Mike and Marian Ilitch, founders and owners of Little Caesars Pizza, have been named to the International Franchise Association Hall of Fame, the association’s highest honor.
“There is no doubt that Mike and Marian Ilitch are deserving of this award. They have made tremendous contributions to the advancement of franchising and the franchising community,” says Melanie Bergeron, IFA chair. “At the same time, they have worked tirelessly on behalf of their hometown of Detroit, which continues to benefit from their involvement and commitment.
The Ilitchs, of Detroit, opened their first restaurant in Garden City in 1959. It is now one of the world’s largest carry-out only pizza chain with locations in all 50 states and nearly 20 international markets.
The company established the Little Caesars Love Kitchen, a big-rig pizza kitchen on wheels that feeds the homeless and hungry and also victims of national disasters, feeding over 3 million people.
Mike Ilitch, a former Marine, founded the Little Caesars Veteran Program in 2006 to provide honorably discharged veterans with a business opportunity when they transition from the service or seek a career change.