The return of CaesarsPublished 10:50am Monday, March 1, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
It’s Friday evening, shortly after five o’clock, bringing the work day to an end and signifying the start of the weekend and inside Little Caesars, there is a quickly moving line of customers picking up pizzas and bags of breadsticks, each one fresh out of the oven.
The pizza and “Crazy Bread” has been missed.
Owner Kerri Wallace opened up her fourth franchise with her husband Dale in Niles in the middle of February, and almost immediately she said customers were telling her how happy they were to see the business back in town.
“People have been very excited,” she said.
She’s been hearing good feedback “from the customers who were so excited to see us back as a company,” she said.
Wallace has a long history with that company. She began working for Little Caesars when she was just 16, picking up the job as a means to make a little extra money. The work stuck and Wallace worked her way into vice president of operations for the company that owned her area franchise.
That company eventually got out of the business and Wallace, who took some time away, eventually found her way back to the franchise.
“I said to my husband, ‘What if we just opened a store for ourselves?’” she said.
That’s exactly what the Wallace’s did, opening up two locations in Elkhart and Goshen, Ind. Finding success, Wallace said she set her sights on Niles, a business venture that would bring 32 jobs to the area.
“We actually filled the positions that we had available in two and a half hours,” she said.
Niles was a good fit for Wallace because of its proximity, she said. The location allows the hands-on owner to keep an eye on things.
“That’s really important thing to me,” she said, “to be involved. Overseeing the quality of our products, the cleanliness of our restaurants is very, very important to me.”
On this Friday evening, Wallace is behind the line with her workers getting pizzas into the oven as quickly as possible.
Little Caesars rose to fame for their “Pizza, Pizza” deal, where customers could buy one pizza and get another free. Their promotion has since changed.
Now the idea is hot and fresh food ready to pick up and take right out of the store with no waiting.
Basic pizzas are made constantly, filling hot ovens and waiting to be picked up and carried out.
Wallace said prices are still reasonable, which she said “is a huge thing to people in this economic time.”
Of course customers can still call in and specially order their pizza but the desire for convenience is visible as one by one customers filed into Little Caesars, picking up their pizzas and heading back out the door in a matter of minutes.
While in Niles, Wallace said she, her husband and her daughter, Kyler who is already gearing up to join the family business at 8 years old, are hoping to give back to the community in ways other than just a good value.
“We are very, very philanthropic in all the areas we’re in,” Wallace said. “I believe it’s very important as a business that you give back to the community.”