Tax cuts will boost consumer spending: Blaze Pizza CEO

By Nick Giampia
Published November 09, 2017
FOXBusiness

Blaze Pizza CEO Jim Mizes on Thursday explained how the GOP tax plan may impact the restaurant chain and also how the company, which is backed by NBA star LeBron James, has continued to see profits.

Blaze Pizza was founded about five years ago and started with two pizza places. It now has 222 restaurants in 34 states in the U.S.

“We certainly are watching what’s going on (with tax reform)… We are all about more money in the pockets of the consumers,” Mizes told FOX Business’ Liz Claman on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Several changes have been made to the tax reform proposal, including the mortgage deduction, which the house proposed to cap at $500,000.

“We do hear from some of our managers not so much the hourly employees, but as we look out ahead, there are things we can do to help our employees with any changes in the tax code. And that’s really specifically enabling our guests to pay tips to have tips for our team members via credit cards,” Mizes said.

The Blaze Pizza CEO discussed what he likes about the tax plan and how it may benefit his small business.

“Simplification and more money for the taxpayer and for our guests, so if they have more money, they are going to absolutely spend it. And simpler is always better. It’s the hallmark of our business too,” he said.

James, who is an investor and franchisee of the company, has been critical of President Donald Trump and voiced his opinion about the president to the media last month.

“I will lend my voice, I will lend my passion and my money, I will lend my resources to my youth and my inner city and outside of my inner city to let these kids know that there is hope, there’s greater walks of life and not one individual no matter if it’s the President of the United states … can stop your dreams from becoming reality,” James said.

Mizes said that James’ comments about the president have not impacted the restaurant chain’s growth.

“Well we had a great third quarter. We are up 5.5% in store sales, and we are up over 4% year-to-date. We’ve had great results, and I think we are taking share from legacy players and from others in the fast casual category,” he said.

According to a Harris Poll study, Blaze Pizza placed second among the best pizza chain brands, ahead of Pizza Hut.

“We continue to be successful because we’re really focused on creating great experiences for our guests,” he said.