California Pizza Kitchen

  www.cpk.com
  www.cpk.com

California Pizza Kitchen Reviews

Updated November 24, 2014
Updated November 24, 2014
183 Reviews
3.2
183 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
California Pizza Kitchen Executive Chairman, President & CEO G.J. Hart
G.J. Hart
82 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's flexible hours, and good money for the work you're doing (in 9 reviews)

  • Extremely laid-back, great food plus employee discounts (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • And upper management keeps saying they support the employees, when they really don't care at all (in 10 reviews)

  • Long hours, not valued, not customer focused (in 7 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    If in the right location good steady tips for server

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Server in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good tips and hours if in good location. Laid back. Not a huge menu. Ability to make good money and have adjusted hours for college students. Managers willing to work with your scheldule once you show you belong.

    Cons

    Managers can lack in performance.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Working there

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at California Pizza Kitchen

    Pros

    Awesome place to work for

    Cons

    Kinda slow days at time especially morning

  3.  

    It's like Chuck E Cheese, only the parents get drunk and the kids think you're the game.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen

    Pros

    The FOH house staff is hired for personality, co-workers in 3 stores that I've worked in have been 90% awesome. You can definitely make a fist full of cash in a short amount of time with average effort, and a strong sense of teamwork makes the environment more positive and productive. This is a great place for college students who need a few hundred extra bucks a month, or who want serving experience as they hire folks with none.

    Cons

    Sales are down, and the company is going through a re-branding effort currently, a lot of out with the old in with the new. There's a lot of confusion about standards of service, and new hires will have a rough time getting started unless they MEMORIZE THE MENU, as it's not required in the training currently. I worked my way up to bartender, trainer, and then DSL(the hourly management position). Each step upward was a cut in take home pay(mind you i was going from tipped to not). Management is generally open and easy to talk to, but I've come across more disgruntled, overworked, and underpaid managers who couldn't care less here than in any other job. As with any restaurant, the guests are generally awful, and will remind you that they've been coming here longer than you've been alive, and their menu knowledge is superior. KIDS ARE THE WORST. with ~$5 kids meals (drink included, dessert discounted) most of your tables will be 4 kids and one unhappy parent ordering a salad or bowl of soup, total check $35, and that's if you're lucky.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The kids have got to go. The middle class no longer has the money to bring their kids in and treat themselves to salmon or a $13 individual pizza. A frighteningly large number of my tables are mostly kid's meals, with a small plate or soup for the adult, because it's a kid's place, right? The non-kids tables are usually uncomfortable because of all the kids running around screaming, and generally have that "Get me out of here" face on the entire time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good company going into the wrong direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Server in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Holiday season at Lenox Mall is a great opportunity to make money
    Co-workers
    Flexibility

    Cons

    Company decisions
    Bad management
    Micro-managing
    Unrealistic goals and expectations
    cutbacks on products hurt overall quality of restaurant
    *Personal note: this should be a part time job or else you will get stuck and fall in love with the idea of making quick money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good income, No advancement.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Dishwasher in Fresno, CA
    Current Employee - Dishwasher in Fresno, CA

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good pay, Friendly management, and good food.

    Cons

    No advancement, rarely they would move people up positions for example host to server or dishwasher to cook. no opportunity to grow, just another job to get some money

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote your employees, managers started from the bottom too. nobody went into a management position at 18.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great company to work for in this industry!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bartender in Fort Myers, FL
    Current Employee - Bartender in Fort Myers, FL

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    It is as laid back as a restaurant can be. The company wants you to be your unique self. I got a bonus for being there a year. Scheduling is flexible and easily accessed via the internet. Also, at my location the latest we stay open in 9:30!

    Cons

    The only complaint I have isn't something the company can control. It is an entry level job where a lot of first time employees start their working experience, therefore they just don't care about their job performance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe give more evaluations of foh staff with a small bonus or raise as an incentive to do well. I'm talking as little as free movie tickets. A little goes a long way.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Working at CPK has taught me how to deal with every type of customer there is. It keeps me on my toes.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Server in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Server in San Mateo, CA

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Intense training, prepares you to serve at any restaurant

    Cons

    Can be very stressful. Need to increase wait times for customers to avoid triple seating a server's section.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    relax a little

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Wonderful Company, Great Culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at California Pizza Kitchen

    Pros

    The environment is great and actual chain food that's good. Promotions are frequent. Great first place to work. Discount food.

    Cons

    inexperienced management, constantly changing menu, long training program

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep it consistent. try hiring a team instead of several good individuals

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    New ownership and management are a joke...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at California Pizza Kitchen full-time

    Pros

    Was an outstanding company prior to its sale to Golden Gate.
    They had an outstanding culture and sense of teamwork.

    Cons

    GJ Hart has proven to be a "one trick pony" who has taken a sucessful concept and culture and tried to turn it into another Texas Roadhouse. What an overrated, egotistical clown. After cleaning house he has brought in more and more people from Texas Roadhouse as if that will save his bacon.
    Hopefully, Golden Gate will see the light and dump the mess he has created.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Punt...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    No support for management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Restaurant Manager in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Restaurant Manager in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at California Pizza Kitchen full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Competitive salary and benefit package

    Cons

    Company is owned by a private equity firm- not a restaurant group
    Constant management turn over
    Much of the original CPK is gone- new company has slowly laid off long term employees at the corporate level
    Long hours
    Sales based bonus system

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The term jack of all trades, master of none applies here. When you roll out several different initiatives all at the same time- it is counter-productive. Also- you have many long term back of house employees who are very over-paid and send labor percentages soaring. To compensate- you cut labor dollars from the front of house- then you wonder why your guests do not come back. You need to start listening to your managers and supporting them- constantly training new ones that don't last must be getting very expensive for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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