California Pizza Kitchen: Writing the Next Chapter of a Popular Restaurant

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) wanted to attract people coming back to casual dining restaurants, especially young foodies and sophisticated foodies. It tasked O’Malley Hansen Communications with securing media coverage announcing the “Next Chapter” makeover of its locations in St. Louis and Chicago in 2015 to celebrate the brand’s 30th anniversary and new restaurant décor and menu. OHC generated stories and news clips highlighting these restaurants being among the first in the country to convert to the new model before CPK remodeled system-wide. In addition, CPK scheduled a media event in Chicago during the National Restaurant Association convention with the company chief executive officer in attendance and called upon OHC to secure media at the event.

We focused on educating local media and bloggers about the fresh, contemporary new restaurant design and vastly expanded menu. And, to drive media to the event, we opened our media outreach to major trade outlets covering the NRA in Chicago and positioned the event as a “first-see.”

Based on our strategy and media outreach to support the brand’s local market marketing initiatives we secured coverage in the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Chicago Business Journal, Northbrook Tower, and various blogs in Chicago and had multiple outlets attend our media event during the NRA. For St. Louis, we secured coverage in the St. Louis Business Journal, KMOX-TV, KSDK-TV and various blogs. We also secured coverage in trade media, including Restaurant Business and Nation’s Restaurant News.