In the mood for some pizza? Little Caesars is counting on it and making moves that will ensure every corner of the country has access to their hot-n-ready pies.
The company announced plans this week to open more than 1,000 new locations over the next five to ten years, according to QSR Magazine. The pizza chain, which currently operates more than 4,100 locations in the United States, is hedging on the expectation that customers will keep ordering at pandemic levels even after life (mostly) returns to normal.
And that's because pizza was one of the hottest commodities during the pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021, U.S.-based pizza chains saw a 27% increase in foot traffic, as customers opted for comfort food and carbs while they waited out the pandemic on their couches, according to Zenreach, a San Francisco tech company. There was 41% more foot traffic to pizza chains in New York, 42% in Illinois, and 77% in California.
The majority of Little Caesars franchises currently dominate the New York, New England, and Hawaii markets—but the brand recently expanded internationally in Russia, Spain, Columbia, and Barbados. It's looking to also open more in Brazil, France, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Little Caesars is thinking big time, despite pre-pandemic losses. From 2018 to 2020, the company dropped 125 stores following industry trends (even the brand's biggest competitors Pizza Hut and Papa Johns shrunk).
This year, however, Little Caesars is betting on the fact that its recent deal to become the official pizza of the NFL will attract more hungry pizza lovers. The momentum is strong, Craig Sherwood, vice president of development, told QSR. Sherwood also hinted that another exciting partnership for Little Caesars will be announced later this year.
Would it be too cheesy to request that this partnership involve some sort of Dash button—similar to the Amazon Dash—so we could simply press it to order whenever we have a craving?