Established by Elise and Rick Wetzel in 2011, Blaze Pizza is a fairly new kid on the block compared to other fast-food franchises out there. The tag line Fast-Fire’d Custom Built Artisanal Pizzas, is what the fast-casual dining restaurant lives up to. With LeBron James as one of the original investors in the franchise, this is the face of the ‘better pizza movement.” Grab your slice as we take you through the top 10 untold truths of Blaze Pizza.
10. It’s All About The Dough
We always prefer fresh pizzas served piping hot out of the oven. But usually popular fast-food chains have their pizza dough frozen before they throw it in the oven. That is not the case with Blaze Pizza. Their dough is fresh and fermented for 24 hours before they are shaped into a crust. The result is that the pizzas end up having a lighter-than-air crispiness that gives them their unique texture. Ingredients like virgin olive oil, unbleached flour, water, salt and a pinch of sugar are added to the mix. All the pizza pies are cooked to perfection for an average of 3 minutes, in a fast fired stone hearth oven with open flames on all three sides. The pies sure must be “blazing” in there before they are ready to serve. Everything about how Blaze Pizza prepares and cares for their dough is great news for pizza lovers everywhere.
9. Freedom of choice at Blaze Pizza
It is a big thing nowadays to see your item being prepared while you watch it become edible worthy. Subway does it, Krispy Kreme does it, and Blaze Pizza is no different. The pies you order can be witnessed as they’re being assembled, while you wait to get your hands on it. The fact that Blaze Pizza is not afraid to show the public how the pizzas are made and prepared shows the confidence that they have in their product. People can choose from 17 vegetables, 10 sauces, 7 kinds of cheese and proteins to decorate their pizzas. You can also choose one of the nine signature pies as well. Whatever you end up getting, your wallet won’t bleed. If you are just not content with pizzas alone, Blaze Pizza has its own signature salads, desserts, and a collection of beverages, which also includes their house-made lemonade. The Beatles may have said, all you need is love, but a little dessert to accompany our pizza every now and then won’t hurt, and if it’s in the form of a brownie, cookie, or a S’mores pie, not digging in would be sacrilegious.
8. Traveling to new frontiers
The Chipotle of pizza has come a long way in a short span of time, especially when we look at other fast-food franchises who have established their roots since time immemorial. This Pasadena pizza chain has 252 locations spread across 39 states. But that’s not the end as the chain wants to develop more than 400 pizzerias across the country. Not content with conquering only the US market, Blaze Pizza is also set to go global with planned openings in Canada, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. In 2018 it had planned to open restaurants in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. In four to seven years, the company has mapped out plans to have 1,000 locations and $1 billion in annual sales. That’s a lot of money for sure. The track record of the company has been great so far and its ambitions come with that consistency. President and CEO Jim Mizes has chimed in by mentioning that the brand was able to tap into a popular trend. With three minutes of baking time and an outlook towards future-proofing its presence, Blaze Pizza is going from strength to strength and we couldn’t be happier.
7. Blaze Pizza has Celebrity backing
The “fast, affordable, high-quality” pizza has not stood alone in their endeavors of climbing the top of the ladder on the fast ‘food chain.’ Since day one, this pizzeria has had the support of one of the most marketable athletes: LeBron James. The guy is not just known for hanging out at one of the restaurants, but has also been an investor, franchisee and paid endorser for the brand. The CEO of the company has nothing but good things to say about the celebrity athlete. It is always a bonus to have the face of a star stamped on your business and in this case, it definitely works in Blaze Pizza’s favor. According to Harris Poll, the chain took the second spot in the best pizza chain brands category, just behind Papa John’s. LeBron James puts in extra effort to support his affiliation with Blaze Pizza by promoting them on his social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well. In 2016 as part of a promotional gig, a video floated on YouTube with the athlete pretending to be working the counter as ‘Ron.’ It went viral with a million views. With that much input being made by the athlete, it clearly shows his commitment to being involved in what he has been investing in since the chain’s launch. On our next order, let’s hope we get a glimpse of Ron and his recommendation for choosing the right sauce, and also maybe a selfie and an autograph so that we can tell the tale for years to come.
6. Got to make the millennials happy
With more and more people gravitating towards changing fast food preferences, restaurants are trying to catch up on the trend, especially the ones who have long been in the business. When it comes to the fast-casual pizza chains, the millennials are accepting the customizable pizzas, in under five minutes. Known for being health-conscious and eco-friendly, millenials are fans of the pies, which are prepared in front of customers and bathed in fresh ingredients. The crowd is opting for food focusing on healthier and fresher options and that’s what Blaze Pizza is aiming to do. Not just that, the chain is putting in extra effort to make sure the packaging is recyclable and eco-friendly. It’s boldly emblazoned on the company’s page that even their knives, cups, forks, and salad dressing containers leave a small footprint, and are favored as opposed to other materials. These tactics are being practiced to meet the demands of the millennials and remain updated at the same time in regard to customer preferences. Sound business strategy and not too shabby if we do say so ourselves.
5. Blaze Pizza likes to keep it clean
Speaking of healthier options, Blaze Pizza likes to endorse the fact that their food is clean in nature. Also, there are no added preservatives, colors or any kind of artificial flavors plaguing the ingredients so as to meet health approved standards. And remain deliciously exquisite at the same time. Now, this mantra is more important than ever, when we look at the crowd being pulled in by such franchises. In this digital age, nothing is hidden and transparency is the key to practice good business, especially in the food department. With more and more people becoming aware of what they consume, companies have worked hard to meet their new expectations. For all those who are of the non-vegetarian kind, the chain has also emphasized that their meat is nitrate-free. So that’s a win-win for everyone. It’s a perfect marriage between the fresh ingredients and the never frozen dough that keeps giving us a reason to visit next time, because once would not be enough.
4. Vegan? Blaze Pizza’s got you covered
As we are talking about menus becoming more health-friendly and diverse with changing times, Blaze Pizza’s vegan option is worthy of notice as much as Thor is worthy of the hammer Mjolnir. If you are particular about what kind of dough you eat and happen to prefer all things vegan, the fast-food chain has vegan, gluten free dough on offer. It can also come with a soy-free vegan cheese option, along with the vegetables of your preference. Their dough collection is great and you can get the red or spicy red sauce to go along with it. With the vegan cheese, or not, and all the veggie toppings you can think about, like banana peppers, basil, black olives, spinach, roasted garlic, and so on, you can go crazy and experiment with something unique for your order. Then it comes to the finishing touches: balsamic drizzle, buffalo sauce, oregano, olive oil drizzle, and arugula, to name a few can be the answer to your craving. If that’s a lot of food and you simply want to get some salad while on the move, cranberries, quinoa, and kale are some options to think about. Yes, the available desserts are not exactly vegan-friendly, but you can always get drinks, minus the dairy milk. It’s nice to see a popular pizza chain focused on providing tasty food for everyone.
3. Blaze Pizza has panache
It’s easy to forget what goes into making your order when all you can think of in that moment is how your stomach is churning and growling like an untamed beast. The employees doing their job as fast as possible can seem like slow motion in those moments when the sights and smells test our patience while we wait. But the food served is a work of art, and the skills required to achieve that feat demand the best of the best in the work environment. That’s what you get a sense of when the employees are handling the pies in the kitchen. The dome of a Blaze Pizza oven can have temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit while the floor temperatures float anywhere between 600 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The trained workers, or pizza-smiths to make things sound a bit more dramatic, have to rotate the pies during different heat zones so as to make sure that they don’t burn to a crisp. When you look at the process, sure it looks like something you can do yourself in the blink of an eye. But it does require serious skills, and when the three-minute timer looms over your head, you know your pizza-making abilities will be put to the test. After all, the sight of a charred pizza on your plate will make you lose your appetite and that’s something the employees know they have to avoid at all costs.
2. Blaze Pizza’s treatment of animals
Treatment of animals in context to fast food chains has always been a controversial topic. Franchises like KFC and McDonald’s have been accessories to abusive animal treatment, and so have other chains as well. But when it comes to Blaze Pizza, they boldly claim that they do treat animals humanely. The company follows the Five Freedoms Principle laid out by the Farm Animals Welfare Council (FAWC), which includes freedom from discomfort, freedom to express normal behaviors, freedom from hunger or thirst, freedom from pain, injury and disease and freedom from fear or distress. The pizza chain follows these principles religiously and has remained clear of any controversies. At least for now. It is not just restaurants that have to work in accordance with FAWC’s principles; veterinarians and other organizations to have to follow suit too. In order to maintain their goodwill, let us hope they continue to treat the animals well.
1. Blaze Pizza’s stats prove it all
As mentioned before, Blaze Pizza has come a long way in its ambition to be popular and establish roots in other countries. It has managed to succeed pretty quickly since its inception. It has further cemented the concept of the fast-casual dining experience and the customers who have been affiliated with the chain have nothing but good things to say about the place and the food. As of 2019, Blaze Pizza ranks #65 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list. That is quite the jump in recent years for the restaurant. That’s not the end when it comes to earning accolades for their accomplishment in the fast-food industry: Blaze Pizza earned the number one brand of the year in the 2017 Fast Casual Top 100, with Forbes stating it as the “fastest-growing restaurant chain ever.” According to Technomic the food chain has had the fastest start in the history of the US foodservice business. If all that has reinforced your motivation to acquire a franchise and start a business, once you get past the customary business intricacies of becoming a franchisee, the corporate support includes recipes and procedures, vendors, training at corporate headquarters, website and social media, usage of the brand, in-store training at the location where the franchisee is situated, gift card programs and so on. The fast-food casual dining scene is changing the face of the food culture across America and around the world and fast-food chains like Blaze Pizza have erupted in recent times to be the game-changer in the food industry. Managing to sell its idea of a made to order approach and pulling in the millennials, claiming to be the next big thing in the market, the franchise is not stopping in its tracks anytime soon. With expansion beyond US borders and exposing the international market to its presence, they are definitely not sticking in one place to grow and earn profits in that process. With more and more locations popping up in the far corners of the globe, Blaze Pizza is a name people are not going to forget in a hurry and if you get your orders in under 3 minutes, keep those pizza pies coming! As long as they are fresh and hot on the table we are rooting for the chain to grow further and let other people join the party and get the Blazin’ experience.