Blaze Fast Fire'd Pizza announced that Millennial Restaurant Group, a partnership between franchise veterans Junior Bridgeman and Jim Patterson, has signed an agreement to develop 30 Blaze Pizza franchise units in Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky.

According to a news release, this deal puts Blaze's agreements at 23 franchise partners for 240 planned restaurants in 19 states and Washington, D.C. within the next three to five years.

Currently, Blaze Pizza has 10 restaurants open in California and the Midwest. The company plans 45 new units in key markets across the country in 2014, both company-owned and franchised.

Millennial Restaurant Group is jointly controlled by former NBA player Ulysses "Junior" Bridgeman and restaurant veteran Jim Patterson. According to a news release, Bridgeman, ranked the fifth largest franchisee in the country, is the owner/operator of 125 Chili's and 195 Wendy's restaurants. Patterson, the founder of Rally's Hamburgers and Long John's Silvers, is the owner of 40 Wendy's restaurants. Additionally, Wayne Albritton, former CEO of Rally's Hamburgers, will be the franchise group's managing partner.

"Super-fast, custom-built pizza is proving to be extremely popular with consumers," Bridgeman said. "We've already seen the successful development of burgers, burritos and sandwiches into a fast casual format. Similarly, we believe that fast casual pizza, and Blaze Pizza in particular, will be huge. We're excited to start this new journey."

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