Financing

Blaze Pizza is moving its headquarters to Atlanta

The fast-casual pizza chain, which was “born” in California more than a decade ago, believes the cross-country move will further growth.
Blaze Pizza
Nearly one-third of Blaze Pizza's locations are in California. | Photo: Shutterstock.

The fast-casual franchise Blaze Pizza is moving its headquarters from Pasadena, California, to Atlanta, the company said on Tuesday, joining a growing roster of companies hoping that new digs will ignite growth.

The company said that it expects the move to be complete by September. The city will be the headquarters for operations, business development, marketing, finance, human resources and other departments.

Most of Blaze’s 60 corporate employees will remain remote, with a “small percentage” of Southern California-based workers offered the opportunity to relocate to Atlanta.

“California is where this brand was born more than a decade ago, and we have a tremendous heart for communities across the state where so many of our restaurants are,” CEO Beto Guajardo said in a statement. “Moving our corporate headquarters to Atlanta will help us drive our next wave of growth.”

Several restaurant chains in recent years have opted to move headquarters, frequently to Southeastern states where population growth is highest. The drive-thru coffee chain Dutch Bros is opening a support center in Arizona, which is expected to house 40% of support operations by January.

Papa Johns, the pizza chain, opened a second headquarters in Atlanta. Subway opened a second headquarters in Miami. Chipotle moved its headquarters from Denver to Southern California.

In Blaze’s case, the move will take headquarters away from the state where nearly one-third of its restaurants operate. Blaze at the end of 2023 operated 295 units in the U.S., 93 of which are in California, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

The chain operates five locations in Georgia. It does operate 28 restaurants in neighboring Florida.

Blaze's sales stagnated last year, in part due to unit count declines. Global system sales increased 0.3%, according to data from Technomic. Unit count declined 4%, thanks largely to closures of international restaurants. But the chain shrunk by seven restaurants last year, according to Technomic.

It finished 2023 with 314 restaurants, 295 of which are in the U.S. All but 12 of those restaurants are franchised.

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