LOS ANGELES, Calif. (January 4, 2023) — Blaze Pizza, the nation’s leading fast-casual franchise pizza brand, announced today the appointment of Beto Guajardo as its new president and chief executive officer. Guajardo formerly served as president of Focus Brands International.
Guajardo joins Blaze Pizza after overseeing the international business at Focus Brands, which included more than $400 million of chain sales in over 50 markets with 1,900 restaurants, 100 franchisees and eight brands (Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, Jamba, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, and Schlotzsky’s). Before being promoted to this role, Guajardo was responsible for the turnaround of the 370-unit Schlotzsky’s brand, which resulted in 30 weeks of consecutive same-store sales growth under his leadership.
“I am incredibly energized and honored to be joining the Blaze Pizza team,” said Guajardo. “This is an exciting time for the brand, and I’m eager to continue the initiatives underway to enhance restaurant excellence and provide value for our franchisees and customers. We have significant opportunities ahead, and I look forward to working with the team to accelerate our next phase of growth.”
Prior to joining Focus Brands, Guajardo served as senior vice president of global strategy at Starbucks, leading several initiatives including Starbucks Delivery, CRM technology, its go-to-market strategy, new store development, and innovation. He was also instrumental in restructuring the coffee company to focus on investments for long-term growth. Previously, Guajardo held senior leadership positions at Levi’s Strauss & Co, Avon Cosmetics and McKinsey & Company.
“On behalf of the Brentwood team, we are excited to start the new year with Beto at the helm,” said Rahul Aggarwal, partner at Brentwood Associates. “Blaze is an important brand in our portfolio, and Beto has extensive executive level experience leading global restaurant brands and building high performing teams. I am confident that he has the experience and strategic vision to lead Blaze, its franchisees and employees to achieve new levels of success in the future.”
About Blaze Pizza
Founded in 2011, Blaze Pizza is the nation’s leading fast-casual pizza franchise concept with more than 330 restaurants across 38 states and 6 countries. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Blaze Pizza is committed to delivering a one-of-a-kind customer experience and unparalleled high-quality products. Known for its savory artisanal pizzas and customizable made-to-order menu featuring fresh, natural ingredients free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, Blaze leads the industry in menu innovation and product excellence. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, as well as #1 spots on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers and Franchise Times’ Fast and Serious list. Visit blazepizza.com for additional information and stay connected @BlazePizza.
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