In the Northeastern U.S., where locally owned pizza shops are abundant, Little Caesars Pizza has been growing. Franchisees who own Little Caesars restaurants in the Northeast feel confident that local customers appreciate the quality, value, and convenience offered by the international pizza brand.

Little Caesars franchisee Gabi Bazzi relocated from the Detroit area to open his restaurants in Providence, Rhode Island. “Having been a franchisee with a sandwich shop for seven years, I understand the quick-service restaurant industry and I saw huge potential for Little Caesars to expand in this part of the country,” he says.

Bazzi has opened two Little Caesars Pizza restaurants in Rhode Island in the last year and plans to open several more.

“Little Caesars provides high-quality products and unmatched convenience for a great price. Our customers agree, and have named us the ‘Best Value in America’ for three years running. Value never goes out of style,” he says.

Tom and Pam Ernst left their real estate careers in Tennessee four years ago to become Little Caesars franchisees in the Portland, Maine area. The Ernsts watched the company closely and were impressed to see the brand grow from regional to international.

“We’ve been self-employed since 1978 and have a good understanding of what it takes to make a business successful,” Tom says. “Yet, we weren’t experts in the pizza business. That’s where Little Caesars has an advantage. They’ve been in business for more than 50 years and have fine-tuned the business model. They’ve identified what works, and share that template with franchisees.”

Clif D’Mello started his career with another quick-service restaurant chain in Newark, Delaware. Within three years, he learned the ropes and was later promoted to district leader where he overlooked the operations of three franchisee-owned stores. After working with the franchisee, he realized that he could become his own boss. He chose Little Caesars because of the proven franchise system.

“Little Caesars’ operating model is straightforward, it makes sense, and it works,” D’Mello says. “I didn’t have to develop a new business formula from scratch and worry that it wouldn’t work.”

D’Mello also liked the growth opportunity offered by Little Caesars and has expanded his business into Pennsylvania. “In an area that is home to many small pizza chains, there is a big opportunity to grow a brand like Little Caesars Pizza that has strong consumer recognition. Customers are loyal to our Hot-N-Ready products, and our Crazy Bread has an amazing following.”

“Like a lot of ‘mom and pop’ pizza shops, Little Caesars is a family-owned business, but our franchisees benefit from the economies of scale and support of the larger company,” says Little Caesars vice president of franchise development Bob Mazziotti. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, News, Pizza, Little Caesars