California Pizza Kitchen Expands Middle East Franchise Deal

California Pizza Kitchen Expands Middle East Franchise Deal

LOS ANGELES (BUSINESS WIRE) -- California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (Nasdaq:CPKI) (CPK), home of the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and other innovative hearth-baked pizzas, made-to-order pastas, creative salads, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts, today announced the expansion of their original agreement with Gourmet Gulf Company, an existing franchise partner.

Under the new agreement, Gourmet Gulf Company will develop 19 restaurants throughout the Middle East over the next 10 years. During the term of the agreement at least one California Pizza Kitchen restaurant is planned to open in each of the following Persian Gulf countries: United Arab Emirates, State of Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Under the original agreement, Gourmet Gulf Company was to open a minimum of three California Pizza Kitchen restaurants over a two year period in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The first restaurant opened in Dubai Mall in January of 2009.

"We are pleased with the work Gourmet Gulf Company has done to bring our innovative brand to the UAE," stated Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, co-founders and co-CEOs of California Pizza Kitchen. "We look forward to further expansion throughout the Middle East under this new agreement."

Headquartered in Dubai, UAE, Gourmet Gulf Company is a joint venture between Daud Arabian Trading Co. LLC and Itihad International Investment 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 251 restaurants, 205 are company-owned and 46 operate under franchise or license agreements.

There are currently 28 restaurants located internationally in China, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, South Korea, Guam, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. The company also has a licensing arrangement with Kraft Pizza Company, which manufactures and distributes a line of California Pizza Kitchen premium frozen products. Children who dine at California Pizza Kitchen choose from an extensive menu, recently named "The Best Kids Menu in America" by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine.

SOURCE: California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.

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