Blaze Pizza

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Blaze Pizza, LLC.
Blaze Pizza
IndustryFood and beverage
GenreFast-casual restaurant
Founded2011; 12 years ago (2011) in California
FoundersElise and Rick Wetzel
United States
Number of locations
Area served
United States, Canada, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
Key people
ProductsPizza, salad, cheesy bread, desserts, drinks

Blaze Pizza is a Pasadena, California–based fast-casual pizza restaurant chain. Founded in 2011 by Elise and Rick Wetzel of Wetzel's Pretzels, the chain is known for serving made-to-order pizzas.[2]


Blaze Pizza was founded in Pasadena, California, by Rick and Elise Wetzel in 2011. The chain's first location was opened in Irvine, California, in August 2012,[3] which was followed two months later by the opening of their second, and flagship, location in October 2012 in Pasadena.[4] The chain serves made-to-order pizzas, with a choice of various sauces and toppings. Its business model is similar to other chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Subway.[5][6][7] The pizzas are cooked in a high-temperature open-flame oven with an average cook time of three minutes.[8] The only piece of cooking equipment inside each of the restaurants is an oven.[9]

By the end of 2014, Blaze had become the first fast-casual pizza restaurant to achieve 50 opened units.[10] The company planned to have at least 500 locations by 2020.[11]

In 2015, the company began to expand into Canada.[12] In partnership with Alshaya, the company opened locations in the Middle East in 2018.[13][14]


  1. ^ Jennings, Lisa (4 January 2023). "Focus Brands President Beto Guajardo named CEO of Blaze Pizza". Restaurant Business. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  2. ^ Oches, Sam (September 2013). "Pizza's Arms Race". QSR Magazine. Journalistic Inc. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  3. ^ Lucero, Jaryd (April 17, 2012). "Subway-style pizza outlet to open near UC Irvine". Orange County Register.
  4. ^ O'Heron, Dan (November 15, 2012). "Pizza in a flash: Blaze Pizza is the latest hit in Pasadena's Playhouse District". Pasadena Weekly. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  5. ^ Lutz, Ashley (February 12, 2015). "A Chipotle-style pizza chain endorsed by LeBron James is taking over America". Business Insider. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  6. ^ Balla, Lesley (January 6, 2014). "10 Innovative Restaurants Around LA". Zagat. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  7. ^ Giammona, Craig (April 14, 2015). "lebron-backed Pizza Chain Aims to Top Chipotle". Bloomberg Business News. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  8. ^ Marchand, Lisa. "In a Blaze of Pizza Glory". Minnesota Monthly. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  9. ^ Tanyeri, Dana (January 31, 2013). "Blaze Pizza". Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine.
  10. ^ Jennings, Lisa (December 12, 2014). "Blaze Pizza to lead fast-casual pizza chains in units open". Nation's Restaurant News. Penton. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  11. ^ Chaplin, Cathy (January 29, 2015). "L.A.'s fast-casual pizza shops: A look at 7 margherita pizzas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  12. ^ Fitzpatrick, Hayley (August 3, 2015). "A pizza chain that emulates Chipotle and counts LeBron James as an investor is going international". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza hosts launch event in Bahrain". Biz Bahrain. September 16, 2018.
  14. ^ "Blaze Pizza opens its first branch in UAE". UAE News 24/7. September 4, 2019. Archived from the original on September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 28, 2019.

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