Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the leading fast-casual built-to-order artisan pizza brand, today announced that it has signed agreements with four separate franchise groups to develop a total of 31 Blaze Pizza restaurants in Houston TX, Baltimore MD, Washington DC, Rapid City SD and Ontario/Riverside CA. With the addition of these four area development agreements, Blaze Pizza now has 20 franchise groups under contract to develop a total of 172 restaurants in 14 states and Washington DC. These most recent franchise agreements further expand Blaze Pizza’s growing national footprint, which now includes the West (California), the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland & Washington DC), the Midwest (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio & South Dakota) and the South (Texas, Florida & Virginia).
“Our long-term goal is to build a strong, enduring national brand,” said Jim Mizes, president & COO of Blaze Pizza. “To that end, besides building a strong scalable store model, we are partnering with a small group of elite-level multi-unit franchisees with plans to quickly build a concentration of Blaze Pizza restaurants in key markets across the country.” To date, the company has announced that development is underway to build Blaze Pizza restaurants in the greater metropolitan areas of New York City, Chicago, Miami, Detroit, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Washington DC, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. Additional markets and agreements are expected to be announced soon.
Blaze Pizza uses an interactive service format (similar to Chipotle Mexican Grill®) that allows guests to create custom artisan pizzas at lightning fast speed — for about $7.00 each. Each Blaze Pizza restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe that requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce its signature light-as-air, crisp crust. Guests watch as each perfectly proofed dough ball is pressed into a generous 12-inch crust. Next, they travel down the service line to “co-create” a signature pizza or design one of their own — with over 40 artisanal toppings to choose from. Pizzas are “fast-fire’d” in a blazing-hot oven and ready in a scant 120 seconds. Blaze Pizza’s menu also features signature salads, fresh lemonades, craft beer & wine and house-made S’more Pies. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese.
A creation of Elise and Rick Wetzel (founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner, and includes the talents of highly acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent. Blaze Pizza’s seasoned executive team brings fast-casual and quick-serve restaurant experience from numerous concepts including Buffalo Wild Wings, Freebirds World Burrito, California Pizza Kitchen, Panda Express, Jamba Juice and Carl’s Jr. The company, which Forbes.com named a “Hot New Restaurant Chain from an Established Brand,” is registered to sell franchises in all 50 states and is currently accepting applications to develop franchise stores across the country.