Army Staff Sgt Robbie Doughty
out of the Army and in the pizza business!
Little Caesars founder Michael Ilitch (second from right), shakes Robbie Doughty's hand at the grand opening of Doughty's Little Caesars store in Paducah, Ky. Doughty, a former Army staff sergeant, along with his business partner, former Army Chief Warrant Officer Lloyd Allard (second from left), are the first veterans to open a Little Caesars pizza franchise under the chain's new veterans Program.
Next time we want pizza, we are going to go to Little Caesars!
Michael Ilitch, founder of Little Caesars, started the Little Caesars Veterans Program to help provide franchise business opportunities to qualified, honorably discharged veterans. The program started when Ilitch read about former Army Staff Sergeant Robbie Doughty. In 2004, an IED in Iraq cost Doughty both legs. At home in Paducah, Kentucky, Doughty was contemplating what to do next with his life.
Michael Ilitch could relate. He had been a minor league baseball player in the Detroit Tigers system, and he suffered a career-ending knee injury. The 'real world' did not have a need for those with skills in baseball. Ilitch says his experiences in the Marine Corps helped him overcome the obstacles, by making "me more focused and organized, and helped me to set some goals for my future. These characteristics are a good fit for business. The military also teaches teamwork and leadership. These skills are very important for growing a business." Today, the founder of the Little Caesars is also the owner of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.
Michael Ilitch arranged to meet Robbie Doughty. That meeting turned into an offer for a franchise for Doughty and a challenge to his management staff to develop a program that would help other veterans. Thus, the Little Caesars Veterans Program was begun.
The first such store is Doughty and Allars's Little Caesars in Paducah, which opened February 1.
To read more about Doughty and Allard, read Mitch Albom's story
For more information about franchise opportunities for Veterans and all of the companies that are following Michael Ilitch's example:
On the second page is a list of the companys helping Veterans.