DETROIT -- Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. is reporting that sales at its Little Caesars pizza outlets increased 11 percent for the first half of 2002. The company attributes the boost to the roll out of its deep-dish pizza and improved franchisee relations.
According to a report in CrainsDetroit.com, Mike Scruggs, LCE senior vice president of global operations, said company store sales are up 14 percent while franchise store sales are up 8 percent for the period. "It's real growth. We continue to outpace the industry, including Papa John's and Domino's."
Dave Scrivano, senior vice president of administration for Little Caesar Enterprises, said the deep-dish pie has spurred double-digit sales growth rates for a year now, and that it has some room to grow. "It's still new news in a lot of markets."
Depending on the market, the pizza sells for $12.99 to $14.99.
LCE also credits the sales rise in part to improved franchisee relations. Last September, a class-action lawsuit filed by franchisees ended after 18 months of negotiations with the LCE, which is privately held by Mike and Marian Illitch. Restaurant and franchise industry observers termed the multimillion-dollar settlement an unprecedented victory for franchisees.
"I think a lot of it has changed," said Dan Sheroski, supervisor of marketing for TNT Sheroski #3 Inc., a 21-store franchisee in Davison, Mich. "The quality of the products we have been purchasing through them has improved. The quality has come up quite a bit. The customers notice."
Scrivano told Crain's that room for improved relations between the two parties still exists. "We're working on that now. Some things can't happen overnight, and we understand that. We'll get there."