“Hot-N-Ready” heats up March Madness

Emily Morris, Staff Reporter

Little Caesars lives up to their “Hot and Ready” reputation. On March 18, the Detroit-based pizza chain endorsed the seemingly impossible, a No. 16 seed beating a No. 1 seed basketball team, throughout the March Madness craze. This feat had never been accomplished by any previous team, but this season made history.

Little Caesars made a bold claim on Twitter, promising that “everyone in America gets a free #LittleCaesars Lunch Combo on Monday, April 2” after the University of Maryland, Baltimore County defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 74-54 on March 16. Lucky for pizza lovers across the country, Little Caesars was faithful to their wager. On Monday, April 2, customers were rewarded with free lunch combos, which included a four-slice “DEEP!DEEP! Dish” pizza and a 20 oz. soda, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Satisfying thousands of customers across the country, people waited in lengthy lines strung out past the doors of over 4,000 restaurants.

Although the majority had to bear overwhelming lines for free pizza, the Little Caesars employees took on the immense task of quickly fulfilling excited customers.  Working the now infamous March Madness shift wouldn’t be a breeze, but some employees are ready for busy days.

“You have to keep a cool mindset,” said Phoenix Bell, an Oakland University freshman and Little Caesars employee. “Sometimes people will get frustrated, but you need to keep good customer service.”

Little Caesars has established a reputation for quick and affordable pizza, and people have taken notice. However, promising limited free pizza opened an array of challenges. A constant flow of hungry people mixed with six-minute pizzas made satisfying everyone difficult—after all, that only allows for 16 pizzas. The local Little Caesars easily surpassed that amount, though, dishing out meals extremely rapidly.

“Even when they ran out of the lunch combos, they began handing out Hot-N-Readys to keep true to their word,” said Stephen Hull, one of many Oakland students who waited for free pizza.  

Additionally, Little Caesars employees gave away coupons to each customer who arrived before 1 p.m. This ensured that, in the event that their location ran out of pizza before, everyone would still be able to redeem their meal, even if it was at a later date and a different location.

However, our local pizzerias went above and beyond and simply began giving away full size pizzas, instead of lunch combos, to fulfill the overwhelming demand. This gesture of hospitality multiplied each customer’s prize by two, giving away eight slices per person, instead of four.     

Whether you’re a basketball enthusiast or just love pizza, Little Caesars’ lack of faith in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County amounted to a gratifying event last week.  Hundreds of thousands of people turned out to chow down on the unprecedented victory pizza. Although this year’s basketball season has come to an end, there is always a possibility Little Caesars could renew their interest in betting—and satisfying hungry customers—next year.