Little Caesars sees the UK as a key market for global expansion, with a vision to develop 20 stores in the next five to six years.

Carlos Vidal, VP of International Development tells MCA that the US pizza chain has set its sights on “bigger city locations”, after opening the doors to its first store in London last month.

The business, which operates in Derby and Nottingham, also looks towards an opening in Liverpool later this year.  The global brand, which currently operates in 28 countries and territories, is actively seeking franchisees interested in joining the brand.

“We are looking to set our sights on bigger city locations, where we can be present within an exciting and dynamic QSR scene,” says Vidal, adding that Little Caesars has “open opportunities for new franchisees to incorporate to the UK growth and are looking for multi-store operators.”

He describes the QSR market in the UK as “thriving”; a key consideration when it came to entering the new market in 2022. “Our first Little Caesars site opening was in Derby and has been well received, and we’ve noticed a steady flow of sales since opening in 2022.”

Little Caesars previously operated in the UK in the 1980’s but wound down its operations in around 2000 after failing to gain a substantial foothold in the territory. At its peak, it had about 18 branches, including Wimbledon, Surbiton, Harrow, Southampton, Twickenham, South Norwood and Fareham.

Vidal says that today, the business recognises “enthusiasm” for the Little Caesars value positioning, “given the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.” “There is a distinct appetite for a value first offering.”

“Our brand delivers value and is more affordable than other pizza options, but never compromises on fresh, quality ingredients.” In particular, he sees the Hot-N-Ready® pizza priced at £5 as an “attractive alternative” to other competitors in the pizza market. The Peri Peri Chicken pizza (£10) has also been specially created for the British market. 

“We’ve noticed there is a trend where UK consumers have an appetite for convenient, quick meals at low prices given the current economic climate as well, so there is a lot of opportunity for a brand like us.

Although more reticent to reveal the brand’s long term vision for the UK market, Vidal adds, “we hope to show more of the Little Caesars’ personality and establish a connection with British consumers, giving them quality pizza with ingredients they can trust and the promise of good value, always.”

“We are naturally cautious when it comes to opening new sites in any market and there are challenges to the quick service restaurant industry that are commonplace, but we don’t foresee any challenges that we’re concerned about.”