Little Caesars is battling record-high inflation — and winning the fight, according to its CEO.
“We’ve actually seen customer accounts and transactions increase,” Little Caesars CEO and President David Scrivano told Yahoo Finance Live, crediting the brand’s role as a “value player” in the pizza space.
“Today, you can get a pepperoni pizza at Little Caesars for about half the price [compared to] our competitors,” Scrivano continued, shrugging off rising food cost concerns as the category rose 10.4% last month from a year earlier — the biggest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1981.
Little Caesars did raise the price of its famous “Hot N Ready” pizza in January — upping the cost from $5 a pie to $5.55 nationally (prices vary depending on the market with Scrivano saying that most franchisees raised prices before the start of the year.)
Still, that 11% price hike — the first increase in about 25 years — came with a value-added bonus for consumers: a 33% jump in the number of pepperoni slices per pizza.
“We’ve kept the prices as low as we can in this inflationary time,” Scrivano said, explaining that franchisees have been able to enjoy stable bottom lines due to the uptick in customer counts.
The CEO also credited Little Caesars’ supply chain, which the brand owns and operates, thus allowing it to avoid costly disruptions.
Yet, one downside has been the labor shortage with the executive admitted, “It’s probably the toughest time we’ve seen in decades to hire people.”
Scrivano added that opportunity is key when it comes to attracting new talent, revealing that the chain has increased wages and provided more incentives for employees to grow and prosper within the company.
Labor issues have not slowed down productivity, however, with Little Caesars currently on track to double its franchise growth rate in 2022 after signing numerous multi-unit deals last year
The brand also recently signed a five-year deal with the NFL to become the league’s official pizza sponsor, replacing Pizza Hut.
Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Food Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at [email protected]
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