Industry Leader Inspired to Create New Opportunity for Veterans
Army Staff Sergeant Robbie Doughty, 32, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in July 2004 and began a long road to recovery where he faced an uncertain future with his young family. As he endured months of rehabilitation, he never gave up hope, never lost his courageous spirit and learned to walk again.
Michael Ilitch, who along with Little Caesars Pizza is the owner of the 2006 American League Champion Detroit Tigers and the 10 time Stanley Cup franchise Detroit Red Wings, read about Doughty when he was profiled in a November 23, 2004 USA Today article. Ilitch was so moved by Doughty’s courage and determination that he called Doughty to thank him for serving our country. After many conversations, Ilitch offered Doughty a business opportunity: to open his own Little Caesars Pizza franchise in his hometown of Paducah, Kentucky.
“Doughty stood strong for our country,” said Ilitch. “I was so impressed by his courage, commitment and upbeat attitude in the face of adversity, that I wanted to do something. Offering him a new career path in his hometown seemed like a good transition. Doughty’s ‘can-do’ attitude will make him a strong Little Caesars franchisee.”
Doughty accepted Ilitch’s offer and followed his suggestion to find a business partner. Doughty asked fellow veteran Lloyd Allard, who served in the 3rd Battalion 5th Special Forces Group in the Sunni Triangle with him, to join the Little Caesars team.
“After a career in the military, I was open to a new venture,” said Doughty. “Our military background and familiarity with systems, processes and a teamwork management style make the Little Caesars franchise a good fit. Opening a business and becoming an entrepreneur will definitely be an exciting new chapter in my life for my family and me.”
“From day one, Doughty was ready for his next challenge,” said Allard. “With our leadership skills and Little Caesars’ training and ongoing support system, we look forward to becoming strong franchisees and sharing our experience with other veterans.”
Their story also inspired Ilitch to launch a new, innovative franchise program to provide qualified, honorably discharged veterans with a business opportunity when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change. The program provides a benefit of $10,000 for qualified veterans, and up to $68,000 in benefits for service-disabled veterans.
“Doughty and Allard inspired me with a vision: to develop a program to create career opportunities for military veterans. I believe that it’s important for Little Caesars and corporate America to thank the men and women who have served in the armed forces and this program offers an exceptional opportunity for veterans who are seeking new career options,” said Ilitch.
Ilitch will be present February 1, 2007 with Doughty and Allard, who have been preparing for their grand opening, to cut the ribbon for the official opening of their Little Caesars pizza franchise in Paducah, Kentucky.
About Little Caesars
Little Caesars Pizza founders Michael and Marian Ilitch opened their first restaurant in Garden City, Michigan in 1959. Today, Little Caesars is the world’s largest carry-out pizza chain, and one of the top four international pizza chains with restaurants on five continents. Little Caesars is expanding in prime locations across the country, and provides franchisees with ongoing training and support. It has a wealth of experience in all aspects of successful restaurant operation, and has consistently achieved industry “firsts” with product and system innovations. In addition, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized characters in the country, Little Caesar.
Part of the Ilitch Holdings’ family of businesses, the company’s primary business interests in the food, sports and entertainment industries include – Little Caesars Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Uptown Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, and a variety of venues within these entities.
For more information about prime franchising opportunities with Little Caesars or the Little Caesars Veterans Program, visit www.LittleCaesars.com.
B-roll is available upon request and will be fed via satellite on Feb. 1, 2007 2:00-2:15 pm Central Standard Time (CST) & 2:30-2:45 pm Central Standard Time (CST)
PADUCAH, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A U.S. veteran who lost both his legs in an Iraqi roadside bomb explosion in 2004 will begin a new career because his compelling and indomitable spirit moved a total stranger to give back to those who have served our country. The Kentucky soldier and the founder of one of the nation’s largest pizza chains will proudly stand side-by-side for the grand opening celebration of the veteran’s new pizza store on February 1, 2007.