Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza captured the top spot among build-your-own pizza joints by offering a winning mix of creative, gourmet topping options and a 180-second cook time. Pizza lovers across the country are getting their fix with Blaze's 11-inch pies, tossed salads and signature blood orange lemonade. The store even has options for vegan and gluten-free customers. The franchise has capitalized on its success by continuing its expansion push, and the stores are rapidly popping up in cities all over the United States.
Blaze hits the Bayou
Blaze recently announced its first store in New Orleans, according to CBS KNOE. The new pizza joint will in open in early 2015 in The Paramount at South Market District. The chain's latest franchise agreement received praise from "Pizza Whisperer" and creator of Blaze's signature pizza dough, Executive Chef Bradford Kent. The pizza maestro expressed excitement to introduce his pizza dough to a new market, and particularly is "looking forward to introducing the Blaze Fast-Fire'd concept to New Orleans."
The Triangle Business Journal reports that the franchise will soon be opening its first location in another Southern state, this time North Carolina. Company president Jim Mizes noted that Blaze specifically targeted the Tar Heel State for its gourmet-savvy consumers and a promising population of potential franchisees. Russ Hansen, the Morrisville franchisee, actually moved his family to North Carolina with the sole purpose of introducing the area to Blaze's speedy, gourmet pizzas. Hansen recognized the opportunities for growth in the state and envisioned a market hungry for Blaze's tasty, affordable pies.
The Midwest and beyond
A second Blaze Fast-Fire'd pizza opened in Milwaukee during the first week of October, following the opening of the franchise's first store in Brookfield, according to the Milwaukee Business Journal. The new pizza joint will celebrate its opening and attract new customers by advertising a free food giveaway through social media. The Blaze website suggests that Wisconsin is not the franchise's only target in the Midwest region – the company is currently seeking out franchisees with extensive multi-unit experience to discuss opportunities in St. Louis and Kansas City, while another unit is scheduled to open in Idaho by November.
FastCasual.com notes that Blaze is even continuing expansion in its home state of California. The company recently announced four new locations in Orange County alone, and the chain expects three additional California franchises to start operating by the end of 2014. This rapid, continued growth across a wide spectrum of markets reflects the strength of Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza's business model. The franchise's artisanal, customizable pizzas are hit with customers, as is the restaurant's average price point. Customers typically spend within the range of $8 to $10, allowing Blaze to compete equally with fast casual and quick service restaurants for a piece of the pie. The franchise also has plenty of appeal among millennials, and the generation's growing buying power is sure to keep Blaze in business.