Wednesday, July 17, 2013

California Pizza Kitchen to get a brand face-lift

My favorite national pizza chain, California Pizza Kitchen is getting a dramatic brand face-lift. 

From Bloomberg BusinessWeek comes the details:

The West Coast-based chain intends to phase out its longtime yellow-hued bistro look in favor of a more local, earthier scheme, which executives described as “rustic,” “organic,” and “relaxed.” 

Thirteen restaurants will take on the new look by year-end.

“We need to be on trend,” said Chief Executive Officer G.J. Hart. “Every restaurant concept needs to stay relevant.”

The new CPK recently arrived at the Westfield Topanga mall in L.A., where it uses reclaimed materials including old railroad trestles from Utah and tabletops made from barn doors.

Other details include chalkboard signs and herb walls with basil, sage, and fennel. Diners can sit at large communal tables. And outside the restroom is a unisex hand-washing station “meant to evoke a warm family home,” according to the article. 

CPK opened another restaurant using the new design in Florida’s Sawgrass Mills mall in December.

Also part of the brand “evolution,” as the company is describing it, are reworked recipes and the addition of “artisan ingredients” such as “table-side pours of white truffle oil” to complement certain dishes. 

What has prompted these updates?  The chain, which has 268 locations worldwide, saw revenue fall in 2009 and 2010 following the economic downturn. Its core customers are ages 25 to 45, skew slightly female, and have higher-than-average income. They are also mostly single—only about one-third have kids. 

Here’s a look at the new design:

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