Are Little Caesars Fans Ready for a Higher-Priced Hot-N-Ready?

In the first price hike since 2001, the chain's signature Hot-N-Ready pizza will sell for $5.55, Little Caesars announced recently.

  • Little Caesars has raised the price of its signature Hot-N-Ready pizza to $5.55 but says it’s still “the most affordable price” in the country.
  • CEO Dave Scrivano attributed the increase to the need to balance rising labor and commodities costs.

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Little Caesars says it signature Hot-N-Ready pizza is “new and improved,” but it’s also about 11% more expensive, marking the carryout pie’s first price increase in 20-plus years.

The Hot-N-Ready pizza now costs $5.55, compared to the long-time price of $5, which held steady since the pizza debuted in 2001. Little Caesars claims it’s still offering the best price in the country compared to large pizzas from rival chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut.

For added value, the chain said the pizza also now comes topped with a lot more pepperoni.

“Change is good when it comes to giving our customers more of what they love,” said Jeff Klein, chief marketing officer at Little Caesars, in a press release. “And we’re changing our iconic Hot-N-Ready Classic, adding 33% more savory, meaty pepperoni, still at the country’s most affordable price.”

In an interview with Forbes, Little Caesars CEO Dave Scrivano offered a more straightforward explanation. He attributed the price increase to the need to balance rising labor and commodities costs, even as the price of pepperoni continues to climb.

“There are all kinds of pressures on businesses these days, but we still want to deliver the best product at the best value to our customers,” Scrivano told Forbes. “They have told us they want more pepperoni. While other companies are decreasing their portions and increasing their prices, we decided to make our pizza even better. It still remains the lowest price in the business, but we’re adding more to it.”

In November, Little Caesars also introduced a new line of Hot-N-Ready merchandise, including shirts, sneakers and jewelry, plus a pizza-themed sleeping bag blanket and a Hot-N-Ready beanie. “Our inspiration was, ‘pizza so good you want to wear it,’” Klein said at the time. “We’re embracing the fact that Little Caesars has no place in high fashion, and that’s exactly what people love about the brand.”