Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza today announced that it is testing large 14-inch pizzas as part of a campaign to grow its digital delivery and carryout business. “Most delivery pizza is consumed at home with family and friends,” says Jim Mizes, CEO and president. “Since 2012, Blaze Pizza has focused on the dine-in experience—serving personal size pizzas at lunch speed and lunch price point. Adding large pizzas will allow us to serve the at-home market, too.”
Large pizzas are similar to the chain’s original 11-inch personal pizzas—made with fresh dough and real ingredients—but their 14-inch size, cut into 8-slices, make them perfect for sharing. Pizza varieties include Build-Your-Own, Meat Eater, Green Stripe, Veg Out, BBQ CHKN, and Red Vine.
“Now you can get real artisanal pizza in a more sharable size delivered to your house,” says Brad Kent, Executive Chef. “When compared to processed pizza made with frozen dough and cooked in a conveyor-belt oven, our large pizzas are a real game changer.”
Nine restaurants in California and Nevada are currently testing the new large pizzas. Pricing is competitive with the legacy pizza players, and online deals include large pepperoni pizzas for $8.95 and two large 1-top pizzas for $20. Online orders placed through the Blaze website or Blaze app can be delivered for a $4.99 fee. Delivery is also available through Postmates. National rollout timing will be announced soon.
With systemwide sales expected to exceed $400 million in 2019, the move to expand beyond dine-in will allow the company to compete in all three segments of the $40 billion pizza category: dine-in, delivery and carryout. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Blaze’s off-premise digital sales grew 121 percent, and now account for 10 percent of sales. The goal for this year is to exceed 20 percent of sales through digital orders.
“Since the beginning, we’ve planned to build this second leg to our business and now the day has come,” says Elise Wetzel, co-founder and chief marketing officer. “It’s why we’ve built a second make-line and an oversized oven into every restaurant since the beginning. This untapped capacity is a huge competitive advantage and allows us to grow our off-premise business without sacrificing our dine-in guest experience.”
Daniela Simpson Announcement
As part of the digital effort, the company has created a new internal division focused solely on growing its off-premise business and has tapped former Nestle executive Daniela Simpson to be General Manager. In her role, Daniela will be responsible for developing strategies and leading growth initiatives to build Blaze into a significant player in the pizza delivery and carryout segments. Previously Daniela was General Manager of the $1.1 billion sweets and snack division at Ferrara. Prior to Ferrara, Daniela spent 12 years in consumer packaged goods marketing at Nestle. Daniela holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
In addition to offering delivery and carryout orders through the Blaze website and Blaze app, the company also relies on third party delivery companies to help drive online business. Today, Blaze Pizza announced that it has inked a new agreement with Postmates that includes exclusivity for third-party delivery in certain key markets. Soon, many of the company’s restaurants in Southern California and Arizona will be served exclusively by Postmates for third-party delivery.