Fast Casual Concept Positioned To Exceed $1B in Systemwide Sales Worldwide by 2022
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza today announced the addition of four key members to its leadership team in support of the company’s goal to exceed $1B in systemwide sales worldwide by its 10th birthday, in 2022. The company also announced new resources focused against international development to support a growing list of openings outside of the U.S. The expansion of Blaze’s management team further positions the company to accelerate restaurant openings as it continues to expand aggressively both domestically and in new international markets.
Global finance executive Mandy Shaw has joined Blaze Pizza as its Chief Financial Officer, and is tasked with guiding the company’s domestic and international teams to continue delivering long-term profitability and growth. Shaw previously served as Chief Financial Officer for the international division of Bloomin’ Brands (the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s, Carrabba’s Italian Grill) and as Chief Accounting Officer during Bloomin’s transition to a private company and through its subsequent IPO. Shaw’s international experience will be invaluable as Blaze Pizza opens its first Middle East location next month, just six months after signing a development agreement with M.H. Alshaya Co.
To assist with Blaze’s overseas expansion, the company has promoted Carolyne Canady to the role of President, International. In her previous role as the company’s Chief Development Officer, Canady played a significant role in Blaze Pizza’s expansion as the fastest growing restaurant concept in history – helping to build the concept from two restaurants in 2013 to 240 today.
Further bolstering the brand’s aggressive domestic and international franchise plans, Blaze Pizza has hired Julie Price as Vice President of Franchise Sales. Price brings a decade of experience working with Dunkin’ Brands, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, and leading business development at Pinkberry.
Blaze Pizza’s culinary team has also added industry veteran Vafa Mansouri as the company’s new Director of Food Safety and QA. Mansouri brings more than 20 years of technical expertise in food safety with brands such as Shake Shack and Yum! Brands international division, and will be working closely with Blaze Pizza’s Executive Chef Brad Kent to further elevate the brand’s high food standards.
In support of its accelerated domestic restaurant growth, Blaze Pizza has also hired Garrett Snyder as a Director of Real Estate to support franchisees in their site selection efforts. Snyder joins Blaze after serving as Director of Real Estate for Néktar Juice. Prior to Néktar, Snyder spent 4 years as a commercial real estate broker for Lincoln Property Company.
“From day one, our focus has been on cultivating a brand that is culturally impactful on a global scale,” said Jim Mizes, Blaze Pizza’s CEO and President. “With the expansion of our leadership team Blaze Pizza is even further primed to achieve that goal, and to do it in record time. In 2017 we added a strategic growth partner in Brentwood Associates, and an international franchise powerhouse in M.H. Alshaya Co.
As we look to 2018 and beyond, I know that this leadership team has the experience and drive to bring our ambitious vision to life.”
About Blaze Pizza
The first Blaze Pizza® restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design, and a service culture that celebrates individuality. Recently named ‘#1 Brand of the Year’ in the 2017 Fast Casual Top 100, the fast-growing chain currently operates 240 restaurants in 35 states and Canada, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Las Vegas, Boston, and Toronto. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel’s Pretzels), the concept is backed by private equity firm Brentwood Associates and founding investors that include LeBron James, Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner. For more information, visit www.blazepizza.com or www.facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video.
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