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Franchise Deep Dive: California Pizza Kitchen Franchise Costs, Fees, Profit and Data

After a rocky year in 2020, the brand is expanding once again through efforts such as its re-franchising program.




REPORTED COST TO GET IN: $3,477,000–$6,700,000


California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) was formed in Beverly Hills in 1985 by Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax. The pair combined their passion for food with high-quality ingredients to create the brand, which introduced diners to California-style pizza with the invention of The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza. 

Today, CPK continues to reimagine California creativity with innovative menu items, including gluten-free crust, cauliflower crust and healthful Power Bowls. The brand is known for its signature, hand-tossed pizzas and high-quality main plates to better-for-you options and handcrafted beverages. 

In 2020, the brand joined a slew of restaurant franchises filing for bankruptcy after the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the brand completed a restructuring process later that year, and many locations across the country remained open for businesses. 

How Many Locations Are There?

CPK is a global brand with about 200 restaurants worldwide, including 12 international cities and 11 countries and U.S. territories.

In 2023, CPK announced the launch of its re-franchising program as part of its domestic franchise offering. The franchisor aims to strategically expand its presence by partnering with experienced multi-unit restaurant operators interested in purchasing existing CPK locations in select markets within the United States. This initiative follows CPK's international and domestic franchise openings in the previous year and the launch of its domestic franchise program in December 2021. 

What Is the Business Model?

CPK offers several flexible partner opportunities: 

  • Airport Partners: Partners that can bring food and beverage concessions to airports all over the world. A counter-service format that offers a variety of pizzas, sandwiches and breakfast options to busy travelers all throughout the day.
  • Captive Partners: Partners that can bring food and beverage concessions to entertainment venues such as sports arenas and casinos. Non-traditional settings that can offer full service or counter service.
  • Domestic Partners: Experienced partners to expand full-service restaurants in the United States. 
  • International Partners: Experienced partners to expand full-service restaurants into new international markets. Typically partnering with groups with a proven track record in the restaurant industry.

The brand also has several models that franchisees can operate: 

  • Flagship: Full-service dining with extended bar and outdoor patio with a full menu. Approximately 5,800 square feet or larger.
  • Standard: Full-service dining with counter bar with a full menu. Approximately 4800 square feet or larger.
  • Kiosk: Quick-service, grab-and-go options with a limited menu and seating. Small footprint kiosks are best suited for malls, business centers and parks. Approximately 850 square feet or larger.
  • Express: Concession-style counter service, coupled with grab-and-go options, with a limited menu. Ideal for stadium and university locations. Approximately 750 square feet or larger.

How Much Can California Pizza Kitchen Owners Make?

According to CPK’s 2022 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), it does not make any representations about a franchisee’s future financial performance or the past financial performance of company-owned or franchised outlets. For those purchasing a CPK restaurant, they may be provided with these records. 

How Much Does It Cost to Open a California Pizza Kitchen Franchise?

The total investment required to start a new CPK Restaurant varies depending on the type of operation:

  • New CPK Restaurant: $3,477,000 to $6,700,000, including $72,000 to $77,000 payable to the franchisor.
  • Conversion of an existing restaurant to a CPK Restaurant: $1,257,000 to $4,600,000, with $72,000 to $77,000 payable to the franchisor.
  • New CPK Restaurant at a Non-Traditional Facility: $1,915,000 to $4,110,000, including $72,000 to $77,000 payable to the franchisor.
  • Operation under an Area Development Agreement (for one to five CPK Restaurants): $53,000 to $255,000, with $50,000 to $250,000 to be paid to the franchisor.

What Is the Franchise Fee for California Pizza Kitchen?

The initial franchise fee for CPK is $50,000. 

Who Are the Leaders of California Pizza Kitchen?

What Helpful Articles Can I Read to Learn More?

Want to learn more about franchise opportunities on 1851 Franchise? Be sure to visit our Power Rankings to read more on brands making moves. 

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.