LOS ANGELES (BUSINESS WIRE) -- California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK) (NASDAQ:CPKI), home to the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and other innovative hearth-baked pizzas, made-to-order pastas, creative salads, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts, announced today a new franchise partnership with USC Hospitality, which operates 38 dining concepts on the University of Southern California's two campuses. The CPK casual-fast location is scheduled to open in the new USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center Food Court in the third quarter of 2010.
Students at the University were surveyed about which restaurant concepts they most wanted in the new facility and California Pizza Kitchen topped the poll with an overwhelming 77 percent of the vote. More than 33,000 USC students will be able to order from a specialized selection of CPK's most popular pizzas, pastas, salads and Panini sandwiches as they return for the Fall semester.
"Our unique and flavorful menu appeals to all ages and university students will enjoy having our innovative items on campus," stated Rick Rosenfield, co-founder and co-CEO of California Pizza Kitchen. "The USC location will mark the third CPK opening on a university campus within one year. We look forward to building momentum as we further our growth in this segment," added Larry Flax, co-founder and co-CEO of California Pizza Kitchen.
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc., founded in 1985, is a leading casual dining chain featuring an imaginative line of hearth-baked pizzas, including the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, and a broad selection of distinctive pastas, salads, appetizers, soups, sandwiches and desserts. Of the chain's 252 restaurants, 205 are company-owned and 47 operate under franchise or license agreements. CPK premium pizzas are also available to sports and entertainment fans at two Southern California venues, Angel Stadium of Anaheim and STAPLES Center. Also included in the company's portfolio of concepts is LA Food Show Grill & Bar, which has locations in Manhattan Beach and Beverly Hills, California. The company also has a licensing arrangement with Kraft Pizza Company, which manufactures and distributes a line of California Pizza Kitchen premium frozen products. California Pizza Kitchen was recently named "One of America's Best 200 Small Companies" by Forbes Magazine, #1 Most Recommended Casual Dining Chain Restaurant by Zocalo Group and MARC Research and "Best Kids Menu in America" by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine.
SOURCE: California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.