Industry News | June 17, 2013

Blaze Inks Deal to Take Fast-Casual Pizza to Midwest

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Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a fast-casual, build-your-own pizza brand, announced that two elite-level multiunit franchise groups have signed agreements to develop eight stores in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan; seven stores in Columbus, Ohio; six stores in Indianapolis; and 10 stores in the East Bay and South Bay regions of Northern California. These most recent franchise agreements further expand Blaze Pizza’s growing national footprint, which includes the West Coast (California), the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut), the Midwest (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio) and the Southeast (Florida). Additional markets in these four key development areas are expected to be announced soon.

Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, and Columbus are being developed by Blaze Midwest Inc. Partners Randy Stuck, Rodney Walker, Steven Stuck, and James Sutika operate nine TGI Friday’s and 42 Taco Bell restaurants in the Michigan and Ohio markets.  

“We believe that fast-casual pizza is the next big category and we want to participate,” Randy Stuck says. “We’ve chosen to partner with Blaze Pizza because they’ve done a great job building a strong, scalable brand that is a perfect fit for experienced multiunit operators like us.” Blaze Midwest’s first Blaze Pizza restaurant is scheduled to open this fall in Royal Oak, Michigan.

The East Bay and South Bay regions of the Northern California Bay Area are being developed by Baker Boys Consulting Inc. The Bakers operate more than 30 nationally recognized quick-service restaurants throughout California. The Bakers also executed a second franchise development agreement to open five Blaze Pizzas in Northern San Diego. 

“Fast casual represents one of the fastest growing categories of the restaurant industry and we are excited to work with Blaze Pizza, who is the leader in fast casual pizza,” says Jason Baker, president of Baker Boys Consulting Inc. “After my first visit to Blaze Pizza, I immediately recognized that Executive Chef Brad Kent had developed the best dough, sourced top-quality ingredients, and created signature pizzas that set Blaze Pizza apart from other pizza concepts.”