LeBron James’ pizza restaurant is fastest growing restaurant chain ever
If you’re a fan of small, start-up restaurants that make it big, or simply a fan of pizza, this article is for you.
Five years ago in sunny Southern California, Blaze Pizza opened their first two pizzerias — one in Irvine, the other in Pasadena. Their mission was to efficiently serve high-quality pies to a lunch crowd that was drowning in burgers and fries. Blaze introduced a new, consumer-oriented concept to their store experience. At Blaze, patrons are given the opportunity to “build their own pizza.” And in just three minutes, pizza is served.
Since then, Blaze Pizza has done nothing but grow. In fact, they just opened their 200th restaurant today — this one at Creekside Commons Shopping Center in in Mentor, Ohio. According to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes.com, that rate of growth ($6 million in 2013 to $185 million last year) makes Blaze the fastest growing concept in the history of food service.
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has been a Blaze Pizza investor since the early days of their existence. As of today, James is not only an investor with the company, he’s also a franchisee and paid endorser. The King is known to be fairly active on social media, so he often elects to promote Blaze on that platform. Basketball fans may have seen James posing as “Ron James,” a Blaze employee, during one of their recent promotions.
Jim Mizes, CEO of Blaze Pizza, had high praise for James’ promotional efforts in his interview with Forbes.
“LeBron helps us punch in terms of our brand awareness well above our weight,” Mizes said of James.
Having one of the world’s most famous athletes on your side certainly helps in terms of publicity, but James is sincere in his support. The three-time champion actually walked away from a $15 million deal with McDonald’s to instead double-down with Blaze Pizza. With their sales projected to grow even more next season, it seems the sky is the limit.