California Pizza Kitchen announced the appointment of Giorgio Minardi as Executive Vice President of Global Development and Franchise Operations. Minardi will lead the development of CPK’s international and domestic franchise business, most immediately focusing on an aggressive growth strategy to bring the beloved California-style pizza brand to more cities and countries across the globe.

Under Minardi’s leadership, CPK sees significant opportunities to add to the company’s presence in Asia with a focus on Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia. Expansion in the Middle East, Australia, and Europe will also be additional areas of focus starting in 2020.

“CPK is proud to welcome Giorgio to the executive team,” says Jim Hyatt, CEO of CPK. “We’re confident that his unique blend of marketing, operational, and development experience building global brands, including significant on-the-ground experience in Asia, Europe, Middle East, and the North American markets will be a great asset to CPK as we set out to meet our aggressive international and franchise growth targets for 2020 and beyond.”

Minardi brings more than 35 years of global restaurant business experience to CPK, most recently as the International President at Madrid-based Telepizza Group, leading an IPO launch for the company and entry into five new international markets. Prior, Minardi held roles as the International President for Dunkin’ Brands, where he led global growth of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, supporting more than 8,000 stores in 40 countries, as well as international leadership roles for Burger King and McDonald’s.

Currently, CPK has 40 international franchise locations in 10 countries, as well as 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos, and other non-traditional restaurant locations throughout the United States.

CPK’s franchise business has gained noteworthy momentum recently with new locations in Guam, Philadelphia International Airport, The Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada, plus new product rollouts, including the introduction of the brand’s popular, industry-first Cauliflower Pizza Crust, in its key global markets of South Korea, Mexico, and Dubai. With aggressive expansion plans, CPK is modernizing the brand’s footprint, bringing trend-forward, California creative dining to a global audience.

“If the world can agree on one thing, it’s a love for great pizza and a warm, welcoming environment to enjoy it in with friends and family,” says Minardi. “I look forward to working with CPK’s world-class franchise partners to bring the already beloved brand to even more guests around the globe.”

The brand has more than 240 restaurants in 10 countries and U.S. territories.

Chain Restaurants, Franchising, Industry News, California Pizza Kitchen