Blaze Pizza announced that Ed Yancey has been promoted to chief development officer. Previously serving as vice president of franchise development, Yancey joined the company in 2020 and has been highly instrumental in driving the brand’s ongoing development efforts throughout his tenure. In his new role, Yancey will be responsible for spearheading Blaze’s growth through franchising and real estate development in key target markets across the country, as well as fueling the company’s new franchisee recruitment efforts.
“Over the past two years, Blaze has experienced a surge in franchise development, and Ed has been a driving force behind the strategies that have boosted this ongoing success. We’re very pleased to announce this well-deserved promotion, and have no doubt that in his new role, Ed will continue leveraging his tremendous experience and industry knowledge to take Blaze to new heights,” says Mandy Shaw, chief executive officer and president of Blaze Pizza.
Yancey has been in the foodservice industry for more than 25 years, working in leadership roles at nationally-recognized food brands, including Jersey Mike’s, B. Good and Dunkin’ Brands. Since joining Blaze, he has led company growth endeavors through strategic mergers and acquisitions, franchise sales and licensing brand development. In 2021, Yancey helped Blaze achieve significant nationwide growth with the opening of 14 new restaurants in key target markets including Texas, Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia and California, which translated to an 18 percent increase in same-store sales by year-end. Blaze also added 34 new restaurants to its growth pipeline. Additionally, Yancey continues to support Blaze’s aggressive expansion as he and his team explore franchise opportunities in markets, including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, Virginia, and key regions throughout the Northeast.
“My time at Blaze has been nothing short of amazing. In just a couple of years, we have expanded the company’s footprint into new states and markets, including our first-ever Alaska locations,” says Yancey. “Blaze is a brand that easily appeals to the masses and continues to deliver on its promise of quality food and evolving innovation. With this promotion, I aspire to continue growing this trailblazing concept, while reinforcing good communication and supportive relationships with our franchise owners.”
Yancey’s promotion as chief development officer comes on the heels of Blaze’s ongoing efforts to propel development by investing in a strong leadership team. In 2022, the brand welcomed Andrew Nuñez as director of architecture, as well as promoted Andrew Verhagen to director of franchise development. With dozens of new locations under development, Blaze Pizza is in the midst of vigorous expansion.