How to Open a Little Caesars Pizza Franchise

by Victoria Bailey - Updated July 11, 2018
Serving pizza

As the fourth largest pizza chain in the world, Little Caesars Pizza is a desirable business for potential franchisees. With their limited menu and universal appeal, pizza restaurants are among the best types of small business for inexperienced owners to operate, especially those chains with elaborate training systems for new franchisees. Little Caesars fits that bill, giving new owners a lot of help to make sure they're successful from opening day.

How Much Does a Little Caesars Franchise Cost?

Owning a Little Caesars franchise is a substantial investment, but successful owners can find their Little Caesars franchise profit in a surprisingly short amount of time. According to the Little Caesars' parent corporation, Ilitch Holdings, you'll need to have at least $100,000 in liquid assets, a net worth of at least a quarter million dollars and the ability to obtain financing to cover the entire cost of your restaurant build and opening. The company estimates that for carryout Little Caesars locations, costs can range from $334,000 to well over a million dollars. Costs vary depending on many different factors, with the higher costs being for standalone stores and less expensive locations in strip malls.

What Type of Franchise Opportunities are Available?

Little Caesars has done a good job of expanding the franchise market, offering a diverse group of business opportunities. Besides the traditional standalone store, they offer franchises for a self-serve express store, which has a limited menu and self-service warming ovens and a cashier express with the same limited menu but separate cash registers and ovens. They also offer a specialized plan specifically for veterans, with financial incentives including reduced franchise fees and credits for marketing and restaurant equipment.

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What is the Process for Getting a Franchise?

Little Caesars has a defined set of steps that everyone has to follow on the way to becoming a franchisee. These steps include:

  1. Submit an application along with any supporting documents.
  2. Little Caesars will review your application and documents.
  3. Little Caesars will send you a Franchise Disclosure Document if you're accepted into the franchise program. This will help you with your due diligence and in making a final decision to commit to a franchise before you've signed any contracts.
  4. Sign and return the Franchise Disclosure Document. Your franchise license advisor will contact you to schedule an interview and Discovery Day.
  5. Complete your interview in the Detroit world headquarters, and experience your Discovery Day, a hands-on day meeting with the key players in the company as well as getting behind the counter and experiencing what it's like to be a Little Caesars team player. After your Discovery Day, you'll be told whether or not you're approved to become a franchisee.
  6. Submit a deposit after you're approved, then attend a class on site selection and real estate training.
  7. Attend a six-week operations training class onsite in an existing Little Caesars store in the metro Detroit area. You'll learn every aspect of the business, from making the dough to managing monthly finances. While you're in training, your approved store site will be under construction, and will often be ready by the end of the class.
  8. Once you've graduated from class and your location is built or refurbished, you'll staff your store and hold a grand opening. Congratulations! You're open for business!

The estimated total time, from application to opening day, can be anywhere from four months to a year, depending on your store's design and location.

About the Author

Victoria Bailey has owned and operated businesses for 25 years, including an award-winning gourmet restaurant and a rare bookstore. She spent time as a corporate training manager in the third-largest restaurant chain in its niche, but her first love will always be the small and independent businesses. Bailey has written for USAToday, Coldwell Banker, and various restaurant magazines, and is the ghost writer for a nationally-known food safety training guru.

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