Workers Reveal What It's Really Like To Work At Blaze Pizza

Crafting pizzas to perfection is elevated to an art form at Blaze Pizza, the build-your-own pie empire baked up by the duo behind Wetzel's Pretzels. With house-made dough, scores of toppings to choose from, and a speedy finish time of just three minutes, according to, there's no wonder the chain has grown to hundreds of locations across big cities and sprawling suburbs (via Scrape Hero). Like some other pizza places, this franchise has garnered loads of honors, such as Ernst & Young's Emerging Entrepreneur Award and a coveted slot on Fast Casual's Top 100 Movers & Shakers list.

Maybe you've stood in line for one of these thin-crust delights and watched as employees assembled your creation right in front of you. But take a step back and ask yourself this: what's it like on the other side of the counter? Working at Blaze Pizza may seem like a breeze and a fun job that doesn't take itself too seriously. Yet the workers who fire up the ovens at this artisanal chain have a lot to say about the realities of the profession, both good and bad, that customers might never know otherwise. They're more than happy to answer your questions. Learn about the late nights, the daily grinds, the true limits on toppings, and the looming specter that is Pi Day from the very workforce who knows it best. Here's what it's really like to work at Blaze Pizza, from the workers themselves.

It's a good gig for teenagers

One thing that's clear when you visit Blaze Pizza is that the staff at many locations are usually on the younger side. That's because many argue this is a great gig for teenagers, and the chain starts hiring as young as 16 years of age (via Zippia). As an entry-level job with flexible hours, it's a good opportunity for kids to gain some experience in the job market. "Recommended to high school students," said a former employee in Pennsylvania (via Indeed). "Great exposure for a first-time job, especially for teens (I'm 19)," said another former hire in New Jersey. Except for manning the pizza oven (via Indeed), all of the tasks are manageable and relatively easy to learn. 

For a beginner job, Blaze Pizza has a lot going for it. It's a gateway to other employment opportunities that come down the pipe, with easy workarounds when it comes to busy schedules. There are notable issues that arise with having a lot of students on shift, however. In one crew member's experience, university students would often not show up at their shifts due to their heavy course loads, which would leave remaining employees to pick up the slack (per Indeed). Another worker found the younger coworkers to be less mature than they'd like, often causing drama and sometimes creating a tense atmosphere. "Maybe they should've added more adults," they commented on Indeed. 

The job is fairly easy

The buffet of toppings, as well as the variety of pizza combinations, would make Blaze Pizza seem like the hardest job in the world, right? It turns out, it's actually easy as pie. We're not saying that there aren't any demands here, but the work on its own is fairly manageable according to workers. To a current supervisor in California, it's an "easy job if you put in some effort" (via Indeed). That's because the chain's straightforward offering means employees don't have to commit much to memory. And with customers coming and going, this simplicity comes in handy. 

Automation is another way tasks at Blaze Pizza are kept at a minimum. Unlike traditional pizzerias where cooks might knead the dough by hand, employees at Blaze Pizza create the signature thin crusts by using a dough press. The machine flattens the dough to the same 11-inch size quickly and consistently. As this YouTube video shows, an easy gadget also lets employees do other things while they wait, such as dusting cutting boards with flour to set up the unbaked dough base for assembly.

While the tasks may be less than complicated, a part-time employee from Mississippi warns that slinging pies still requires some elbow grease. "It is more simple than you might expect pizza making to be, yet it takes skill to make a pizza perfect," they noted (via Indeed). 

You get a good deal on food

When working at a pizza chain, no two words will get mouths watering more than "employee discount." Of course, Blaze Pizza is no different here. Both past and present members of the build-your-own pie empire have confirmed that employees get a 50% discount on the menu, as well as free soda during their shifts. Comped food, as one employee raved on Niche, is "one of the best perks of working there." 

It's hard to argue with a delicious personal pizza at half the price, but what the franchise won't tell you is that there are some strings attached. Many workers on Simply Hired, including a shift manager from North Carolina, revealed that the deal only applies when someone works a shift that is longer than six hours. Those 11-inch pies also can't be taken home as leftovers. "You either have to finish it or throw it away," the shift manager said.  

Finally, one person boldly claimed that the franchise shouldn't offer a discount, but a free meal on the house with no exceptions. "Honestly, I got a better discount at every other job I worked," they disclosed on Glassdoor, making sure to quip that "even the worst of diners gives their employees a free meal." While many might conclude that something is better than nothing, is it that hard for Blaze Pizza, a multi-million conglomerate, to provide a complimentary lunch for its industrious workforce? We don't think so!

The fast-paced environment is grueling

Burnout is definitely a thing at chains like Blaze Pizza, and that isn't just the wood-fired ovens talking. Employees run themselves ragged on the job. Between the assembly-line format and lines out the door, workers bust their rears to deliver blistering-hot pies in the blink of an eye. The gig is grueling, no matter what state you're hired in. "First of all, this place is really stressful," a Shift Manager confessed on Simply Hired. "I've worked in stressful situations, they make simple things super stressful."

Another consequence of keeping a fast pace? Errors become a lot more frequent, and a team member on Simply Hired gave a few examples of how accidents, both big and small, can throw a shift at Blaze Pizza off-course: "Dough might not meet standards, we might have a customer wait for a minute or more for certain dough or ingredients, a pizza might fall, pizza might burn, if pizza's aren't cut fast enough then things start backing up which means cooking pizzas slower than the often advertised fast fired in 2 minutes." 

For the exact reasons a lot of workers dreaded the energy-draining environment, there are many more who have thrived off it. On Niche, one commenter raved over the "atmosphere and hustle and bustle" while another called it a "fun, fast-paced job." 

Closing shifts are the worst

Be prepared for some long nights if you work the closing shift at Blaze Pizza. You'll be tackling the time-consuming grunt work nobody wants to do and staying late to get it done. "It would usually take around 2 hours to close the store, longer if you were scheduled on the day they deep clean the dine area," a crew member recounted on Simply Hired. "The work was hard and gross. You are essentially cleaning a days-worth of pizza ingredients out of the tile every night." 

Additionally, the closing shifts at Blaze Pizza are much more demanding in terms of workload and duties than during the daytime. Many believe that wages should better reflect this difference. "Morning and closing shift pay is the same but closing shift has a lot of things to do so opt for a morning or afternoon shift," said one Canadian employee (via Indeed). 

It's not shocking that prospective workers are urged to shoot for daytime hours if they're able. It's clear that the labor is a lot less intensive during the day shift. Because let's face it — hanging back until two in the morning mopping bathrooms and scraping crumbs off the floor doesn't exactly scream a good time. 

Training at Blaze Pizza can be very hit-or-miss

Seeing Blaze Pizza employees swiftly bounce from station to station would have you believe that they've been trained pretty thoroughly at their job. On the flip side, plenty of workers receive little to no instruction upon getting hired. "This company offers no training," a California employee remarked on Indeed. "They put you on the floor expecting you to know everything." Another person claims to have relied on a single video tutorial demonstrating the dough press before they started their work. "I wasn't trained. At all," they said (via Indeed). 

Their problem with the lack of training wasn't simply having to learn the tasks on the job, either. In one cashier's experience, management would snap at subordinates over errors that could have been prevented with more solid instruction. "I don't mind this because I learn better this way, but when I get scolded for things I wasn't taught – that's an issue," they said (via Simply Hired). 

Are we saying that Blaze Pizza doesn't train its workers in any way? Not at all, and it's apparently a case-by-case issue that largely has to do with what location you're at, as responses on the chain's Indeed profile prove. But for long-term employment, insufficient guidance doesn't bode well for making workers happy. You can't do a job well if you haven't been shown how to do it, right?

Managers closely monitor the toppings

Although Blaze Pizza's entire deal is allowing customers to create the perfect pizza, the chain's not very lax when it comes to the toppings. Employees have recalled supervisors who breathed down their necks while assembling the pies, sometimes even reprimanding them for supposedly overdoing the mozzarella or other add-ons. "[Owners] called to inform the manager that one of the employees was putting too much cheese on the pizzas," an employee in North Carolina recalled. "They are always watching" (via Simply Hired). In an Indeed post, another pizza cook recounted feeling paranoid as they worked. "I always felt like someone was over my shoulder watching me how to put sauce on a pizza," they said.

Understandably, restaurants would want to preserve ingredients as much as possible, but a stingy attitude can have consequences on employee morale. According to a worker writing on Comparably, a lot of customers get upset when their requests for extra toppings aren't met due to pressure from upper management. To fix this issue, they suggest selling the pies by weight as opposed to a flat price.

It's normal to smell like dough after your shift

Just because we love pizza doesn't mean that we love everything about it or how it's made. Blaze Pizza workers might not get to take extra food home, but the smell will certainly ride along with them anyway. Toiling in a hot pizza kitchen for hours a day, it's all but impossible for workers to not catch the scent of wood-fired dough and tomato sauce on their clothes. Even the smell of pizza itself, as hard as it is to believe, gets old after a while. As a former employee confessed on Indeed, "The pizza smell gets tiring." 

As to what a pie-slinger endures at the battlegrounds of Blaze Pizza, another team member provided a far more vivid description of what employees may face behind the counter. Pizza cooks get riddled with the reeking stench of burned ingredients and oil, an occupational hazard that's come to be expected in food service. But then there's the kicker that could scare any pizza lover away for life: Apparently, "food [building] up in your shoes" happens just as regularly (per Simply Hired). Doing an additional load of laundry every week is an acceptable part of the job, knowing full well how stinky work uniforms get. But to dislodge burnt cheese shards out of your sneakers shift after shift? That's a no from us. 

Climbing up the corporate ladder is a challenge

Titles like "pizza smith" might signal artisanal expertise. It's also a fancy-sounding label that's often assigned to Blaze Pizza's hourly staff, who stay in their respective lanes in reality. That's because promotions at Blaze Pizza are rare, and despite the plethora of management roles on its Indeed page, leveling up to a position with more authority — and pay — just isn't likely for the entry-level hire. "If you worked on the line they would promise you could move up but, no one ever did," said one employee via Indeed. This anecdote squares with the data on Blaze Pizza's Indeed page, which shows almost half of the respondents "strongly disagree" that promotions were obtainable. 

The replies on Simply Hired don't differ much in terms of general cynicism toward the lack of career advancement. According to one individual, "they won't promote you if they don't like you." They added that, when it comes to the pizza chain, favoritism allegedly wins over recognizing a worker based on their own merits. To another person, the bar is low enough that workers performing basic duties — like getting to their shifts on time — will be rewarded with a step up in rank.

Raises at Blaze Pizza are rare

Technically, Blaze Pizza employees are entitled to a raise. If they do get one, the chain's Indeed page shows the pay bump could happen on an annual or semi-annual basis. At the very least it's given as a reward for climbing the ladder. Yet, the cold hard truth is that most employees go their entire time with the chain without ever seeing their wages increase. "I felt bad for my team members who were busting their behinds for low pay and no raise," a shift manager lamented on Simply Hired. Meanwhile, another worker who encountered a potential promotion revealed that the extra money didn't justify the much heftier workload (via Indeed). 

Since many Blaze Pizza locations are operated by individual franchise owners versus the company, it's not too shocking to learn that employees would have different responses when it comes to raises, especially how often (or not) they're granted. Yet with plenty of staff making below $15 an hour (via Indeed), it's smart to assume that the business has a vested interest in keeping its bottom line from struggling, even if it comes at the expense of worker recognition. Yet many argue that an extra dollar here or there would go a long way toward retaining workers.

They hate working on Pi Day

Blaze Pizza employees are well aware of the date of March 14. It's Pi Day, the one time of year visitors can concoct any pie they like for exactly $3.14, as per a press release from the chain. Celebrating the mathematical milestone with cheap pizza is certainly punny on the company's part, but its labor force despises working during this tradition. In short, it's beyond exhausting. A one-star Indeed review called the holiday awful, while a current employee in Florida warned that the special "will be the busiest event in your store" (via Indeed). 

This promotion is fun for customers who want to get a seriously good deal on pizza, but it's much less exciting for the workers who have to make it happen. Lines are known to snake around the block on Pi Day, and the number of orders is double or even triple what's expected to be the kitchen's output during an average day. According to one employee in Milwaukee, pizza boxes are folded about a month in advance to prep for the big day. The number of pies churned out within a single store also boggles the mind as it can easily hit 1,000 pies or more. Add in the emphasis on lightning-fast service, and it's not hard to see why workers would get burned out on this day alone. 

Many Blaze Pizza employees enjoy working alongside their co-workers

Surrounding yourself with kind people is the lifeline to making it through many a food service job, and you'll certainly find this to be true at Blaze Pizza. Regardless of role, employees overwhelmingly value their co-workers and relish being in their company. Whether it's dealing with crowds or salvaging a burnt crust, reviews across the board assert that it's the nice staff who make the hustle worth it. 

"Management and fellow co-workers make the job fun and enjoyable," said a former employee on Indeed. "Everyone works together for a common goal, making the lunch/dinner rushes manageable and even fun at times." And if you think a fast-casual chain isn't capable of creating close friendships, this employee blows that perception to pieces. "We are a family and everyone gets along with each other," they recalled fondly on Niche. "There are never any dull moments." 

In addition to friendly mates, employees also credit a welcoming atmosphere that allows workers to be their true selves, which in turn paves the way for the friendships listed above to flourish. For example, a current employee applauded the diversity of their workplace. "My coworkers come from all different backgrounds, ethnicity, and genders," they wrote in an Indeed post. "Management here really goes out of their way to provide a safe work space for everyone!"