Little Caesars Raises Pizza Costs 11% with 33% More Pepperoni — Does Upgrade Justify the Price?

Logos displayed on a smartphone in China - 23 Apr 2021
Budrul Chukrut / SOPA Images /

As inflation raises the price of groceries, dine-in meals and takeout foods, companies are trying to cover costs without losing customers. Some are turning to “shrinkflation” — reducing portions or package sizes — while keeping prices the same. Others, like pizza chain Little Caesars, are raising prices but trying to put a positive spin on the cost increase by delivering more value. But does it make good, economic sense?

Learn: Should You Buy Groceries at the Dollar Store?
Compare: The 15 Best Pizza Deals for Under $10

In a national promotion, Little Caesars announced that its iconic “Hot-N-Ready” $5 pepperoni pizza will now cost $5.55. The increase amounts to 11%, but customers will also get 33% more pepperoni on each pie.

Little Caesars emphasized that the $5 price for the pizza has remained the same for 25 years. “Change is good when it comes to giving our customers more of what they love and we’re changing our iconic HOT-N-READY Classic, adding 33% more savory, meaty pepperoni still at the country’s most affordable price,” said Little Caesars chief marketing officer Jeff Klein in a news release.

Make Your Money Work for You

Although Little Caesars just recently announced the increase, stores in some markets had raised the price back in October. A pizza fan on Twitter broke the news with a tweet showing a sign at a local establishment announcing the price change:

A Little Caesars spokesperson told MSN that prices vary regionally, which explains why some markets saw an increase earlier. After the promotional price of $5.55 nationwide ends, franchise owners can once again have the option to set prices based on their market.

Related: White House Unveils $1B Plan to Boost Meat Processing Competition and Lower Prices for Consumers

For pizza-eaters paying 11% more but gaining 33% more pepperoni, is the price increase worth it? Considering that price of pepperoni, per pound, had risen by 50% or more during the summer of 2020, the Little Caesars pepperoni pizza remains a value.

Let’s Do the Math

Pepperoni manufacturer Hormel reports that 1 oz. of pepperoni equals roughly 14 slices. The website says that the average Little Caesars HOT-N-READY pepperoni pizza contains 30 slices of pepperoni, which is approximately 2 ounces. The new improved pizzas, with 33% more, would contain roughly 40 slices each, or 2.8 ounces.

Make Your Money Work for You

A restaurant owner in New York in 2020 reported that pepperoni had gone up in price by $2 per pound, exceeding $4 per pound total. Restaurant owners in other regions reported similar price increases.

That means pepperoni costs roughly 25 cents per ounce or more, depending on your region. The total cost of the pepperoni on your Little Caesars pizza would be about 70 cents, but the additional pepperoni on the “new and improved” version only costs Little Caesars 20 cents more.

Add in the cost of the other ingredients, which have also risen due to inflation — not to mention utilities and overhead — and the price hike of 55 cents makes sense. It covers that extra pepperoni and a little bit more which, of course, is the goal of inflation-related price hikes. Companies are trying to keep their profit margins the same as they were prior to inflation.

The Year in Inflation: What It Meant for the US — And Your Wallet
Average Cost of Groceries Per Month: How Much Should You Be Spending?

Where has the extra money not gone? Google searches show no mention of salary hikes for Little Caesars’ employees. reported that the company’s average salary is $10.88 per hour, which is 11% below the national average.

Make Your Money Work for You

When you think about it, $5.55 is still a reasonable price for fast, ready-to-eat pizza, and Little Caesars said in the release that it is still the country’s best price, based on regular prices for the nation’s top four national pizza chains.

More From GOBankingRates

Share this article:

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
email sharing button
Make Your Money Work for You

About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who geeks out about finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. Her lengthy list of publishing credits include Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology, and entertainment website. She lives on Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten, and three lizards of varying sizes and personalities – plus her two kids and husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.
Learn More


See Today's Best
Banking Offers