All 21 Little Caesars pizza franchises in the Kansas City area have closed. Hundreds of employees are out of jobs and the nation’s No. 3 pizza chain is without a presence in the area after the businessman that owned the Kansas City stores lost his fight with the corporation over $5 pizzas.
Alan Knox, a Utah businessman, tried for two years to keep his Kansas City operations afloat. Knox tried to sell off some of his franchises, defied a federal court order to close his stores in the area, and at one point stopped sending royalty checks to Little Caesars’ corporate headquarters in Detroit.
A Little Caesars franchise operator for three decades, Knox invested $5 million to move into the Kansas City market eight years ago.
But he said the pizza chain’s $5 Hot-N-Ready deal led to his stores’ demise. It was an unsustainable price point in Kansas City, Knox said, and he hiked the price to $5.99 for a time.
But the corporation pressured him to lower the price back to $5. That marked one volley in an extended battle between Knox and Little Caesars that ultimately led to his stores shuttering.
Read more: Kansas City Star