Per a new TOP Data survey, the preferred pizza provider in nearly half of all U.S. states is not Domino’s or Papa John’s or even Pizza Hut. It’s a chain that only just started offering delivery earlier this year.
Repeat after us: “Pizza pizza!”
Little Caesars has come to dominate the chain pizza landscape in the COVID-19-era, reports TOP, a market research firm with locations in two dozen states as well as London, Toronto and Vancouver.
“Since the spread of COVID on U.S. shores began in mid-March, Little Caesars has been the preferred provider for residents in 24 states,” the survey found. “No other pizza place comes close, with Papa John’s leading the way in just nine states and Domino’s in seven.”
The survey notes that price and value figure into Little Caesars’ success. “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,” the company notes.
Going state-by-state, Little Caesars is ranked as the top preferred provider in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont.
Little Caesars, which has 3,600 stores in the U.S. and Canada, started offering delivery via Doordash at most of its stores in January, with no minimum purchase required for deals or discounts. Prior to the pandemic, Little Caesars introduced its contactless, self-service Pizza Portal, a pickup method in which customers can retrieve their orders from a kiosk with heated compartments without interacting with employees.
Little Caesars also rolled out its first plant-based protein offering last year—the Impossible Pizza made with meatless sausage from Impossible Foods.