Honoree: Mandy Shaw

Inspirational Women 2022

President & CEO
Blaze Pizza

As president and CEO of Blaze Pizza, Mandy Shaw is a visionary that has not only contributed greatly to the explosive growth and success the company has experienced since her joining over four years ago, but has also made an impact on the fast-casual pizza category that has not gone unnoticed. Shaw started her career with L.A.-based Blaze Pizza as the fast-casual chain’s chief financial officer in 2018 before taking over as president and CEO in November 2019. Under her leadership, 2019 became a groundbreaking year for the company. Blaze successfully launched a new cauliflower pizza crust, a new 14” large pizza engineered specifically for delivery and the pizza industry’s first keto crust, with only 6 grams of net carbs. In addition to the new food offerings, the brand strengthened its third party delivery by adding delivery partners and launching a new web platform with easier ordering capabilities.

With these new platforms already in place, Blaze Pizza was able to lean in and grow digital sales by more than 140% and made it through 2020 and 2021 stronger than ever, as systemwide sales returned to what they were prior to the pandemic. Blaze’s investments in curbside carryout, which was launched in a three-week cross-functional sprint, and the addition of a new third-party delivery partner in two weeks, helped the brand overcome the unprecedented challenges of COVID without slowing down its growth efforts. In the last two years, Blaze opened 40 restaurants in new and existing markets and signed multi-unit agreements with new and existing franchisees even during the pandemic.

Shaw has also worked to increase diversity and inclusion at Blaze by creating more career and hiring opportunities for women, people of color and LGBTQ+ team members. With one of Blaze’s core values being to “value the people behind the pizza,” she works to create an atmosphere of cross-functional training and opportunity at the company. Throughout 2022 and beyond, Shaw and her team will continue to implement ways to attract new employees in ways no other company is doing so.