LOS ANGELES, Apr 04, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (Nasdaq:CPKI), home of the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and other innovative hearth-baked pizzas, made-to-order pastas, creative salads, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts, announced today an agreement with Gourmet Gulf Company, a new franchise partner for the restaurant chain. As part of the agreement, the Gourmet Gulf Company will be opening a minimum of three California Pizza Kitchen restaurants within the next two years with the first restaurant scheduled to open in Dubai during the fall of 2008.
"With a vibrant economy and GDP growth year on year, the UAE is a natural choice for our strategic growth plan," stated Rick Rosenfield, co-founder and co-CEO of California Pizza Kitchen. "With over 30 million visitors in 2007 alone, this agreement allows us to bring our California-style pizzas to a new audience in not only the UAE, but to people from all over the globe," added Larry Flax, co-founder and co-CEO of California Pizza Kitchen.
Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Gourmet Gulf Company, is a joint venture between Daud Investments and Emirates International Investments Company. It is a leading regional restaurant holding group that owns and manages concept brands such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Morelli's Gelato, and Yo! Sushi.
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc., founded in 1985, is a leading casual dining chain. Of the chain's 234 restaurants, 198 are company-owned and 36 operate under franchise or license agreements. There are currently 19 restaurants located internationally in China, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, South Korea and Indonesia. There are 25 CPK ASAP locations, 9 of which are company-owned and 16 are franchised. Also included in the company's portfolio of concepts is LA Food Show Grill & Bar, which has one location in Manhattan Beach, California and a second location currently under construction in Beverly Hills, California. The company's full-service restaurants feature an imaginative line of hearth-baked pizzas, including the original BBQ Chicken Pizza, and a broad selection of distinctive pastas, salads, soups, appetizers and sandwiches. The company also has a licensing arrangement with Kraft Pizza Company, which manufactures and distributes a line of California Pizza Kitchen premium frozen pizzas. Children who dine at California Pizza Kitchen choose from an extensive menu, recently named "The Best Kids Menu in America" by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine. For more details, visit www.cpk.com.
SOURCE: California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.