Case 33: California Pizza Kitchen

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Case 33: California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) was co-founded in 1985 in Beverly Hills, California by Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax. Rosenfield and Flax both hold the title of Co-President, Co-CEO, and Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors for California Pizza Kitchen. Susan Collyns, Chief Financial Officer, currently leads the financial team at California Pizza Kitchen which is faced with reducing the corporate income-tax liability while balancing the goal of the management team to grow the business.

California Pizza Kitchen is in the food industry business. California Pizza Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant chain that specializes in innovative and non-traditional pizzas. California Pizza Kitchen also provides various soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and desserts at higher quality for lower prices. California Pizza Kitchen is in 213 locations in 28 states (41% located in California). California Pizza Kitchen’s core patrons tend to have an average household income of $75,000 (survey results from 2005); creating less of an impact on patron’s dining habits during times of inflated gas and food prices. California Pizza Kitchen’s inventive menu was not the only draw-in for patrons, their below average check (usually around $13.30) was much lower than their competitors such as, The Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, P.F. Chang’s, Chili’s, Red Lobster, and Panera Bread to name a few. The California Pizza Kitchen chain was labeled by RBC Capital Markets as the “Price-Value-Experience” leader in its sector.

California Pizza Kitchen began their growth process by developing the ASAP restaurant concept (located mostly in airports and malls: limited selection of pizzas and “grab-n-go” sandwiches and salads) but later halted all new ASAP locations. California Pizza Kitchen then moved into franchising full-serve restaurants internationally (6 foreign countries as of 2007). California Pizza Kitchen entered into another initiative by partnering...
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