Blaze Pizza is on fire.
The chain, which is backed by basketball star LeBron James, tripled its sales to $101 million in 2015 compared to the previous year, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Same-store sales grew 7% over the same time period.
Blaze doubled its locations last year, growing from 50 units at the end of 2014 to 105 at the end of 2015.
The company is planning to have roughly 210 locations in operation by March of 2017 and expects to the fifth-largest pizza chain in the US within five years behind Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Little Caesars and Papa John’s.
“We delivered strong performance in 2015 by successfully executing on our growth strategy,” Blaze COO Jim Mizes said in a press release. “This included improving our guest metrics, while simultaneously growing our restaurant count by 110% with 55 net new store openings.”
Blaze Pizza is now in 25 states. Cities where the company is developing include Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, and Toronto.
The chain is planning to expand into 10 new states this year including markets in Boston, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Atlanta.
Celebrities like LeBron James and Maria Shriver have invested in the brand, which is based in Southern California.
Much like Chipotle or Subway, Blaze Pizza emphasises fresh ingredients and customisation.
The company makes its dough by hand and lets it rise for 24 hours before serving.
Customers build their own pizzas, choosing from seven cheeses, eight proteins, 20 vegetables, and three sauces.
The pies are then placed in a stone-hearth oven. They’re ready in about three minutes.
Prices range from $5 to $10, depending on toppings.
“We got into the game early and have the wind at our backs,” Mizes told Business Insider in an interview last year. “We’re opening a new restaurant every five days and will just keep growing.”
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