Little Caesars signed numerous multi-unit deals in the United States with a variety of key franchisees in 2021, confirming the brand’s current growth strategy for today’s marketplace and setting the stage for securing new store commitments at double the rate of what was achieved last year.
“Ahead of 2021, we took a serious look at our franchise development strategy and committed to expanding our horizons in both new and existing markets,” says Craig Sherwood, Little Caesars Vice President of Franchise Development. “By seeking more opportunities with large operators, experienced business owners, military veterans and first responders, Little Caesars is continuing to grow its footprint across the nation. We are confident that the candidates we recruited this past year and those we’re in discussions with now will be valuable to our business.”
Among the major groups that signed multi-unit deals in 2021 is CMG Companies—a top-25 multi-unit operator with hundreds of franchises across the country, including KFC, Taco Bell, Marriott, Hilton and others. CMG, which was recently awarded Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association, acquired several existing Little Caesars stores in Kansas City, Baltimore and Syracuse and is planning to open 19 new locations with Little Caesars over the next five years. In addition, the Chandi Group—a California real estate investment firm—committed to opening three Little Caesars locations in Palm Springs.
A number of individual franchisees also signed with Little Caesars last year and bring years of experience owning and operating multi-unit chains with household brands. This group includes long-time Little Caesars franchise owner Vicki Dunn Marshall, who currently owns and operates 24 Little Caesars stores in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, and now has committed to opening 10 new restaurants in the greater Charlotte, NC region.
This growth momentum continued into the first quarter of 2022 with signings from: Starbeds Legacy QSR, which owns and operates Dunkin’, Popeyes and Checkers franchises throughout Florida and plans to open 10 Little Caesars stores in Tampa; Gregg Nigro, a 45-unit Dunkin’ owner-operator and real estate entrepreneur who aims to open eight Little Caesars stores in Norfolk, VA and North Carolina’s Outer Banks; and James Allen, president of a Las Vegas-based development firm, and his wife Jennifer who plan to open at least six Little Caesars restaurants in Vermont.
Little Caesars is especially proud to highlight military veterans and first responders who signed with the brand in 2021 and 2022. New owners representing Army veterans, Air Force veterans, Navy veterans, nurses, as well as emergency medical services personnel will launch their Little Caesars businesses in Baltimore, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix and other cities nationwide. In recognition of their service, Little Caesars offers veterans and first responders financial incentives to open stores. The brand’s focus on military veterans and first responders began with its founder Mike Ilitch, who proudly served with the military during the Korean War.
In signing so many key new prospects last year and during the first months of 2022, Little Caesars is building momentum to expand its domestic franchise network with a new set of priority markets including Buffalo, NY, Hawaii and Minneapolis, MN.
Domestic franchising investments start around $379,000.