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California Pizza Kitchen plans entry into Canada

California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen will open its first Canadian store in Edmonton, Alberta.

Partnering with Alberta restaurateur Samira Shariff, the casual dining chain will open its Edmonton location in the coming months, with five locations planned in the province over the next eight years. As part of an accelerated global growth focus, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) intends to further expand in Canada, including to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto, Ontario.

Shariff brings nearly 40 years of experience building restaurant brands in Alberta as a multi-unit franchise owner and operator in Edmonton. In addition, her son Naheed brings more than 25 years of experience in restaurant franchising and will serve as CEO of CPK’s Alberta footprint.

“At CPK, we take great pride in sharing our passion for California-style pizza, fresh and creative ingredients and best-in-class hospitality with our guests around the world,” said Jim Hyatt, CEO of CPK. “We’ve had our sights set on expanding into Canada for many years now, to bring CPK a little closer to home for all of our Canadian guests who’ve become loyal regulars at so many of our U.S. locations, whether joining us on vacation or business travel. Now, we’re confident we have the right, deeply experienced partner in Samira Shariff to spearhead our entry into the market.”

The signing of the Canada franchise agreement kicks off CPK’s global growth efforts in 2020 and beyond, with additional plans to increase its presence in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Europe. Beverly Hills-based CPK’s global footprint includes more than 240 locations in 10 countries and U.S. territories, which includes 40 international franchise locations as well as 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos and stadiums throughout the U.S.

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