Little Caesars in the UK - Do they Franchise?

09/02/2019 13:00 | Start a business

little caesars franchise

Most UK consumers won’t have heard of Little Ceasers Pizza yet. But, that could all be about to change as the highly-touted fast food franchise looks to expand into the heavily crowded UK market in the coming years.

To do so, they will need ambitious franchisees to help spread the word - and the pizza - around the country. The UK pizza takeaway market is already full of established names and local businesses, so breaking through and establishing Little Ceasers as a name that people think of is not going to be simple.

If any company is going to do it though, Little Ceasers has a better chance than most. This is due to its success in the US as well as a range of other markets. With a distinctive brand identity, good-quality food and an attractive franchising proposition, the company could be a serious challenge to the Domino’s and Pizza Huts of the world.

As a potential franchisee, it is probably safe to assume that, like the rest of us, you need a little education about the company and what it is offering.

Little Caesars Pizza UK

Founded in 1959 in Detroit, Michigan, the company has grown to become the third-largest pizza brand in the US. This is no mean feat considering the sheer size of the country, and it is a testament to the quality of what the company is offering. This rise to the top was helped by a famous advertising slogan (“Pizza! Pizza!”), and offers that allowed hungry consumers to get two pizzas for the same price as that of just one from their main competitors.

The company started franchising in 1962, and had a base in every state by 1987. This pace of growth didn’t let up and during the period of 2008-2015, Little Ceasers was the fastest-growing pizza restaurant in the US. The company also began to make moves internationally, with over 5,000 across the globe by the end of 2017.

The company has established franchises in Canada, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rice, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Turkey, Jordam, Egypt, Guatemala, Bahamas, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Bahrain, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and Chile.

And now the company has turned its sights on the UK market, which has historically been very willing to take on US pizza franchises. Without a significant domestic horse in the takeaway pizza race, US franchises have found consumers in the UK very receptive.

Little Caesars franchise

So, if the idea of being part of a very well-established brand’s entry into the UK market sounds like something you want to be a part of, what is it like being a Little Ceasers franchisee?

Firstly, you need to have a minimum net worth £1,435,000 in order to land a multi-unit development agreement. Depending on the number of stores you are willing to try to develop, you will need additional liquid assets. As well as being ambitious enough to take on a lot of responsibility, the company also some fairly strict qualifications for the kind of people that should apply. The ideal candidate will have previous multi-unit experience in the restaurant or retail environment and have access to “highly preferred” real estate. If this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. But, there are huge potential benefits to becoming a Little Ceaser master franchisee. Principally, you have the chance to make lot of money and help build a brand presence in the UK from scratch.

If you aren’t in a position to take on a master franchise position, it is still worth keeping a close eye on the company’s UK push. If it turns out that the UK pizza franchise market is just too crowded and the Little Ceasers push doesn’t amount to much, then you have dodged a bullet. If, on the other hand, the company does start to do very well, there are likely to be lots of opportunities to open your own franchise.

If this happens, the franchise process in the UK will likely follow the company’s established model quite closely. After you submit your application and supporting documents, and you have been qualified, the process goes like this:

• You will be asked to complete a business plan
• Your plan will be reviewed and a member of the franchise team will visit your area, conduct background checks and meet with you
• You will then be asked to travel to Detroit to take part in a more comprehensive interview

If your interview is a success, then it’s time to set a data for opening and get on with the technical aspects of becoming a franchisee. The standard royalty fee is 6 percent of gross sales and a minimum of 4 percent of gross sales must be spent on advertising.

Opening a Little Ceasers franchise in the UK could a different kind of proposition than the usual franchise process. Usually, franchisees are paying to be associated with a recognised brand name, but this is not really the case in the UK market. The company will be starting as a fairly unknown commodity, and it will be interesting to see if it will carve itself out a place.

The company does have one thing on its side though. The UK population loves pizza, so it is not unreasonable to think that with an effective marketing push, a sizeable amount of consumers can be convinced to give Little Ceasers a try. If the product is of sufficient quality, word of mouth can become a powerful brand awareness tool and the company could find itself expanding quickly.

This is far from certain though, and it is worth following the company’s progress as it attempts to take a slice of the UK market. At the very least, you could pop in and give the pizza a try.

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