Little Caesars
Little Caesars
Loan failure rate: 1%
Number of loans: 103
Number of failed loans: 1

Fifty-two years ago, Michael and Marian Ilitch put $10,000 in life savings into opening a small pizza shop in suburban Detroit. Today, there are thousands of Little Caesars pizza places across the globe.

When Little Caesars was first launched, the idea of a takeout pizza joint was an innovation. Michael added the two-for-one pizza deal in 1979 that was popularized with the catchphrase ''Pizza! Pizza!'' uttered by a small cartoon Caesar. Michael built a conveyor oven, so that he could have a constant stream of hot pizzas ready for customers.

Little Caesars estimates that startup costs are between $193,050 to $619,500. A new owner needs to have a net worth of $150,000, at least $50,000 in cash, and be able to obtain financing to cover the remaining costs.

Franchisees took out 103 SBA-backed loans and only one loan failed.

Source: Loan data is from the Small Business Administration, covering loans made from October 2005 through September 2010. Only those franchises for which the SBA backed 70 or more loans were included. A loan was counted as "failed" if the franchisor stopped repaying the loan and the SBA had to purchase -- or take over -- the loan.
Last updated June 16 2011: 12:24 PM ET

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