Little Caesars Gets Big Results From its Veteran’s Franchise Program

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LITTLE CAESARS: Veterans Franchise Program Honors Those Who Serve

Semper Pie: Little Caesars’ Michael Ilitch Recognized for Helping Disabled Vets Open Franchises

by Sean Kelly

Franchising is all about creating Win-Win-Win situations.  In the best deals, the franchisee wins.  The franchisor wins.  The vendors win.  And the customers win. (OK, make the Win-Win-Win-Win).

That being said, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. certainly has created a winning franchise marketing initiative with their Little Caesars Veterans Program.

They are getting a ton of great press, including lots of valuable blog and Internet coverage (and that’s the best kind, my friends.  That’s where franchise leads come from)

They are getting dozens of great franchisees.  Honorably discharged veterans are highly prized as franchisees, as they are seen as highly disciplined and used to following systems, procedures and orders.

They are able to expand with franchisees who also have additional financing options open to them via their veteran and/or disability (in some cases) status.

And they are creating goodwill and a positive brand image in a very genuine way, as the program was a personal mission of Little Caesars founder and ex-Marine Michael Ilitch. As I wrote in a post on Franchise Pick last September, Ilitch was awarded the highest tribute given to a private citizen by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

The program is so successful for both the franchisor and franchisees that Little Caesar president David Scrivano recently announced that they would be adding additional benefits and extending the program at least another two years.

The Little Caesars Veterans Program Gives Vets a Helping Hand

The Little Caesars Veterans Program provides franchise opportunities to veterans as they transition to civilian life or seek a career change. It LC-small offers honorably discharged service-disabled veterans who qualify as Little Caesars franchisees a benefit of up to approximately $68,000. The benefit for honorably discharged non-service-disabled veterans who qualify as Little Caesars franchisees has now increased from $10,000 to up to approximately $20,000.

The Secret to the Program’s Success?  Commitment.

Minority programs.  Women’s programs.  Veterans programs… Stick around franchising long enough and you’ll see  lots of franchise marketing incentive programs come and go without much impact.

The program was launched in 2006 with the intent to review the level of interest and results after two years. Nearly three times the expected number of veterans are participating in the program. Currently, 45 veterans collectively are applying more than $1.25 million in credits and benefits to help them grow their Little Caesars businesses. To date, 2,400 inquires have been made about the program.

Why has the Little Caesars Veterans Program succeeded where others have failed?

Take a look at the Little Caesars Veterans Program website and the answer is clear:  commitment and follow-through.

The program has its own website, logo and identity.  It has its own downloadable franchise brochure.

There are press releases and PR support for every single veteran store opening.

There are Little Caesars Veteran Franchisee Profiles and photos to make it easy for publications to run the story and spread the word.

Little Caesars PR firm, Evins Communications, was aggressively spreading the word not only via traditional media, but also with assistance from social media and blogging influencers such as socialmediaanswers.com’s Kevin Palmer.

In my experience, the total commitment and execution of programs like this require a mandate from the top to make sure it happens.  (It doesn’t hurt when that mandate is coming from an ex-Marine.)

Semper Pie.

For more information, visit the Little Caesars Veterans Program, view more Little Caesars Veteran Franchisee Profiles, or download the Little Caesars Veteran Program brochure.

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