• Little Caesars can now connect with customers more effectively through its mobile app and delivery through DoorDash, executives say.
  • The pizza chain plans to open 35 stores in the St. Louis market in the coming years while also looking at other major markets around the U.S.

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Offering delivery has changed the game for Little Caesars, the country’s No. 3 pizza chain, which is looking into expanding into new markets, according to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN).

NRN reports that Little Caesars, headquartered in Detroit, has “accelerated its new growth strategy,” with plans to open 35 stores in the St. Louis market. The company is also looking at expansion in New York, Charlotte, Tampa, New Orleans and the Pacific Northwest.

After a 20-year hiatus, Little Caesars began offering delivery again in January 2020, just before the pandemic took off. The chain partnered with DoorDash to deliver from 3,600 stores in the U. S. and Canada. The full menu is available for delivery.

“We’ve seen such expensive and complex pricings throughout the pizza industry, and we think it’s crazy,” said Little Caesars President/CEO David Scrivano at the time. “Some chains require a minimum purchase to get their deals, or the discount pricing is only available on carryout orders. We’re excited to bring much-needed affordability to delivered pizza.”

In the recent interview with NRN, Jeremy Vitaro, Little Caesars’ chief development officer, noted that the chain’s mobile app also lets patrons customize their pizzas, something they couldn’t do before when the chain only offered pickup.

“We were different than the other large pizza chains because we didn’t have delivery,” he said. “We thought we were convenient for customers, but technology has really enabled us to become a lot more convenient. And through our app, we’re able to connect with customers more effectively.”

In 2018, the company introduced its Pizza Portal Pickup, a heated, self-service pickup station for mobile orders.

An August 2020 survey by TOP, an international market research firm, found that Little Caesars was the preferred pizza provider in nearly half of all U.S. states. “It seems likely that Little Caesars’ low prices and unique ‘Hot & Ready’ business model that can completely eliminate human interaction from the pizza pickup, are key factors in the Detroit-based chain’s pandemic pizza wars success,” TOP said at the time.

Pizza News, Little Caesars