Blaze Pizza

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.

Operations

Fast-casual pizza faces an existential crisis

Blaze Pizza is preparing for a brand relaunch, but the concept must first solve some fundamental problems laid bare by the pandemic. CEO Beto Guajardo outlines his strategy for profitability.

Brad Kent, who developed and evolved the fast-casual chain's menu over nearly 12 years, said it was a surprise. Company officials told him they wanted to move in a different direction.

Guajardo replaces Mandy Shaw, who led the fast-casual chain through the pandemic.

The chain’s new CEO sees opportunities for evaluation and renewal as it prepares for a next trajectory of growth.

Sources say she is leaving the fast-casual pizza chain, though details of the departure and its timing are not yet clear.

Yancey, an industry veteran, has served as vice president of franchise development at the fast-casual pizza chain since 2020.

The fast casual, which did the majority of its business in-restaurant before the pandemic, is navigating the new reality amid a tight labor market.

Blaze Pizza hires Brad Reynolds as CFO. Reynolds most recently served as COO of multiconcept ghost kitchen operator C3.

Demery previously worked with Blaze CEO Mandy Shaw at Bloomin’ Brands.

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