The Detroit News: Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. has filed a lawsuit in a Detroit court against Robert Rooyaker, a Gaylord, Mich.-based franchisee it claims disclosed confidential information about its pizza sauce spice blend. The company accuses Rooyaker, a seven-store franchisee, of revealing the secret ingredients in order to make a cheaper knock off of the spice combination.
The move is the second product-quality-centered lawsuit filed by Little Caesar against a franchisee or franchisees in about a year (see Little Caesars sues franchisees for breach of contract and Pizza pugilists). Rooyaker was one of 300 franchisees who filed a class-action lawsuit against Little Caesars in 1999, accusing the chain of supplying operators with low-quality ingredients (see Little Caesars settles lawsuit with franchisees and A Fair Deal for All). The suit was settled in 2001.
Rooyaker told the Detroit News the spice blends Little Caesars requires him to buy are overpriced.
Little Caesar said it has yanked Rooyakar's franchise licenses for Rooyaker's stores, but to date, those units remain in operation.
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