Blaze Pizza announced the signing of a new franchise development agreement that will significantly expand the brand’s South Florida footprint, bringing nine new units to the greater Miami market. Spearheading this development are seasoned multi-unit operators Asif Ghaffar and Tahir Mahmood of BLD Restaurant Group, who are expanding their existing portfolio with the rapidly-growing pizza franchise. Blaze Pizza currently has 25 locations throughout the Sunshine State and a strong development pipeline that will further propel its expansion statewide over the next several years.
Local franchisees Ghaffar and Mahmood are slated to open their first new Blaze Pizza in the Miami market in Spring 2022, with a second location already under development and on track to open shortly after. In addition to their new partnership with Blaze Pizza, Ghaffar and Mahmood have more than 15 years of experience in franchising and food service, currently operating 12 Denny’s restaurants throughout Miami.
“After navigating the significant disruptions COVID-19 caused to full-service dine-in restaurants, Tahir and I wanted to diversify with a fast-casual concept that offered strong infrastructure and proven processes,” says Asif Ghaffar. “With the entire restaurant industry reeling in the early days of the pandemic, Blaze Pizza pivoted operations quickly and showcased its resilience, and this ability to adapt in the face of a crisis made the brand stand out. After seeing how Blaze has continued this success into 2021, we knew we wanted to be a part of expanding its presence in the thriving South Florida community.
The new Miami deal signing is fueled by Blaze Pizza’s ongoing success and nationwide growth, which have sparked a surge in franchise development particularly amongst experienced franchisees looking to diversify their portfolios. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Blaze Pizza’s investments in technology and operational support coupled with consumer demand for its innovative products have fueled its expansion. The brand’s pipeline of agreements consists of prototypes with flexible dining experiences that meet consumers' demand for convenience, including curbside pick-up, third-party delivery, and drive-thru lanes. These models have allowed Blaze Pizza to tap into the wealth of potential in highly populated markets such as South Florida, as well as major cities throughout Texas and California, among others.
“Coupled with the ongoing development success we’ve experienced throughout 2021, our latest franchise agreement is a direct reflection of Blaze Pizza’s position as an industry leader and the operational excellence that has continued to fuel our growth. As pioneers of the DIY model in the pizza segment, our understanding of consumer preferences and commitment to innovation are second-to-none, making us an ideal diversification option for multi-unit portfolios,” says Ed Yancey, vice president of franchise development for Blaze Pizza. “We’re thrilled our newest franchisees Asif and Tahir identified Blaze as the ideal fast casual concept to diversify their full-service portfolio, and look forward to supporting their growth in South Florida.”
Blaze Pizza is in the midst of aggressive expansion and is looking to add qualified franchisees to its growing brand. Franchise opportunities remain in markets across the U.S. including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, Virginia, and key regions throughout the Northeast.