Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the fast-casual artisanal pizza concept known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants, announced a partnership with Sodexo, a world leader in Quality of Life services. Through the partnership, Blaze Pizza will offer its custom pizzas, salads, signature beverages and desserts at select Sodexo facilities across the country, including on college campuses.
Since its first restaurant debuted in 2012, Blaze has quickly become one of the nation’s hottest restaurant concepts, cultivating fanatics by offering artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. Each location makes its dough from scratch, using a recipe developed by critically acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (the “Pizza Whisperer”) to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. The generously sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven—the centerpiece of the restaurant—where dedicated chefs ensure that the thin-crust pies are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just 180 seconds.
“Blaze has been cultivating fanatics among college students since our first restaurant opened at UCI in 2012,” says Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. “We’re thrilled to be able to reach even more college students through our new partnership with Sodexo.”
Driven by its commitment to “Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet,” ingredients in Blaze’s pizzas and salads are free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Additionally, the restaurant uses eco-friendly packaging, with pizza boxes certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, salad containers produced from recycled plastic, and numerous compostable materials.
“Research and consumer insights drive our business decisions from menu offerings to supplier partnerships,” says Bill Lacey, senior vice president, marketing, Sodexo. “Fast casual remains the industry’s hot spot, increasing its year-over-year sales in 2015 by 11.5 percent and custom-built pizza is the breakout category in that space. Blaze Pizza is the segment leader where fast casual pizza is concerned, with sales that grew 205 percent in 2015, making a partnership with them a great fit for the nearly 500 colleges and universities served by Sodexo.”