Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a steaming hot slice of pizza.
But while many pizza chains like Papa John’s and Domino’s are fading away, the California-based chain Blaze Pizza is rapidly climbing in popularity, and for good reason.
This made-to-order pizza restaurant combines many of the best aspects of fast food with customization the customers crave.
Similar to Chipotle’s “build your own burrito” setup, Blaze Pizza allows you to order the pizza you want to eat, then receive your pizza with an average cook time of just three minutes.
As the company grows, many people are interested in investing and wonder whether they can buy Blaze Pizza stock or purchase stocks with its competitors.
Follow along for more information as we answer all these questions and more.
A Brief Rundown of Blaze Pizza’s History
Blaze Pizza was founded by the couple Elise and Rick Wetzel, who formerly made Wetzel’s Pretzels.
The couple decided to model a pizza restaurant on the chipotle style of “made-to-order” burrito bowls and tacos.
They identified this gap in the current pizza restaurant market and planned to cater to this entirely untapped customer base.
The first restaurant took off in August 2012 in Irvine, California, focusing on providing pizzas that could be created in three minutes or less.
The Wetzels designed their initial spread of available ingredients based on what they knew they could make quickly and tastily.
A second flagship location opened in Pasadena in October 2012.
People loved the idea of made-to-order pizza that also tasted fantastic instead of haphazardly slapped together.
In just the first year of operation, the Blaze Pizza Irvine restaurant grossed over $1.8 million, and the Pasadena restaurant made $2.5 million.
By the end of 2014, Blaze Pizza opened 50 different units, marking it as one of the fastest expanding companies in the U.S.
Blaze Pizza Serves Customers Abroad
In 2015, Blaze Pizza announced its intention to open locations outside the U.S., specifically in Canada.
They quickly followed through on this promise, opening a Toronto Blaze Pizza franchise in October 2015, then another restaurant in Calgary in February 2016.
Since then, Blaze Pizza has expanded to British Columbia, Kuwait, and the Saudi Arabia capital city Riyadh.
By September 2019, Blaze Pizza even had a pizza restaurant inside the United Arab Emirates.
All of this has preceded an IPO, although the company has announced its intention to make a public offering sometime in the near future.
This new development is exciting news for investors looking to buy stocks in the future.
Can You Buy Blaze Pizza Stock?
Unfortunately, you cannot buy Blaze Pizza Stocks at the moment.
Though Blaze Pizza is rapidly becoming one of the most popular pizza chains in the country, it has not yet undergone an IPO, so you can’t technically buy individual stock units.
However, you can invest in Blaze Pizza stock through one method: franchising.
Through franchising, you pay a franchising fee and agree to open a Blaze Pizza store in your local area.
Doing so requires a significant amount of seed capital.
For example, just one Blaze Pizza franchise store could cost you between $454,000 and $1,150,500 depending on the location of the supplies you need to purchase.
Obtain Blaze Pizza Stock through Franchise Ownership
But if you do franchise with Blaze Pizza, you’ll automatically become a stockholder in this growing company.
Once the company has an initial public offering, you’ll be granted a certain amount of stocks based on your level of investment.
After that point, you can do with the stocks whatever you please, including hold onto them or sell them to other investors.
That being said, not everyone will want to franchise with Blaze Pizza.
Doing so requires taking on a business managerial role, as you’ll need to control the finances of your franchise store and possibly manage the location yourself.
Initial franchise fees are usually around $30,000 per restaurant and it will easily cost you over $100,000 to pay for fixtures and furniture.
Additionally, some of the money you make has to be sent to Blaze Pizza because of the franchising business model.
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There’s currently a 5% to 6% royalty fee for all gross sales and another 2% creative fee for gross sales.
Still, investors who believe in Blaze Pizza do have a way to invest right now… even if it comes with certain strings attached.
Who Owns Blaze Pizza?
Blaze Pizza is owned by several of its co-founders and major spokespeople, such as Lebron James.
In fact, Lebron James owns and operates a handful of franchised Blaze Pizza restaurants, so he owns a significant amount of the current private stock.
Blaze Pizza’s other owners include cofounders Rick Wetzel and Elise Wetzel, as well as Brad Kent and Mandy Shaw.
What is the Blaze Pizza Stock Price and Symbol?
At the moment, Blaze Pizza doesn’t have a stock price and symbol because it is not listed on the NASDAQ site or another stock exchange.
If and when the brand goes through an IPO, it’ll get its own stock price and symbol based on investor interest in a variety of other financial factors.
Fortunately, Blaze Pizza’s executive team has announced their intention to do an IPO sometime in the near future.
They said they would be ready to be publicly traded within three years in 2019, meaning the IPO process could begin by 2022 at the latest.
This is a good sign for investors who want to invest but don’t want to break the bank by opening up a franchise location.
All data available points to Blaze Pizza stock being an excellent investment item to add to your portfolio, but only time will tell.
Why is Blaze Pizza Successful?
At its core, Blaze Pizza is successful because it combines two major concepts: fast food and personalized pizza.
Most pizza franchises in the U.S. only allow you to choose from a small range of predesigned pizza options.
While you can remove toppings here and there, you’re broadly restricted to certain pizza archetypes or flavors.
And this is what makes Blaze Pizza stand out.
Customers can approach the counter at any franchised store and speak to the chefs before they put their pie in the oven.
They can determine which toppings or sauces they want, which kind of dough is used, and so on; there is also a selection of alcohol and wine available which further sets it apart from competitors like Pizza Hut.
All of this strikes a chord with modern foodies, who increasingly want food made to order instead of having to choose from a premade list.
But Blaze Pizza is also successful just because its pies taste good!
The chain uses high-quality ingredients, as well as excellent materials to actually cook customers’ pizzas.
Blaze Pizza’s menu includes a lot of customer favorites and specialty options, such as gluten-free dough and more.
Customers can complete their meals with signature salads, craft beer, wine, fresh lemonades, and more… all available at a lightning-fast speed.
Each oven is a high-temperature and gas-fired pizza model, and the ovens are the only pieces of cooking equipment at each restaurant.
The oven is also used to cook Italian sausage, meatballs, chicken, and even some desserts.
Simply put, Blaze Pizza outshines other pizza companies in the U.S. because it creates tasty food in the exact way people want to eat it.
Blaze Pizza Competitors to Buy
While you can’t buy Blaze Pizza stock quite yet, there are several alternatives you can invest in if you want to jump into the pizza industry or are just looking for a relatively stable place to stash your money.
After all, everyone loves pizza, and it’s unlikely that the pizza industry will suffer a downturn in the near future.
To start your search, we’ve included a list of Blaze Pizza competitors.
Domino’s Pizza (NYSE: DPZ)
There’s no better place to look for alternative shares than perhaps Blaze Pizza’s biggest competitor and the titan of the fast-food pizza market, Domino’s Pizza.
Many pizza enthusiasts gravitate toward this company for its easy-to-use website that allows them to effortlessly place an order through an internet browser.
However, Domino’s Pizza stock isn’t cheap, and it doesn’t have the best annual dividend yield, clocking in at just 0.81%.
Still, this could be a great long-term growth investment, as sales for Domino’s have remained essentially the same for all of its U.S. franchises for many years.
So you can invest in this pizza company and simply ride the gradual increase of the stock market at large.
Basically, this stock option may be a better choice if you have some extra cash and don’t mind the abnormally high price tag.
Each share is currently worth $535.48.
Papa John’s (NASDAQ: PZZA)
Papa John’s is another big competitor for Blaze Pizza, as it’s primarily known for getting pizza on the table faster than almost any other company in this industry.
Furthermore, stocks from this company have a better forward annual dividend yield compared to Domino’s Pizza: usually 1.13%.
Even 2020 was a good year for Papa John’s: the CEO Rob Lynch indicated that sales at the company’s stores increased by 27% between March and April.
Though this growth may have been driven by more people staying at home due to the pandemic, it’s still a solid indicator of stability and good investment results for the future.
Papa John’s stock is currently priced at $119.77.
Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM)
Yum! is the parent company of Pizza Hut, although it also owns the fast-food chains Taco Bell and KFC.
As a result, this could be a better pick if you want to invest in fast food in general rather than narrow your investment focus to pizza alone.
Forward annual dividend yields are above 2% most of the time, possibly making this a better choice for those looking for quarter-based profits rather than long-term growth.
Yum! Brands’ stock price is currently $133.64.
Can You Buy Blaze Pizza Stock: Final Thoughts
Blaze Pizza’s journey is just beginning, and it already runs over 300 franchises in the U.S. and over a dozen in other countries.
Furthermore, an IPO is surely coming around the corner; all that’s left is for the executive team to get their ducks in a row.
Once Blaze Pizza goes public, it might be a good idea to check the stock price and consider picking up a few shares for your investment strategy!
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