Blaze Pizza just recently announced their goal to sell a minority stake to a private equity firm. This is exciting news because it shows how the pizza giant is rapidly stepping over every other restaurant chain and disrupting how franchises have typically grown their brand. As furniture wholesalers, why do we care about a delicious Chipotle styled pizza franchise, you ask? As the sole supplier of nearly every piece of furniture in each Blaze Pizza restaurant, we were amped to read that within another three years, the sights of the franchise are set on being publicly traded, according to the Chicago Tribune. And as of July 11th, Blaze Pizza opens its doors to its 200th store in North America. In nearly each of which, our line of chairs, tabletops, table bases, umbrellas and umbrella bases warmly greet you. Blaze takes a bold approach with the bright orange powder coat on many of its products, which stands apart from any other franchise of its kind.
A cautionary tale when buying discount furniture
It was a warm summer day when Rick and Elise Wetzel opened their first location just a few miles from our headquarters in Irvine. A few days following, when their only worries should have been ironing out the new-business kinks, founder, Rick Wetzel sees the patio furniture he had purchased—from an inferior company—was falling apart. With the contacts Rick had, he was referred to our company and called saying he needed our help. He spoke to Burke, our CEO, and told him the pickle he found himself in. To keep true to their color scheme, he explained the restaurant needed something suitable for the outdoors and in their signature orange. We had just the ticket: sitting in our warehouse, in a bold orange powder coat, were our Stella Side Chairs, which we could rush to them the next morning ahead of opening for the day. On top of that, Burke told Rick our team would haul away the wretched, old chairs and set up their brightly powder coated orange saviors. Little did we know the relationship that was forming from us going above and beyond. Since then, we’ve replaced the rest of that restaurant’s furniture and equipped their Pasadena location with products, which would open shortly thereafter.
Helping write history
We’ve done their complete furniture package ever since—including tabletops, table bases, umbrellas, umbrella bases and chairs from the Lancaster Side Chair to other stackable chairs including the Schoolhouse Chair. Whether it’s solid wood seating they’re after or an aluminum slat tabletop, we’ve hooked them up! We can take credit for furnishing virtually all of their locations and kept up with demand as they’ve rapidly grown…from the Mid West…East Coast…and trickling into Canada.
By the numbers
In 2013, it was noted by Forbes that sales were at $6 million and up an astounding 2900% to $185m in 2016. This infographic exemplifies Blaze torching the competition with the fastest year-over-year sales. In addition to this, by the year 2022, sales are projected to hit an eye-opening $1.1 billion according to the company’s CEO, Jim Mizes. That’s a lot of cheddar for potential new ventures. See our full catalog here where the possibilities are boundless for the next Blaze-esque franchise start-up.
Enter King James
Around since just 2011, the growth that Blaze has accomplished is otherworldly. So impressive in fact, LeBron James wanted to get in on the action and bought a 10% stake in the company in 2012. It’s proven to be a wise financial move for The Chosen One; his shares would be worth a whopping $110m if Mizes projections hold true. Not to mention the revenue from the 17 franchises James owns or the cash he receives as a paid endorser. As the commercial furniture suppliers for the heavy-hitting chain of restaurants, all franchisees are welcome for a visit when in Irvine and James is no exception. We’d be all too ecstatic to walk him around, show him our vast selection of lounges, sofas…you know, something for him to loaf on after a long day manning the line at Blaze himself.
When a partner like Blaze continues to make strides as they have, we get that warm and tingly feeling inside. It’s very exciting to watch that infantile 2011 Blaze Pizza start-up, flourish into the industry tycoon it is today. If you’ve never tried a Blaze, they’re not hard to find and once you do, you’ll quickly understand why the king of the court joined the king of the build-your-own pizza.