Industry News | July 10, 2013

Fast-Casual Veteran to be Blaze’s New President, COO

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Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza announced the appointment of Jim Mizes as president and chief operating officer. In this role, Mizes will be responsible for leading the ongoing national expansion of Blaze Pizza.

 

Mizes brings decades of senior-level insight and experience with top fast-casual concepts to his role as President/COO of Blaze Pizza. Previously, he served as president of Freebirds World Burrito, overseeing the growth of the rapidly expanding burrito chain. Under his leadership, Freebirds grew from 50 restaurants to nearly 100 in six states. Prior to Freebirds, Mizes served as VP of brand development and VP of store operations for Jamba Juice, overseeing its growth from 50 to 350 stores over five years. Prior to Jamba Juice, Mizes served as CEO of Noah’s New York Bagels.

 

The addition of Jim to our team highlights our commitment to assembling a best-in-class headquarter staff,” says Elise Wetzel, co-founder of Blaze Pizza. “Jim has overseen the development of over 500 restaurants in his career and is well suited to lead our franchise expansion across the country.”

 

Blaze Pizza currently has more than 150 franchise stores in its development pipeline, including multi-unit agreements across the West Coast (California), Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Washington D.C.), Midwest (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio), and the Southeast (Florida). Blaze Pizza is registered to franchise in all 50 states and is partnering with veteran restaurant operators to support the company’s expansion.

 

Blaze Pizza is the leader in the exploding fast-casual pizza sector,” Mizes says. “I joined this team because I wanted to be part of a brand that is going to change the way this country enjoys pizza. Blaze offers the best of the best including its focus on quality pizza, top notch and experienced franchisees supported by a seasoned executive leadership team, and a service experience that is fast and fun for our guests and restaurant staff. I’m looking forward to building Blaze Pizza into a nationally recognized and enduring brand that redefines the pizza experience.”