A Little Caesars Hot-N-Ready Pizza Costs More Than $5 for the First Time in 25 Years

New York Post — The pizza chain Little Caesars is bumping the price of its famous Hot-N-Ready pizza above $5 for the first time in a quarter-century, according to reports. 

The price of the promotional pie, which was first introduced in 1997 through advertising shaker boards, is increasing by 11% to cost $5.55. Up from its longstanding $5 price point, the new and improved version of the Hot-N-Ready pizza will now also come with 33% more pepperoni, Forbes reported. 

Little Caesars CEO Dave Scrivano said the increased price is meant to balance rising labor and commodities costs, as the price of pepperoni has soared by more than 50% over the pandemic.

“Our franchisees were highly accepting of this proposition. They want to treat their customers like gold and make sure they get the best product possible and they love the idea of more pepperoni,” he told Fortune. “We think we’ve got something good here with delivery and our Pizza Portal and our Hot-N-Ready pizza. We’ve got a good structure to really drive overall growth.”

We've finally reached a tipping point, folks. You've heard about the inflation. You've heard about the supply chain issues. But all of that seems pretty abstract until you see it quantified on a scale such as Little Caesars raising the price of an iconic American staple by 11%.

A $5 bill and a couple of quarters used to be enough to walk into a Little Caesars, plop it on the counter and immediately walk out with a Hot-N-Ready pizza. I have many fond memories of doing just that, but now my children will need an additional dollar bill to know that same joy. Thanks to economic turmoil maybe or maybe not directly attributable to one person in this country, one of the best and most unique culinary experiences in America has now been tarnished forever.

A fresh Hot-N-Ready is a quality pizza, I don't care what anybody says. But it's supposed to be $5. That's a critical part of the whole brand. Little Caesars is trying to save face by saying it's adding more pepperoni, but this is out of their control. I respect them for trying to spin this despite the fact it is not their fault.

I'm sad for the death of an unparalleled American dining bargain. I hope about 81 million of you are really proud of yourselves.