May 5, 2015 – Los Angeles, CA – U.S. build-your-own pizza chain Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza has signed a franchise agreement with Five Star Blaze Holdings to develop Blaze Pizza restaurants in Canada.
The deal includes plans to open a minimum of 60 franchise units in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The fast-casual pizza chain, known for its chef-driven recipes and casually hip restaurants, is targeting Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary for the first restaurants, the company said in a news release.
Five Star Blaze Holdings, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cypress Five Star and is led by Robert Baxter, Blair Walker and Darven Erickson. Cypress Five Star, LLC is the largest franchisee in the Five Guys Burgers & Fries chain with 41 franchise restaurants in Canada and, through an affiliate, two additional franchise restaurants in Wyoming.
“The global trends behind the booming fast-casual restaurant segment – better quality, customization and premium environment – are also driving Blaze Pizza’s popularity and rapid expansion,” said Baxter in a news release. “We’ve already introduced fast-casual burgers to Canada and are excited to do the same with fast-casual pizza.”
“Pizza is a huge category but, if you think about it, there really isn’t an option for a good fast pizza,” Walker said. “We think that Blaze Pizza’s assembly-line format will translate successfully into Canada as well as around the globe.”
With the planned opening of its 70th U.S. location this quarter, Blaze Pizza will be operating in 17 states, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington, D.C. The brand is opening on average one new restaurant every five days – with its milestone 100th location projected to open later this year.
“We’re very pleased to be entering Canada with the experienced leaders at Cypress Five Star,” said Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. “This is our first international deal, so we were very careful to select the right franchise partner. We feel that Cypress Five Star has the proven track record, financial capital and local Canadian market knowledge necessary to execute the Blaze Pizza brand to our high standards.”
Blaze Pizza is looking to partner with other qualified, multi-unit franchise candidates to develop the brand in additional international markets. Ideal candidates will have proven multi-unit restaurant experience, strong financial capacity, and a deep knowledge of their local market, the company said.
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