10 Things You Didn't Know About Little Caesars

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Little Caesars

"Pizza! Pizza!"

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.

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

A friend of the Ilitches named Don Silverstein created the famous logo, first sketching it out on a napkin when the original location opened in 1959. 

They Were One of the First Chains to Use a Conveyor Oven

Little Caesars has always been at the vanguard of pizza tech, and were one of the first to begin using a "rotary air impingement oven" upon its invention in 1997.

The Motto “Pizza! Pizza!” Came From a Two-For-One Deal

"Pizza! Pizza!" was actually the motto that was created to correspond with a 1979 deal in which two pizzas were offered for the price of one pie from its competitors. It was a hit, so the motto stuck around even though the deal didn't.

They Can’t Use the “Pizza! Pizza!” Phrase in Canada

There was already a chain in Canada called Pizza Pizza when Little Caesars launched their motto, and Pizza Pizza owns the Canadian trademark for the phrase. For that reason, you won't hear "Pizza! Pizza!" in any Canadian ads for Little Caesars; you'll hear "Two Pizzas!," "Delivery! Delivery!," or "Quality! Quality!" instead.

They Sell a Boatload of Crazy Bread

If you took all the Crazy Bread sold by Little Caesars in a year, it would circle the earth three times. 

They Employed Plenty of Pre-Fame Celebrities

Celebrities including Bill Murray, Eminem, and the late celebrity chef Kerry Simon were employed by Little Caesars before making it big. 

They’re Headquartered in Detroit’s Historic Fox Theatre Building

In 1989, Little Caesars moved its headquarters to Downtown Detroit, setting up shop in the historic Fox Theatre Building, which is home to the largest surviving movie palace of the 1920s in America. The Ilitches purchased the building and spent $12 million on renovating the theater before moving in. 

The Founder Owns the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers

Mike (age 86) and Marian (age 82) continue to run the company to this day, with the help of several of their seven children. Mike has an estimated net worth of $5.3 billion; he purchased the Detroit Red Wings in 1982 for $8 million, and in 1992 he purchased the Detroit Tigers from Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. Marian owns several casinos, including Detroit's popular MotorCity Casino. 

There’s a Little Caesars Food Truck that Feeds the Hungry for Free

The Ilitches have done a lot to give back to the community. In 1985 they launched the Little Caesars Love Kitchen Foundation, which is a mobile pizza truck that feeds the hungry and disaster victims; it's fed more than two million people to date. They've also donated more than $1 million to various charity groups in Detroit, and established Ilitch Charities for Children to improve the lives of children in the Detroit area.