Blaze Innovates Menu & More

Blaze Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” serving up artisanal pizzas that are both fast and affordable. The California-based, fast casual chain boasts over 340 locations nationally and internationally and gets further global recognition from celebrity franchise owner, LeBron James, who has been a founding investor since 2012.

Every restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize their own pizza, choosing from a range of crusts (including keto-friendly, vegan, and gluten-free options), plus tons of different cheeses, proteins, vegetables, and sauces that are free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners. The pizzas are then sent to a blazing hot open-flame oven where they are fast-fire’d and ready to eat in just minutes.

Punchh Restaurant Loyalty Platform Delivers Seamless System Integrations

Over the past couple years, Blaze has been at the forefront of not only menu innovation, but also digital innovation, providing guests a convenient and seamless customer experience that now, also includes a contactless environment.  In 2018, Blaze looked to Punchh to help them on their digital journey. “We wanted to offer a better, more modern restaurant loyalty program through a branded app that could leverage existing partnerships with our online ordering (Olo), POS (Aloha) and email (SendGrid) systems for easy access to customer data,” said Jerry Shen, Blaze’s Director of Digital Growth.

It was important to Blaze that they get to know their customers’ preferences and behaviors so they could deliver more customized customer loyalty initiatives through segmentation and targeting, according to Shen. The Punchh Restaurant Loyalty and Engagement Platform delivered the flexible restaurant marketing platform their team needed with an easy to use dashboard and metrics, while giving customers additional ways to earn and redeem flames within the Blaze Rewards program. Blaze has been rewarded with more than 1.4 million eclub members and 1.8 million loyalty members.

Keeping Connected Through Restaurant Marketing Campaigns

A robust digital presence and loyal customers recently helped Blaze during the spring of 2020.  Quickly after the pandemic hit, Blaze introduced curbside pickup, increased contactless customer shelving for in-store pickup and added contactless delivery. They turned to Punchh to add mobile loyalty app functionality such as a contactless delivery button, a special instructions field and online ordering offers to alert customers to their new operations.

To drive online ordering while their locations were closed for dine-in, Blaze increased their communication to a daily cadence through email, push and rich messaging. They delivered creative and inspiring content such as having a digital Easter egg hunt, holding trivia contests, hiding images within the main image of an email. Blaze guests engaged with these restaurant marketing campaigns on social, helping to keep the brand top of mind for meal consideration.

Blaze also focused on their largest annual brand promotion, which falls on March 14th.  Blaze’s Pizza Pi Day was quickly reconfigured from a one-day, in-store offer of a $3.14 pizza to a year-long reward that guests can redeem anytime until the end of the 2020. Starting in early March, Blaze built anticipation for the campaign pushing out a reward into all app users’ accounts that was “locked” and not available for use. During March 1-14, Blaze drove 200,000 app user acquisitions, and on the morning of March 14th they “unlocked” the reward, signaling to the company’s 1.8 million loyalty members that the world’s largest pizza party had begun.

Having the Punchh dashboard at our fingertips helps us dig into the metrics and better understand our customers’ behaviors and preferences,” said Shen. “We’re able to innovate and create really engaging campaigns that drive repeat visits and customer lifetime value.