If you’re familiar with the fast-growing pizza chain Blaze, you probably associate it with one of two things: fast, customizable pizzas, or LeBron James. (James is a big investor in the company, and appears in its new commercial.) But you probably don’t associate Blaze with delivery—and the company wants to change that.
Obviously, delivery is big business for pizza chains. But Blaze’s 11-inch pies might not naturally feel like a fit for football-watching parties, as they’re not quite large enough to split between friends. Now, the chain has announced it’s introducing a larger, 14-inch pie size it’s promoting as more sharable. Blaze has also rolled out new incentives to get customers to think of it as a delivery pizza option, including free upgrades from 11-inch to 14-inch size if you order through blazepizza.com or the Blaze Pizza app between now and September 12. Delivery will, for now, be available only through third-party apps Postmates and DoorDash.
But is that enough to take on the Dominos, Pizza Huts, Papa John’s, and beloved local pizza joints of the world? Blaze’s angle is that its pizzas are fresher and made with better ingredients (that tagline sounds familiar…). But when customers order pizza for delivery, they’re thinking about much more than just which pizza tastes best. Delivery speed and easy ordering are also huge factors, according to Pizza Marketplace Quarterly—and common sense. “Americans can’t get their pizzas fast enough,” Robert Passikoff, president of research consulting firm Brand Keys told PMQ as part of its 2018 “state of the industry” report. “According to our expert loyalist consumers, there’s room for improvement in the delivery area, something the national chains don’t have an exclusive on.”
Speed could prove to be an opening for Blaze. The whole brand is focused on efficiency—it brags its pizzas are ready in 3 minutes—and if it can bring that same zip to delivery, it may prove to be a contender. But third-party delivery means much of that is out of their control: Sure, Blaze can make its pies quickly, but then it’s up to the DoorDash or Postmates courier to actually get it to you while it’s still hot.