How Blaze Ignited a Pizza Revolution | QSR magazine

A bona fide trade name Blaze ’ mho achiever has so far been unprecedented. Its 200 locations in its first five years earned it the appellation from Technomic as the “ fastest-growing restaurant chain ever. ” Its three-hundredth storehouse opened in Miami in November, and the company says it will open a new restaurant every five or six days this year, with the five-hundredth placement probably arriving by 2021. Wetzel says Blaze ’ second average unit volume today is about $ 1.4 million, which is more than all of the six biggest national pizza chains. And the sword is intelligibly resonating with customers ; a 2018 Harris EquiTrend sketch of more than 77,000 U.S. consumers found that Blaze was America ’ s front-runner pizza chain. indeed, Blaze Pizza is no startup. It ’ s a bona fide brand that has to evolve to act like the national chain that it is.

“ The earth changed while we ’ ve grow from zero to 300, and the global changes a distribute more as we go from 300 to 600, ” Mizes says. “ How do you continue to address the waves of engineering ? The demographic of the work force ? The importance of convenience and value that is clearly impacting everyone in the foodservice industry ? ” The cardinal, he says, is to ensure that Blaze is effective at the store level but effective nationally, peculiarly for the sake of the franchisees. At the close of 2018, Blaze was in 42 states with 55 franchise groups, and Mizes says this forces the company to think much more about efficiency with its provision chain. He besides points to media as being an crucial contribution of this national scheme. To date, Blaze has been focused on effective local-store market and PR, but nowadays has to behave as a national post through media purchasing and a broader social media inaugural. As for the engineering part of it, Blaze is leaning into fresh innovations. The company is exploring how it can use technology to speed up the ordering serve, particularly during the lunch daypart. It barely released a new app that will help track guest usage and enhance the rate experience—especially for younger consumers. “ [ It ’ s about ] being out in front of leveraging technology to enhance the guest have, specially for millennials and Gen Z, where it ’ second all about convenience, ” Mizes says. “ We ’ re going to make it more convenient for them, and more convenient for our teams within the restaurants to serve them. ”

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font in point : pitch. Because Blaze was intended to be more of a dine-in concept—not off-premises-driven like its competitors in the quick-serve space, Domino ’ s, Pizza Hut, and Papa John ’ s—the company did not include delivery as part of the original business design. But in the awaken of the third-party delivery boom, Blaze partnered with the major services and integrated its platform through Olo for easier app-based arrange. That moment make line the company installed while mirroring Chipotle can ultimately pay its dues ; Wetzel says delivery could help bump AUV up to around $ 2 million. There are more irons in Blaze ’ sulfur fire that could open even more doors for the sword down the road ; for example, the Wetzels and Mizes tease that the party is exploring drive-thru models. For nowadays, though, Elise Wetzel says Blaze ’ s most utilitarian cock in conquering the pizza class is filling in its markets with more stores. “ Frankly, most people in this country have not so far walked through a door of a Blaze Pizza, ” she says. “ We are however identical a lot a young, emerging brand. While awareness is growing, the opportunity to open more restaurants helps us build awareness to get our brand out there. ” Riding the wave

In a vacuum, Blaze Pizza ’ sulfur achiever would be among the most startle developments in chain restaurant history. The speed with which it developed restaurants, the talent it brought onboard, and the volume with which it entrenched itself into customers ’ lives are alone. But this is the restaurant industry, and in a post-Chipotle, post-foodie universe, hardly any concept stumbles into success. Fast-casual pizza followed a template designed by early categories before it, notably better burgers and freeze yogurt, wherein a democratic food vogue leads to a gold bang among companies looking to stake a claim in the following big thing. That is to say : Blaze rode a wave to the top, and it shares that wave with dozens of other fast-casual pizza brands. In Southern California alone, there are headquarters for Pieology, PizzaRev, MidiCi, Pizza Studio, 800 Degrees, and The Pizza Press. Look promote and you ’ ll see Your Pie, Rapid Fired Pizza, Firenza Pizza, & pizza, Uncle Maddio ’ randomness, and Pie Five—along with countless others—all giving their own spin to a alike model as Blaze, with vary success .