LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 8, 2017) - Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, the nation's leading fast casual artisanal pizza chain, today announced highlights and financial results for its first five years in business along with a forward outlook for the next five years. The build-your-own pizza chain, known for its chef-driven recipes and casually hip restaurants, projects system-wide sales this year -- its fifth full year in business -- to exceed $292 million. In five years, the company expects system-wide sales to exceed $1 billion.
Results & Highlights (2013-2017):
- Grew system-wide sales to $185 million in 2016, an increase of 83% over the prior year. Tracking to $292 million system-wide sales in 2017, its fifth full year in business. (1)
- Achieved average unit volumes (AUVs) of $1.45 million in 2016. (2)
- Achieved year-to-date same store sales growth of 5.0% through February 2017. (3)
- Accelerated its restaurant openings with 250 locations planned by year-end. Major metropolitan areas now being developed include New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Atlanta, and Toronto.
- Signed a multi-year endorsement deal with global icon and NBA All-Star LeBron James.
- Added 'brand-building' locations at Walt Disney World in Florida, Universal Studios in Hollywood, and Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the NBA's Lakers and Clippers and NHL's Kings.
- Launched a new smart phone app featuring online ordering, mobile pay and loyalty/rewards.
- Became the first national pizza chain to remove artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and high fructose corn syrup from all of its ingredients for pizzas and salads. The company also offers cane sugar sodas from its fountain dispensers.
- Changed to a plant-based straw so that all packaging is now 100% eco-friendly (recyclable, compostable or made from post-consumer content).
- Grew overall guest satisfaction, including a system-wide average 4.3 rating across online consumer review sites.
Five Year Outlook (2018-2022):
- Projecting system-wide sales of $417 million in 2018 and $1.1 billion in 2022 -- its tenth full year in business.
- Projecting 375 restaurants open at the end of 2018 and 855 restaurants open at the end of 2022 -- all supported by a current franchise commitment pipeline of 324 units.
"We spent our first five years in business refining our restaurant model and building out the infrastructure and franchise network to support our rapid growth," said Jim Mizes, COO and president of Blaze Pizza. "We now have the people, processes and systems in place to achieve our goal of becoming a billion-dollar brand by our tenth birthday."
About Blaze Pizza
Blaze Pizza is a modern day "pizza joint," serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. By taking pizza back to its roots -- making dough in-house, carefully sourcing ingredients, and cooking by fire -- the innovative fast casual chain has quickly become one of the hottest restaurant concepts in the country, with fans lining up each day for their custom-built pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s'more pies. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu's signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, high-quality ingredients -- all for about $8. The generously-sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven -- the centerpiece of the restaurant -- where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure the thin-crust pies are fast-fire'd and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. Restaurants make fresh dough from scratch using a proprietary recipe developed by 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.
Now ranked as the largest fast casual pizza chain in the 2016 Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, Blaze Pizza is building momentum and developing a cult-like following as it expands across the country. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel's Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video.
(1) Includes sales from restaurants operated by franchisees and as reported to the company.
(2) Average unit volume (AUV) is based on trailing 12-month sales as of 12/26/2016. A restaurant enters our reporting group following its 18th month of operations. Five company restaurants and 65 franchise restaurants are in the reporting group. Forty-Four (44%) of our restaurants in the reporting group met or exceeded this average. A new franchisee's results may differ from the represented performance.
(3) Comparable same store sales is based on the operations of 70 restaurants and reflects the change in year-over-year sales in our comparable restaurant base. A restaurant enters our comparable restaurant base following its 18th month of operations.