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California Pizza Kitchen launches first-ever U.S. franchise program

California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen is launching a U.S. franchise program.

California Pizza Kitchen is embarking on a new strategy to expand its U.S. footprint.

The fast-casual restaurant brand is launching its first-ever domestic franchise program. On the heels of a successful year of steady growth, the 35-year-old company said it has returned to 2019 performance levels. It also announced new international partnerships in Canada and Hong Kong.

CPK’s domestic expansion follows the brand’s successful international franchise program. The company’s long-term franchise growth initiatives are led by executive VP of global development & franchise operations, 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.”

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.

CPK’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 partners 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.

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