U.S. Military Veteran Opens Store Under Little Caesars Veterans Program

U.S. Military Veteran Opens Store Under Little Caesars Veterans Program

Program allows vet to start new chapter in life


SHEBOYGAN, Wisc., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. today celebrates another store grand opening under the Little Caesars Veterans Program as Major Jesse Ortega opens his doors for business at 2825 N. 15th St. in Sheboygan, Wisc.

“I have always wanted to go into business for myself, and the Little Caesars Veterans Program has helped me achieve that goal,” Ortega said. “Little Caesars is growing and it is deeply committed to providing business opportunities for veterans. I’m proud to be a part of this organization.”

The Little Caesars Veterans Program was created in 2006 to thank veterans for their service, and provide them with career opportunities when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change. Honorably discharged service-disabled veterans who qualify, such as Ortega, are eligible for a benefit of up to approximately $68,000. It provides honorably discharged,

non-service-disabled veterans who qualify as Little Caesars franchisees a benefit of $10,000.

Ortega enlisted in the U.S. Air Force right out of high school, and after completing his service, he earned a bachelor’s degree in aviation technology from Purdue University. He then served as a commissioned officer with the United States Marine Corps for 13 years as a helicopter aircraft commander on CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters. While in the Marines, he earned the Air Medal (with strike/flight numeral 2) for combat action over Iraq in 2003. After separating from the Marines, Ortega joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard, where he still serves as a traditional guardsman, flying KC-135R Stratotankers out of General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. When not flying for the National Guard, he flies corporate jets out of Waukesha, Wisc.

Now, at the age of 39, Ortega is fulfilling his lifelong goal of starting his own business with his investment in a pizza restaurant under the Little Caesars Veterans Program. It was Little Caesars’ simple business model and commitment towards U.S. military veterans that led him to pursue a Little Caesars franchise.

“With talented veterans like Jesse joining the Little Caesars team, the Little Caesars Veterans Program continues to grow and give veterans business ownership opportunities,” said David Scrivano, president, Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc. “The skills Jesse developed in the military such as teamwork, dedication and a familiarity with processes will help him become a strong Little Caesars franchisee.”

“I am excited to start this new chapter in my life as a business owner and offer high-quality pizza at a great value to the Sheboygan community,” Ortega said.

Some of the menu items Ortega will feature in his store include HOT-N-READY(R) Pizza, Crazy Bread(R), Caesar Wings(R) and Caesar Dips(R).

In one of the largest U.S. quick serve restaurant research studies in 2007, Little Caesars was named the best value for the money of all quick serve restaurant chains.* Sandelman & Associates’ Quick-Track(R) research study tracks key consumer behavioral and attitudinal measures for all major

fast-food chains. Surveys were conducted among more than 84,000 quick service restaurant customers in 70 major markets across the U.S. Little Caesars was also named highest rated pizza chain for “Convenience of Locations” and “Speed of Service.”

Little Caesars was recently listed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as one of the best loan performers among franchises with more than 60 SBA-guaranteed loans.** Little Caesars also works with preferred lenders who understand the business, which becomes increasingly important as it gets more difficult for entrepreneurs to secure financing in today’s economy.

Since Launching on Veterans Day 2006, interest has remained high for the Little Caesars Veterans Program. Currently, more than 30 veterans have been approved to become Little Caesars franchisees and more than 2,000 inquiries have been made about the program. Several more U.S. military veterans are expected to open stores in the coming months under the program.

The Center for Veterans Enterprise (part of the Department of Veterans Affairs), Marine For Life (an organization that helps Marines and Sailors transition to civilian life), and the International Franchise Association (through its VetFran program) are points of contact for the Little Caesars Veterans Program. They can provide information about the requirements and qualifications of becoming a Little Caesars franchisee.

About Little Caesars

Little Caesars Pizza founders Michael and Marian Ilitch opened their first restaurant in Garden City, Michigan in 1959. Little Caesars built more stores in the U.S. in 2007 than any other pizza chain and today is the largest

carry-out chain internationally with restaurants on five continents. Little Caesars is growing in prime markets across the country, and is offering strong franchisee candidates an opportunity for independence with a proven system. In addition, Little Caesars offers strong brand awareness with one of the most recognized characters in the country, Little Caesar, that appeals to both adults and children.

In addition to Little Caesars Pizza, Ilitch companies in the food, sports and entertainment industries include: the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., Uptown Entertainment, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, and a variety of venues within these entities. Michael Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers. Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel.

For more information about the Little Caesars Veterans Program and available franchise opportunities, visit www.LittleCaesars.com or call 1.800.553.5776.

* “Highest Rated Chain – Value for the Money” based on a nationwide survey of quick service restaurant consumers conducted by Sandleman & Associates, 2007.

** Source: Coleman Report, an annual compilation of performance data on thousands of SBA-guaranteed franchise loans.

SOURCE Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.

U.S. Military Veteran Opens Store Under Little Caesars Veterans Program