Top 10 American Franchises

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Owning a Slice of the Pie with a Little Caesars Franchise


Discipline, tenacity, and attention to detail are critical in any business venture. Add in an entrepreneurial spirit and you’ve got the right mix of qualities for franchise ownership. So when it came to deciding on their next career step, Mechelle and Thomas Fitzgerald decided to funnel their distinct expertise into their own business — and selected Little Caesars as the brand they wanted to represent.


In April, the Fitzgeralds officially expanded the $145 billion worldwide pizza industry by launching Little Caesars of Marshfield, Missouri.


USA Proud

After serving in the U.S. military (Tom in the Navy from 1991 to 1997 and Mechelle in the Army from 1997-1999) and then raising four children, the duo was searching for their next venture. But with the thousands of franchise brands to choose from, why did they join the pizza party?


Mechelle said that Little Caesars was a natural fit for the couple because it checked several critical boxes. First, it’s a family-owned business with roots that go all the way back to 1959 when founders Mike and Marian Ilitch opened the inaugural restaurant in Detroit. Second, Mechelle says their family has been welcoming the weekends with Friday night dinners from Little Caesars for years. Third, the products are high-quality, delicious, and convenient. After all, who can resist the ultra-popular Crazy Bread®?

Little Caesars Interior

Fourth, Little Caesar’s has millions of devoted customers and strong marketplace recognition as the third-largest pizza brand in the world. The cost to invest and franchise fees are affordable compared to many other top-tier brands.


And the final, and possibly the strongest reason why Little Caesars was a natural fit for the couple is because the brand makes it seamless for military veterans to own a piece of the pie.


Veteran-owned Businesses

Through its Veterans Program, Little Caesars has helped hundreds of honorably discharged veterans and Gold Star families with financial incentives (including discounts on franchise fees, equipment, and supplies) as well as advertising and publicity support so they can successfully launch and grow their own franchise business. The Veterans Program was founded in 2006 by Mr. Ilitch, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War.


Military veterans are a natural fit for business ownership because the autonomy provides them with a supportive way to parlay their unshakable work ethic into business growth and success. And, perhaps most importantly, the military provides training that’s applicable to the business world. “The military taught us the importance of hard work and collaboration as well as strong leadership skills, and we wanted to practice those values in our own business and instill them in our employees,” Mechelle explained.  


The timing for a new franchise location was just right for the Fitzgeralds as well as the Webster County area. And with multi-channel options available for ordering — in-store at the counter, drive-thru window, online at, or via the Little Caesars app — the Fitzgeralds can reach customers in the exact way they prefer to shop.


“This opportunity not only allows us to make delicious Little Caesars products for our customers, but it also enables us to provide a great place for people to work,” Mechelle said. “We manage our employees as a team and treat them like family.”


A strong family-friendly presence is exactly what the Little Caesars brand represents. For the Fitzgeralds, the business is an extension of their values… and their love of the perfect slice.