Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How 3 Pizza Chains Got Their Names

Domino’s: Tom Monaghan was an aspiring businessman looking for an opportunity when he heard that a Ypsilanti, Michigan, pizzeria called DomiNick’s was up for sale. He and his brother pooled their resources and bought it. However, the original owner wanted to retain the rights to the name. Faced with a deadline for a Yellow Pages ad, they used a name suggested by one of their drivers: Domino’s. ************
Little Caesar’s: Mike Ilitch worked several jobs in order to save enough money to open his own business. An aspiring shortstop, he traveled with the Detroit Tigers farm team while waiting to be called to the Big League. During his travels, he always sampled the local pizza, and mentally stored away information about recipes and sales techniques. In 1959, he opened his first restaurant in Garden City, Michigan. Mike favored the name “Pizza Treat,” but his wife, Marian, wanted a name that suited her husband. In her eyes, she said, he was a hero, her “little Caesar.” He capitulated and their business had a new name. *************
Pizza Hut: When brothers Dan and Frank Carney decided to open their own pizza restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, in 1958, the owner of a small building located at the corner of Kellogg and Bluff approached them. Interested in having a “nice” neighborhood business operate in his building, the brothers moved in. The problem was that the sign outside only had room for nine characters. They definitely wanted the word “pizza” in their name, so that meant they had only a space and three additional letters to use. Dan’s wife commented that the structure looked like a hut, and the rest is history.

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