The combination of Lebron James's influence, and the idea of almost instant brick-fire pies has led Blaze Pizza to officially become the fastest-growing restaurant chain in U.S. history.
With humble beginnings in Southern California, the chain started out with two stores in Irvine and Pasadena. Now, with its July 11 grand opening in Mentor, Ohio, the chain has opened 200 locations in just four years, according to Forbes.
With modest sales of $6 million in 2013, Blaze has jumped up all the way to $185 million in 2016. Their goal this year is to reach $285 million, and $1.1 billion by the end of 2022.
Lebron James has been riding with them since the beginning, becoming an investor, endorser, and even working a shift at the pizza place.
With over 31 million Instagram followers, 37 million Twitter followers, and 23 million Facebook followers, anytime James posts about the pizza place, there are a massive amount of eyes on it. Blaze's CEO Jim Mizes even gave James some credit, saying that he holds a lot of weight as far as brand awareness.
With the current boom of build-your-own pizza places, from PizzaRev to Pieology, Blaze seems to be leading the pack, with a superstar celebrity backing them.