California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the creator of California-style pizza, today announced the launch of its first ever domestic franchise program. The internationally known brand, which launched 35 years ago in Beverly Hills, California Pizza Kitchen has always been synonymous with creative, California-inspired dishes using fresh, premium ingredients, starting with the famed Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and other global favorites including the Thai Crunch Salad and Garlic Cream Fettuccini.
On the heels of a successful year of steady growth, the company has returned to 2019 performance levels, announced new international partnerships in Canada and Hong Kong, and looks forward to opening domestic markets for franchising. The long-awaited domestic expansion follows the brand’s successful international franchise program.
CPK’s long-term franchise growth initiatives are led by Executive Vice President of Global Development & Franchise Operations, Giorgio Minardi, and include recruiting new domestic and international franchisee partners to continue momentum to meet expansion targets. “For the first time in our 35-year history, we’re eager to engage new domestic franchisee partners that share a passion for creating memorable dining experiences and expand our reach to bring CPK to even more diners nationwide,” said Minardi. “In addition to our aggressive franchise growth overseas, we look forward to bringing on new partners here in the states who believe in our imaginative, California-forward menu and unmatched hospitality.” Giorgio Minardi joined CPK in 2019 with more than 35 years of experience as an international retail operating executive, holding leadership roles at Telepizza Group, Dunkin’ Brands, Autogrill Group, Burger King, and McDonald’s North Asia.
“California Pizza Kitchen is a known leader in the global restaurant industry when it comes to innovative cuisine and friendly hospitality,” says Jim Hyatt, President and CEO at California Pizza Kitchen. “With Giorgio at the helm of our extensive franchise expansion, we look forward to expanding our national and global footprint in 2022 and beyond.”
The brand’s global presence includes nearly 200 locations in eight countries and U.S. territories, which includes 40 international franchise locations in addition to 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos, and stadiums across the United States. In addition to its domestic expansion, CPK plans to sign franchisee partners in new global markets, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Honduras, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, The Caribbean and more.
CPK’s franchise program offers best-in-class training and development in all areas of the business and new franchisee partners are afforded flexibility in location, design layout, menu category, and daypart offering. All of the four footprint prototypes currently operating in international markets will be available domestically. CPK is actively expanding in new markets and seeks ideal franchisee partners with extensive experience in food service and those who are interested in spreading its California state of mind.