Updated to include details from Blaze's investor presentation at ICR.
Despite sales growth that would whet the appetite of any investor, one of the newest restaurant concepts in the U.S. is in no hurry to be a public company.
"We are still two to three years out from an initial public offering (IPO)", said Blaze Pizza president and COO Jim Mizes in an interview. Blaze Pizza is a restaurant concept that allows people to make their own pizza and prides itself on its ingredient quality. The company has quickly grown to 105 locations since its founding in 2011.
On Monday, Blaze Pizza will be presenting for the first time at the ICR investment conference. Although a presentation in front of Wall Street analysts would typically be a sign of an impending IPO, Mizes says the forum will be more to get the company's "story out there."
And it's a story that may have prospective investors nudging Blaze Pizza to move up its timeline for an IPO.
Sales last year reached $105 million, up from about $33 million in 2014. Same-store sales, or sales from stores open longer than a year, increased 7%. The company turned net income and cash flow positive in the third quarter, according to a spokesman at Blaze Pizza.
Seeing sales growth from older restaurants and already being profitable is no small achievement given Blaze Pizza's relative infancy and the intense competition in the pizza category, where bigger delivery-focused players such as Domino's Pizza (DPZ) , Papa John's (PZZA) and Pizza Hut (owned by Yum! Brands (YUM) ) offer aggressive discounts and trumpet their digital ordering capabilities.
Unlike its more mature pizza rivals, Blaze Pizza does not currently deliver. But in its presentation, Mizes said Blaze Pizza has begun testing delivery in certain markets with third-party delivery companies Postmates and Doordash.