restaurant called Pizza Treat. He saw potential for a restaurant that offered quick pizza service at an affordable price. At the time, most pizza restaurants were sit-down style with table service. The Ilitches believed they could revolutionize the pizza industry with a carryout model that prepared pizzas faster. Their motto was "Pizza! Pizza!" which emphasized the convenience of being able to pick up two pizzas quickly.

Little Caesars' Focus on Affordable Prices

From the beginning, Little Caesars made a name for itself by offering pizzas at a lower price point than competitors. Their advertising highlighted being able to get two pizzas for one low price. In the 1970s, their famous "Pizza! Pizza!" promotion marketed two pizzas for just $3.99. For families looking for an affordable dinner option, it was a deal that was hard to beat.

As the chain has expanded, it has maintained its focus on value pricing. Today, customers can get a 14" classic pepperoni pizza for just $5 with the "Hot-N-Ready" ready-to-go pizzas available during peak hours. Commitment to affordable pricing helped Little Caesars stand out from higher-priced rivals.

Little Caesars' Pizza Innovations

In addition to value, Little Caesars has also gained attention for its innovative pizza creations. In 1979, they introduced their deep dish pizza with buttery crushed crust on the edges. Deep dish offered a thicker, heartier pizza compared to thin crust options. In 1984, the "Pizza! Pizza!" deal expanded to include Crazy Bread, a pizza-dough based side item topped with garlic and butter.

Popularity of the Crazy Bread led to experimentation with other bread-based appetizers. Options like Italian Cheese Bread and Caesar Wings soon appeared on the menu. In 1995, Little Caesars announced their newest creation - the Pretzel Pizza. Taking inspiration from soft pretzels, the pretzel pizza featured a dough crust flavored with butter and salt. Its unique taste made headlines across the country.

Continued innovation led to inventions like the 2003 Bacon Wrapped Deep Dish Pizza which combined two customer favorites - deep dish and bacon. Little Caesars' willingness to experiment with new ideas has allowed them to stay relevant even with growing competition.

The Hot-N-Ready Revolution

In 1997, Little Caesars implemented a change that would completely shift the pizza landscape. That year, they pioneered their "Hot-N-Ready" pizzas which are pre-made and sit in warming trays ready for carryout. Customers can walk in and out with a fresh pizza in just minutes. The hot, ready-to-go pizza concept was a massive success.

Not only did Hot-N-Ready pizzas align perfectly with Little Caesars' convenience-focused goals, but they allowed for even lower prices. Customers no longer had to wait while their pizza was made to order. By making pizzas ahead of time, Little Caesars optimized efficiency in stores. The savings were passed on with the $5 Hot-N-Ready deal.

The game-changing Hot-N-Ready concept put pressure on competitors to rethink their pizza service models. Chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut scrambled to introduce carryout deals to compete. But Little Caesars had a head start on perfecting the ready-to-go pizza.

Little Caesars Pizza Today

From the first restaurant in Michigan, Little Caesars has expanded to become the third largest pizza chain in the world based on sales. Some fun facts about where Little Caesars pizza is today:

  • There are over 4,000 Little Caesars locations in the United States and Canada.
  • Additional restaurants can be found in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Little Caesars remains headquartered in Detroit, Michigan where the first store opened.
  • They now offer online ordering and delivery options through their website and app.
  • The classic Hot-N-Ready pepperoni pizza deal is still available for $5.
  • New pizza innovations continue to be introduced, like the Pretzel Crust pizza in 2014.

While expanding worldwide, Little Caesars hasn't lost its focus on convenience, quality and value. Hot-N-Ready deals and promotions make it an appealing choice for families, students, and anyone wanting an affordable meal.

Little Caesars Menu Options

The Little Caesars menu has expanded well beyond basic pepperoni pizza. Here are some of the menu highlights:

  • Pizzas - Available in various sizes including 14", 12" deep dish, and 6" mini. Crust choices include classic, deep deep, pretzel, and gluten free.
  • Crazy Combo - Choice of Crazy Bread and pizza or wings and pizza.
  • Crazy Bread - Soft breadsticks coated in butter, Parmesan, and garlic.
  • Caesar Wings - Boneless chicken wings flavored with garlic Parmesan.
  • Sides - Options like Italian Cheese Bread, jalapeño cheese bread, Caesar Dips, and more.
  • Caesar Dips - Flavored dip cups for dipping pizza crust or wings.

There are also convenient combo packs that bundle different menu items together. Customers can mix and match favorites.

Why Customers Love Little Caesars Pizza

Little Caesars has earned legions of loyal customers over the decades. Here are some of the top reasons people love Little Caesars pizza:

  • Convenience - Hot-N-Ready pizzas available for quick carryout without waiting.
  • Value pricing - Getting two pizzas for $6 is an unbeatable deal for many families.
  • Tasty food - Freshly made pizzas with quality ingredients.
  • Fun options - Unique menu choices like pretzel pizza and Crazy Bread set them apart.
  • Speedy service - Emphasis is on getting customers their food fast.
  • Family-friendly - Perfect for pleasing kids' pizza cravings affordably.

Little Caesars offers the irresistible combination of convenience, affordability and flavors that keep fans coming back. The chain has carved out a unique niche in the pizza industry.

The Future of Little Caesars

Little Caesars seems poised to continue growing in the years ahead. Some possibilities for the future include:

  • Expanding internationally - More locations may pop up in emerging markets abroad.
  • Menu innovation - Expect more adventurous options like the bacon wrapped deep dish pizza.
  • Digital convenience - More emphasis on online ordering and customization.
  • New store concepts - Trying out smaller footprint stores, more hybrid pickup/delivery models.
  • Value focus - Hot-N-Ready deals will still anchor the brand.

After 60+ years in business, Little Caesars has perfected its pizza game. Yet there are still new frontiers to explore. Expect this pioneering pizza chain to keep innovating and finding new ways to satisfy pizza cravings affordably.


What time does Little Caesars open and close?

Most Little Caesars locations are open from 10:30am - 12:00am daily. Hours can vary by location, so check with your local store.

Does Little Caesars offer delivery?

Some Little Caesars stores offer delivery through third party partners like DoorDash. Delivery availability depends on your location. You can check for delivery on the Little Caesars website or app.

How much does a pizza from Little Caesars cost?

Little Caesars offers exceptional value on pizza. A large 1-topping pizza typically costs around $6. Hot-N-Ready pepperoni pizzas are $5. Prices may be higher in some regions.

Can I order Little Caesars pizza online?

Yes, you can order Little Caesars for pickup or delivery online through their website or mobile app. Build your own pizza or select menu items and checkout online.

Does Little Caesars have vegan pizza options?

Currently Little Caesars does not offer any vegan cheese or meat substitute pizzas. However, you can order a cheese or veggie pizza and ask them to make it without the cheese to make it vegan-friendly.

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