Blaze Pizza chain planning three Harrisburg-area locations

//March 27, 2019

Blaze Pizza chain planning three Harrisburg-area locations

//March 27, 2019

Fast-growing California pizza chain Blaze Pizza, which has basketball player LeBron James among its investors, has signed a three-store franchise deal in the Harrisburg area, the company’s first foray into Central Pennsylvania.

A seasoned Lehigh Valley franchise team known as Saaya Pizza Inc. will open the three midstate restaurants, though leases and timelines for opening specific locations are still being worked out.

According to a news release from the group – which also runs franchise locations for brands like Planet Fitness and Dunkin Donuts – the first Blaze Pizza location will be in Dauphin County. Officials said the goal is to be up and running the first one by the end of the year.

“We’ve had our eyes on Blaze Pizza since its inception, and we’re amazed by the brand’s rapid growth and push toward innovation,” said Milan Dilsania, part of Saaya along with Sonak Patel, Dharmesh Patel and Rishabh Mandavia.

Fast-casual pizza has become one of the fastest-growing categories of food in recent years. And other chains, like Mod Pizza, have been targeting Central Pennsylvania for expansion of their made-to-order approaches.

Blaze Pizza has 300 restaurants in 42 states and five countries. It was recently named brand of the year and the top fast and serious franchise by Franchise Times. The chain’s closest restaurants to Harrisburg are in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.

Each Blaze Pizza location features an open kitchen that allows guests to customize a pizza from the chain’s menu or create their own. The pizzas are then sent to an oven to be fast-fired and are ready to eat in three minutes. In addition to pizza, Blaze offers salads, house-made lemonade and s’more pies.

Blaze Pizza restaurants are typically 2,200 square feet to 3,000 square feet in size, plus an outdoor patio, and employ about 10 people.