Company the Highest-Ranked Fast Casual Artisanal Pizza Chain
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the nation’s largest and fastest growing fast casual artisanal pizza chain, today announced that it was awarded the number two spot on the annual Top 100 Movers & Shakers list published by FastCasual.com, ranking only behind Panera Bread. Company growth, innovation and social responsibility were among the criteria considered to determine rankings.
“By providing a guest experience that is fundamentally better than traditional fast food options, Blaze is reinventing the way Americans think about and enjoy pizza,” said Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. “We look forward to continuing to cultivate fanatics as Blaze expands across the country.”
Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for its artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. Each restaurant features an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients – all for one low price. The generously-sized 11-inch pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven – the centerpiece of the restaurant – where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch using a recipe developed by critically-acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (“The Pizza Whisperer”), which requires a 24-hour fermentation period to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. For pizza fans with specific dietary needs, Blaze Pizza offers gluten-free dough and vegan cheese.
The first Blaze Pizza restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes and “build-your-own pizza” assembly-line format. Described by Zagat as “One of 10 Innovative Restaurants in Los Angeles,” Blaze Pizza is developing a cult following as it expands across the country. The company currently operates 65 restaurants in 16 states and the District of Columbia, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza.