PIZZA WARS: Yet ANOTHER national chain reveals plans for more Dayton-area restaurants

Little Caesars Pizza to open new locations in Fairborn, Centerville, franchisee says

Any chance that the highly competitive local pizza market might be cooling a bit with the recent closings of a LaRosa’s, Papa Murphy’s and PizzaFire locations evaporated this week with the news that first Pizza Hut, and now Little Caesars, are adding new Dayton-area locations.

Frank Sanchez, franchisee for Little Caesars in the Dayton area, confirmed to this news outlet today that he is gearing up to open two new locations, first in the coming weeks in Fairborn, and later this summer in Centerville.

>> JUST YESTERDAY: Pizza Hut to expand Dayton-area footprint with 2 new locations

The Fairborn location is located at 1892 S. Maple Ave., adjacent to a Family Video store at Maple and Dayton-Yellow Springs Road. If all goes well, Sanchez said, the carry-out-only pizza restaurant will open in mid-May.

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The Centerville Little Caesars will move into the space that previously housed Papa Murphy’s Pizza at 832 S. Main St. (Ohio 48). Plans call for renovations to start by the end of May with a projected opening in mid-July, according to Sanchez, who also oversees a Little Caesars in Richmond, Ind. and three in Michigan.

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Other Dayton-area Little Caesars are owned by the chain that is headquartered in Detroit and which operates restaurants in all 50 states and in  20 countries and territories worldwide.

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The new Little Caesars locations — and two new Pizza Hut locations coming to Kettering and Beavercreek that this news outlet told you about yesterday — will join an already competitive Dayton-area pizza market, which has long been dominated by venerable hometown chains such as Cassano’s Pizza King and Marion’s Piazza; by national chains such as Domino’s and Papa John’s; and by the dozens of smaller chains and single-store independents that operate in the Miami Valley.

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In recent years,  other smaller, mostly regional chains have invaded those established market players’ turf, including LaRosa’s, Godfather’s, Dewey’s and Jet’s, among others.

>> RELATED: LaRosa’s in Huber Heights shuts its doors (November 2016)

>> LaRosa’s speaks out on restaurant closing, Dayton market

More recently, “fast-casual” pizza chains that focus on customized, fast-baked pizzas have added a new layer of competition. Kettering-based Rapid Fired Pizza has led that surge locally, and Seattle-based MOD Pizza operates two Dayton-area restaurants. A third competitor, Cleveland-based PizzaFire shut down its only Dayton-area location late last year. LaRosa’s also has closed two of its Dayton-area locations since late 2016.

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