GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sodexo, a world leader in Quality of Life services today announced a partnership with Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza, the fast-casual artisanal pizza concept known for its chef-driven menu and casually hip restaurants. Through the partnership, Blaze Pizza will offer its custom pizzas, salads, signature beverages and desserts at select Sodexo facilities across the country, including on college campuses.
Since its first restaurant debuted in 2012, Blaze has quickly become one of the nation's hottest restaurant concepts, cultivating fanatics by offering artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. Each location makes its dough from scratch, using a recipe developed by critically acclaimed Executive Chef Bradford Kent (the "Pizza Whisperer") to produce his signature light-as-air, crisp crust. The generously sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven - the centerpiece of the restaurant - where dedicated pizzasmiths ensure that the thin-crust pies are fast-fire'd and ready to eat in just 180 seconds. "Research and consumer insights drive our business decisions from menu offerings to supplier partnerships," said Bill Lacey, senior vice president, marketing, Sodexo. "Fast casual remains the industry's hot spot, increasing its year-over-year sales in 2015 by 11.5% and custom-built pizza is the breakout category in that space. Blaze Pizza is the segment leader where fast casual pizza is concerned, with sales that grew 205% in 2015, making a partnership with them a great fit for the nearly 500 colleges and universities served by Sodexo." RESPONSIBLE INGREDIENTS & SUSTAINABLE PACKAGINGDriven by its commitment to "Intelligent Choices for Our Pizzas, People & Planet," ingredients in Blaze's pizzas and salads are free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Additionally, the restaurant uses eco-friendly packaging, with pizza boxes certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, salad containers produced from recycled plastic, and numerous compostable materials. "Blaze has been cultivating fanatics among college students since our first restaurant opened at UCI in 2012," said Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. "We're thrilled to be able to reach even more college students through our new partnership with Sodexo." About Sodexo, Inc.Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations. Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights. About Blaze Pizza The first Blaze Pizza® restaurant opened on Aug. 6, 2012, in Irvine, Calif., and quickly gained attention for its chef-driven recipes, thoughtful interior design, and a service culture that celebrates individuality. Now ranked as the leading fast-casual pizza chain in the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, Blaze Pizza is building momentum and developing a cult following as it expands across the country. The company currently operates 160 restaurants in 31 states and Canada, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Boston. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel (co-founder of Wetzel's Pretzels), the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis. For more information, please visit blazepizza.com and facebook.com/blazepizza or click here to view a company video. Blaze Pizza®, Fast-Fire'd®, the horizontal logo design, and the proprietary names "Pizzasmith", "Intelligent Choices For Our Pizzas, People & Planet" and related trademarks are the property of Blaze Pizza LLC.