Chef-Driven Brand Accelerates Growth With Expansion Into 16 New Markets
Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the largest and fastest growing build-your-own artisanal pizza chain, today announced that its 25th restaurant is set to open next month in Mission Viejo, CA, and its 60th restaurant is scheduled to open in New Orleans, LA in December. The fast-casual pizza chain, known for its chef-driven recipes and casually hip restaurants, is on track to open one new restaurant every six days for the remainder of the year.
Blaze Pizza currently operates restaurants throughout California and the Midwest — including Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Louisville. In the back-half of this year, Blaze Pizza will open 35 new locations while expanding into the metropolitan areas of New York, Miami, Washington DC, New Orleans, Knoxville, Raleigh-Durham, Boise, Rapid City and Columbus. In early 2015, as the brand moves closer to a national footprint, Blaze Pizza will open restaurants in Boston, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, Albany, Richmond and Phoenix.
“We lead the category in both number of locations and rate of growth,” said Jim Mizes, President and COO of Blaze Pizza. “But, more importantly, we lead the category in defining the best overall guest experience — which includes high food quality, lightning fast speed of service and appealing store designs. We believe our focused execution in these three key areas will help Blaze Pizza to not only differentiate itself, but to also deliver the highest average unit sales volume in the category.”
The FTC’s Franchise Rule permits a franchisor to provide information about the actual or potential financial performance of its franchised and/or franchisor-owned outlets, if there is a reasonable basis for the information, and if the information is included in their disclosure document (FDD). Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, in its FDD that was effective April 11, 2014 with the California Department of Business Oversight, published average weekly net sales of $35,308 for its two restaurants which were open for 52 weeks in 2013.
Blaze Pizza uses an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize one of the menu’s signature pizzas or create one of their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal ingredients — all for under $8. 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” in about 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. 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. The prototypical restaurant is 2,400 square feet with seating for about 60 guests.
Founded in 2011 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, and includes the talents of highly acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Blaze Pizza’s executive team, along with its franchise partners and investors, bring extensive brand management and restaurant experience from Nestle, Buffalo Wild Wings, YUM! Brands, CKE Restaurants, Freebirds, Jamba Juice, Dine Equity, Panda Express, Panera Bread and Five Guys. The company, which has been featured by Zagat, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Good Morning America, has a pipeline of over 280 restaurants being developed both corporately and by 28 seasoned multi-unit franchisees. For more information, please visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza.