Did you know that Little Caesars has been around since 1959? I didn't even know that they had pizza in 1959. I never saw Ward Cleaver order out for a large combo, that's for sure. Anyway, Little Caesars has been around for a long time and they're starting to make some subtle changes that I thing are tipping their hand a bit. Surely this is just setting us up for the next horrifying stages in the menu items on offer at "The Cease."
Let's back up a bit. At least, let's back up to the earliest incarnation of Little Caesars that you (god, hopefully) may remember. When I was a kid/adolescent, the gimmick of Little Caesars was, of course, "Pizza! Pizza!" Unlike other jerk-ass, rip-off pizza restaurants, Little Caesars' whole shtick was, if you order a pizza, you instead get TWO pizzas.
Of course, the quality of said pizzas was below what you'd get at a mom-and-pop place (or, if you had one in your area, a Round Table). But certainly it was at least of a comparable quality to Pizza Hut and/or Dominos, if not better. So, neat! Two one-topping pizzas for the price of one one-topping pizza. You'd get the pizzas handed to you in a side-by-side, paper-covered tray-type deal that was folded and stapled (stapled!) at one end. After several years, Little Caesars realized this delivery method was stupid and inconvenient so they went to standard pizza boxes.
Anyway, when the bottom fell out of the pizza market (I assume this was at the same time the bottom fell out of the comic book and baseball card markets), Little Caesars mixed things up a bit. Since people (I guess) weren't really riding the bandwagon of The Cease, someone figured out, "Hey! If we just bake a mess of pizzas all the time and let them sit under heating lamps all day, people can just buy them cheaper!" This, of course, is an idea that basically ONLY works with pizza, because if you walk into a place that is like "$1 TAKE-AND-EAT BURGERS" and you see just a piled of wrapped burgs sitting under a red light bulb, you might not be too inclined to pick one up. (Trust me on this. As the former proprietor of "Wild Bill's Pre-Grilled Burger Emporium" ... trust me.) So The Cease started in with their $5 Hot-N-Ready, which surprisingly wasn't a term that was already trademarked by Vivid Video.
So Little Caesars has spent several years now being the place where you can walk in and walk out a few minutes later with a large cheese or pepperoni pizza for a fin. Then you can eat that pizza while you drive around and cry. Or whatever. We're not here to judge.
Recently, Little Caesars has introduced the "3-Meat Treat," which retails for $8. That's a pizza with pepperoni, sausage and bacon, costing three dollars more than the now-standard Hot-N-Ready.
I think we can all see what Little Caesars is doing here.
After lulling us into their $5 trap for so many years, they're incrementally working their way back up to just being a full-price pizza place. Diabolical. I bet soon they'll be matching Pizza Hut's "Any Pizza, Any Toppings; $10" scheme.
So after Little Caesars works its way back up to full price, here are the next stages in what I assume is their master plan. We're through the looking glass here, people.
The dates are merely approximations, but the feasibility of all my predictions should chill you to the bone.
August, 2014: After having successfully brought prices back up into the normal range for a pizza pie, Little Caesars unveils its "new" Pizza! Pizza! campaign, offering a free second pizza with purchase of a pizza. Literally no one notices this is not a new thing; that it is in fact the very thing Little Caesars initially became famous for.
December, 2016: Little Caesars unveils what it claims is a limited-time offer for Christmas, called "Pizz4! Pizz4!" With this new scheme, anyone who pays for a regular one-topping pizza instead receives FOUR pizzas. Within 10 months, the weight of the average American shoots up 40 pounds - to a mind-boggling 480 pounds. This coincides with a 4,000-percent increase in parties and general hangouts, however, so everyone's much happier and more chill on average.
February, 2018: Little Caesars discontinues the 4-for-1 program, instead opting for a more efficient plan: the Double-Decker Pizza. This consists of a slightly smaller cheese pizza served atop a large pepperoni pizza, with a concentric double-ring of crust. Little Caesars Markets this as "PpIiZzZzAa!!" which somehow fails to capture the hearts of consumers as a catchphrase.
July, 2019: In addition to the Double-Decker, Little Caesars begins offering the Pizza Sandwich, which is a large pepperoni pizza served between two large cheese pizzas. This begins outselling the Double-Decker by a ratio of fifty to one. The Double-Decker is soon discontinued.
January, 2020: Little Caesars introduces what is internally referred to as "ENDGAME" but is marketing as "The Dinner ‘Za." This be-all, end-all of the pizza industry is an extra-large Meat-Lover's pizza, atop which is a slightly smaller veggie pizza, atop which is a slightly smaller cheese pizza, atop which is a slightly smaller pizza that is basically Crazy Bread, only not cut into slices, atop which is a small pizza which is a baked pizza crust with your choice of dessert in the center. The dessert choices are brownie sundae, chocolate cake, bread pudding, or flan.