That phrase might just be the most famous motto in all of fast food, at least this side of McDonald’s. The chain it represents is, of course, Little Caesars, which is the third-largest pizza chain in the United States, behind Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Do you know what inspired that phrase? Here are 10 things you may not have known about Little Caesars.
The story of Little Caesars begins with a former minor league baseball player named Mike Ilitch, who founded the company along with his wife Marian in 1959. The first location opened on May 8 of that year in a strip mall in the Detroit suburb of Garden City (it’s still in business). Mike wanted to call it Pizza Treat but Marian wanted to call it Little Caesars; they compromised and called it Little Caesar’s Pizza Treat, but Marian eventually won out. Forty-nine pizzas were served on the store’s first day in business; the menu also included items like hot dogs, shrimp, chicken, and fish.
The restaurant took off, and in 1962 the Ilitches sold their first franchise. By 1987 there were locations in all 50 states, and the 1989 purchase of the Mother’s Pizza chain gave them a larger foothold in Canada and the United Kingdom. They opened many locations inside Kmart stores throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, and today they’re the fastest-growing pizza chain in the world, with more than 4,000 locations in the U.S. and additional locations in 17 international markets.
Today, the chain is best known for its “Hot-N-Ready” pizzas, which don’t require advance ordering; Crazy Bread (garlic-parmesan breadsticks); Detroit-style DEEP! DEEP! Dish Pizza; and popular limited time offers like soft pretzel pizza and bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza. Little Caesars is the only major national pizza chain that makes its dough fresh in-store daily, producing an average of nearly three million pizzas a day. But even if you’re a regular customer, we bet that there’s a lot you didn’t know about this renowned chain. Read on for 10 fun facts about Little Caesars Pizza.
Its Name was Inspired by a Co-Founder’s Nickname
Marian had nicknamed Mike “Little Caesar” for unspecified reasons, so when she was looking for a name for the restaurant, it was an obvious choice.
The Logo was First Sketched on a Napkin