Little Caesars business model

What do you all think about the Hot and Fresh business model?

It sure seems to be VERY popular. There arent a ton of Caesars around and I dont see them doing much advertising but the locations are always busy at dinner. It seems like a simple, uncomplicated way to make a great profit selling low cost but good product and make a nice living.

Comments?

I live by the saying “you get out what you put in” why sell mediocore food dirt cheap and have to produce 50 times as much as if you were to sell excellent food at a higher price…

I know you said low cost, but did you also say “good product”??? I think that Caesers is universally thought of as a not very good product. Their niche is “Cheap and fast”, but good is never mentioned. I have several of their employees that buy our pizza including thier manager!

I am the one who started the thread and my comment about good was a reflection of working there back in the hay-day. I think the product is the same, their cheese isnt cheap, sauce isnt bad. The crazy bread is still good.

It might be worth the stream of business to upsell and create profit by selling additional items like the bread or salads or dipping sauce.

I see people comment about how sales stink and you cannot make ends meet. If one has the business skills, even paying the royalty I would think you could make as much doing more volume than worry about sales week to week.

i dont want to start fights here, but in all honesty joining the think tank crowd i realized just how different pizza is around the country. Being from Long Island and always going to Manhattan and brooklyn it is unheard of and to my eye unseen to do some of the things talked about on this forum. most of the private pizza places around me try to strive for a high quality “new york style” pizza, done the NY way in deck ovens, i have NEVER walked into an NY pizzeria and seen conveyor ovens, we dont try to mass produce and sell underpriced pizza like the hut and dominos and i dont even think little caesars exist by me any more. having a product you stand by is something to be proud of. I mean look who is it now i beleive dominos trying to sell their brooklyn style pizza. For me this game will always be about quality and customer satisfaction, i feel good product brings incustomers and money, im against all the corporate pizza shit… just my opinion, i dont want to ruffle feathers, im young but growing up and living in NY it will always be good old fashion deck ovens and a tru NY style pie

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Having lived there I can tell you that pizza in NY is completely different from the rest of the country. Especially when you’re talking about Brooklyn, NY.

You didn’t say anything that we haven’t discussed here before Mike. As much as I would like to fire up the deck oven and whip out grandpa’s receipe for pizza sauce I know that it’s not worth it. Where I am now in PA people don’t care about that. They want a cheap, good tasting pie that can feed their family with. That’s what I give them and that’s what will ultimately make us successful.

My dough comes in frozen, my sauce in ready-to-use cans, my cheese is already ground up for me and my toppings come all cut and pre-cooked. Believe me, when I was young I had dreams of opening my own place and having my own reciepes. But after 15 years of rolling hundreds of pounds of dough, grinding cheese and making pizza sauce in big garbage pails each day, it wears on a man.

I agree with a lot of what you said. But making pizza this way keeps me doing what I love while being able to pay the bills.

Just goes to show there’s more than one way to make $$$ in this business. I personally would never consider selling pizza that has sat under a heat lamp for an hour like LC does. I also believe that here in Florida if you were to give my customers the choice of The Original Rays or Lombardis or any other NY place or Dominos for the same price they would choose Dominos. It is all about speed of delivery here. But good luck trying to do Hot and Now here as you’ll never get lazy college kids to put up their Xbox controllers to drive and pick up pizza. To each thier own, theres no right way or wrong way, unless one doesn’t allow you to earn a living.

My dough comes in frozen, my sauce in ready-to-use cans, my cheese is already ground up for me and my toppings come all cut and pre-cooked. Believe me, when I was young I had dreams of opening my own place and having my own reciepes. But after 15 years of rolling hundreds of pounds of dough, grinding cheese and making pizza sauce in big garbage pails each day, it wears on a man.

I agree with a lot of what you said. But making pizza this way keeps me doing what I love while being able to pay the bills.
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I wish it was that simple for me here, the thought of buying anything frozen or premade would put anyone on LI out of business… ITs great that you guys can be sucessful with out all the hard prep hours. But sounds like when it comes down to it you guys are putting in so hard hours making pizza and trying to get 1000 pizzas out the door at dinner time. I didnt realize how different the pizza world was outside of NY. I guess that is partially why place like NY and chicago are known so well . we have to make 90% of our stuff on premises in our “own” way. I wish it was easier.

just to add insight to this topic. I dont know how independants compare to Franchises outside of NY. BUT a place like little caesars or dominoes is not even considered real pizza at all in NY. I mean grant it dominos and pizza hut express do very well here but i mean come on when is the last time any of you had a good pizza that was part of tacobell? Its 2 totally different worlds of food. there is REAL pizza, then there is dominos, pizza hut, and they are all fine and well at 2am after anight at the bar. thats about it for me. to go back to what this topic was really about it comes down to this:

You have to look at works for you in YOUR area. if fast and ok works in your area by all means RUN with it. If you can lower your food cost and still make good money go for it. Pizza is defiantely a regional thing, whats good for NY isnt good for chicago, whats good for FL isnt good in LA… i vice versa. the best call would be to really look at the demographics in the area. Maybe you could open up a high priced gourment pizza shop and make a killing if corporate pizza has taken over by you. just dont dount yourself.

I would rather sell 100,000 cheap pizzas than ONE pizza that cost $1,000,000.

I would rather sell 100,000 cheap pizzas than ONE pizza that cost $1,000,000.

That’s pretty close to an old quote by Mr. Thomas Monaghan. His was, “I’d rather sell $1,000,000 worth of cheap pizzas than one pizza that costs $1,000,000”. If you thought of that quote yourself eastorange, kudos… 'cause you’re in the same mindset of a pretty bright entrepeneur. That’s good company to be in. -J_r0kk

When I first opened, I tried a $5.99 grab n go pizza to get people in the door, it didn’t work at all. But if I put the 14" or 16" or even the 18" on special, watch out. Like in previous posts, it depends on the area.

But if my reputation is going to be attached to any product going out the door, it’s going to be a great product at a reasonable price over a cheap product at a cheap price. I’d rather have a check average of $14 to $15 then one at $7 or $8. It means more money with less work.

There are several sectors to our giant pizza market.
The low end, Little Ceasars, Papa Murphys, Frozen Pizza, Costco, Etc.
The Middle, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, Etc.
The High End, The Gourmet Mom & Pops that focus on the ethnic differences of each community and cater to the differences.
Find your niche and work it hard. I prefer the high end. I am tired of 300 pie hours, at $7.00 a pizza. I would rather have a 20 pie hour at $22 a pizza.

I have several stores which do less than $5000 a week. I used to think sales that sales that low were pathetic, until I changed my focus. I started building stores with used equipment for about $5 to $10,000.

I can build a pizza DEL/CO with maybe 10 seats of dining, in as little as 600 square feet. I usually find rents as low as $100 a month, but the average is $400 a month. My Fixed Operational Cost runs about $1000 a month, Plus $2000 for a salaried manager, who I also pay 40% of profit. My food cost runs about 33%, and my labor runs about 22%, I spend $1000 a month on advertising, and I usually donate another $500 to $1000 to the local PTA’s through “School Night” promotions.

Most of my stores look dead all the time, I am still a little unnerved about it. I have some giant swings in sales one week a store will be $6500, and the next week it is $3500. but I maintain my sanity, cause my overhead is really low. At $5,000 a week average, my stores profit about $1500 a week, or $6000 in a 4-week period. I am happy, my managers make a $2400 bonus check, with little or no stress, and my employee, and customer retention, and frequency is incredible.

I set my prices at the top of the market($22.00 for 16" 5-topping), and then discount down inside the mainstream market. My best offer is, BOGO on Sun & Mon, and Buy One, Get 2nd Half Off, we upsell alot of sides. Which raises my food cost generally, but my average ticket is about $35.00… I only make about 140 orders a week. Shoot I used to make 140 orders an hours back in the day, but I was only making pennies on every transaction.

I have learned to slow down and focus on the CUSTOMERS NEEDS, and send out a perfect orders every time. No more Forgotten toppings! Or Cokes! Or Sides! Or Condiments!

If you provide a quality product, and excellent service, and you maintain a good image, you will never loose a customer on PRICE.