• PizzaMarketplace.com Top 100 Movers & Shakers, No. 6: Little Caesars

    Tags: Top 100

Little Caesars – known for its "Pizza!Pizza!" tagline, its Crazy Bread and its Hot-N-Ready line – has been around since 1959, and the brand is now poised to kick its marketing and innovation strategies into high gear. This comes after a successful 2011, in which the company generated $1.48 billion and added about 10 percent to its unit count.

The Michigan-based chain named Dana Tilley as its new vice president of research, development and innovation a little more than a year ago. She is charged with implementing new products, recipes, packaging and equipment under CEO David Scrivano's leadership.

Little Caesars has rolled out high visibility promotions in the past year with partners such as Discover Cardholders and ESPN SportsCenter, and the company has even bigger plans to significantly increase its ad spend. Ed Gleitch joined the team in the fall as SVP, Global Marketing.

According to Kantar, the company's measured media spending increased by nearly 33 percent – to $22.4 million – in 2011. However, that budget is still less than 25 percent of other major pizza players. Little Caesars is looking to gain more shares beginning this year.

Additionally, Little Caesars Pizza's mission is to give back to the communities in which it serves. Franchisees participate in school related programs and have raised thousands of dollars for charities, as well as community and neighborhood programs, through restaurant-sponsored fundraisers and in-store functions. One of the most significant corporate programs the company has funded is its Little Caesars Love Kitchen. A mobile kitchen on wheels, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen has fed more than two million people in 48 states and four Canadian provinces. It has also responded to natural disasters and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Also, in 2006, Little Caesars introduced its Little Caesars Veterans Program, which provides franchise business opportunities to qualified, honorably discharged veterans transitioning to civilian life or seeking a career change.

Download the complete PizzaMarketplace Top 100 Movers & Shakers.

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