First area franchise to launch at developer Bob Martino’s East Ridge project with two more on horizon
Blaze Pizza, the nation’s leading fast-casual franchise pizza concept, has signed a franchise agreement with developer Bob Martino, who plans to build three new units in the Chattanooga area over the next several years. The first is slated to open this fall in East Ridge at The Gateway, and it will be led by general manager Tony Whaley. Blaze Pizza is known for its savory artisanal pizzas and customizable made-to-order menu featuring fresh natural ingredients free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners.
“Real estate development veterans like myself are able to easily pinpoint companies that are doing things right like Blaze Pizza,” said Bob Martino, the developer of The Gateway. “I was first introduced to the brand like most of us – as a customer and fan. The product Blaze offers is truly unmatched by anyone else in the business, and when I was presented with the idea of franchising with the brand, I didn’t think twice about it.
“I have a deep understanding of the Chattanooga market, and as a long-time fan of Blaze myself, I have no doubt that the community will fall in love with the brand’s premium fresh ingredients and signature customizable menu offerings.”
Martino’s upcoming Blaze restaurants join a slew of developments in his pipeline including The Gateway, anchored by CHI Memorial Stadium, which consists of over 110 acres in Chattanooga and East Ridge. The Gateway is one of the largest mixed-use developments in the town’s history and is set to include luxury townhomes, apartments, craft breweries, entertainment, offices, retailers, event spaces and Blaze Pizza.
Throughout 2021, Blaze Pizza achieved significant nationwide growth with the opening of 14 new restaurants in key target markets including Texas, Florida, Nevada, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia and California. The company achieved an 18 percent increase in same-store sales by the end of 2021 and added 34 new restaurants to its growth pipeline.
“While 2021 was not without its challenges, Blaze Pizza’s momentum proved to be resilient as we celebrated the opening of new restaurants and signed multi-unit agreements to expand our brand across the country,” said Ed Yancey, vice president of franchise development for Blaze Pizza. “Over the past year, Blaze has invested in a strong support system by enhancing operations and launching new digital innovations, and these efforts have continued to attract established franchisees looking to diversify their portfolios with a proven concept.
“This latest deal signing will expand our footprint in the prime market of Chattanooga, and we look forward to supporting our newest franchisee as they introduce consumers throughout Tennessee to the one-of-a-kind Blaze experience.”
For more information about Blaze Pizza, please visit www.blazepizza.com.
About Blaze Pizza
Founded in 2011, Blaze Pizza is the nation’s leading fast-casual pizza franchise concept with more than 340 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.
About The Gateway
CHI Memorial Stadium anchors the Gateway Development consisting of over 110 acres in Chattanooga and East Ridge. The Gateway Development, one of the largest mixed-use developments in Chattanooga and East Ridge history, will include luxury townhomes, apartments, restaurants, craft breweries, offices, retailers and event spaces.