California Pizza Kitchen

Working at California Pizza Kitchen: Company Overview and Reviews

California Pizza Kitchen
California Pizza Kitchen
1407 reviews
California Pizza Kitchen Ratings
Average rating of 1407 reviews on Indeed
3.7Work-Life Balance
3.2Pay & Benefits
3.3Job Security & Advancement
Costa Mesa, CA
5,001 to 10,000
$500M to $1B (USD)
Restaurants, Travel and Leisure

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 Average SalarySalary Range
64 salaries reported
per hour
31 salaries reported
per hour
9 salaries reported
per hour
17 salaries reported
per hour
9 salaries reported
per year
Salary Satisfaction
Of the employees are satisfied about their pay
Based on 2492 reviews
Health Care
Dental Insurance
Vision Insurance
Life Insurance
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California Pizza Kitchen Reviews

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Overall Reviews at California Pizza Kitchen

General Manager | Farmington, CT | Dec 17, 2020
Grateful for the opportunity
CPK is an evolving brand. Although change is good, in this instance it has limited the opportunities for growth, especially compared to the past few years. Working for the brand for 7 years, starting out as server and working my way up to General Manager was an amazing experience. The wealth of knowledge I was able to learn during my time here will obviously help me professionally as I continue my journey and the opportunities I was afforded were amazing. Unfortunately as CPK evolves the cornerstones that made them epic employers have changed. Although the changes that have been made are more or less to grow profitability the long term effects have made them more of a “run of the mill concept” versus the stellar status they used to have. The compensation is below market average for internally promoted individuals and the gender pay gap is a real issue; however to their credit this is something that is openly discussed by your Regional Partner and over time being addressed. For people looking to start out in the managerial field with a real thirst for knowledge this is a great starting point. Training and development is very self driven so you have the opportunity to learn as much as you’re willing to put into it. It is a 24/7 position, 6 day work weeks have become an on and off “mandatory” requirement (depending on who you’re talking to) and there’s most likely a mandatory conference/the only time you’ll here from your RP call on your day off but if you’re reall
ProsFresh food, decent insurance
ConsUpper leadership concerns, work/life balance is nonexistent
Pantry Cook | Braintree, MA | Oct 8, 2019
Worst job I've ever had
I have been a cook for 16 years now and have worked in multiple kitchens. CPK takes the cake though as the worst place I have ever worked for in my entire life. At first I liked the job, with being in a busy mall it was busy in the restaurant all the time which makes for your shift going by faster. Then I started getting terrible schedules, working 9:30am-11pm Friday's Saturday's and Sunday's. I had no life I felt like I lived there. I didn't complain though, I needed the money. So I continued to show up for work and work hard as I always do. On a 9:30-11pm shift we would get one half hour break when it's supposed to be one 30 minute break per every 6 hours of work. There were four managers for some unknown reason, completely unnecessary especially when none of them are on the same page an their all telling you different things. None of them really "worked", they mostly walked around demanding order's and asking "How long on this order?" instead of just throwing on a pair of gloves and helping one of their employee's out. Two months into the job, busting my hump, with no write-ups or any bad reports, my GM attempted to "fire" me for absolutely no reason what so ever. I took the issue to corporate because it was totally unfair and I had done NOTHING wrong to deserve it (mind you he pulled this stunt the first week of December with Christmas coming up knowing I have two young children). Corporate overturned his decision and I had my job back by December 23rd. Let me tell you ho
Proscan't think of any
Consshort breaks, terrible schedule, treated like dirt by management, extremely unprofessional
Cook | Murray, UT | Nov 24, 2019
Great Corporation, Terribly Managed Location
There are no breaks for any of the kitchen staff. They put you through a two week training before being left alone at your station, and even then there are still several recipes to memorize per station. This isn't too hard for experienced cooks, however, for those being hired from grill cooks into restaurant cooking - it can get a little hectic to only train for two weeks and have to properly plate everything, exact, and alone on a busy weekend. Several staff members would leave at random to take a smoke break in the mall hallway even though (as previously stated) there aren't any actual breaks given. This slowed production and caused other staff members to get yelled at instead of the ones at fault for leaving. The daytime staff is supposed to prep and stock for the night staff just as the night staff is supposed to prep and stock for the day staff. However, none of the day staff ever prepped and stocked before leaving for the day and it was only the night staff to get in trouble for it. There was also a tablet based university training that there was never training time to complete and they expected you to do it unpaid on your own time at home.The assistant managers would talk about staff members in front of other staff members by making fun of them for coming in on their day off wearing comfortable summer attire (a.k.a. low cut shirts/shorts). The General Manager only worked morning shifts and never stayed to close. He was nice and let his managers do their jobs without mi
Pizza Cook | Orem, UT | Jan 29, 2022
It's a decent company, but it's massive and loaded down with many cons.
I started in 2017. Things were great, and after the covid hit in 2020, things rapidly went downhill; after that, we dealt with incessantly angry customers who had absurd expectations. Most of those people were trying to get a free meal or dessert; however, a few customers thought CPK was a fast food joint, and the managers catered to that expectation, which was a mistake. There were insane amounts of catering, no increase in pay for years at a time, high volume orders that rolled out of the ticket printer to where you were cooking 25 to 40 orders at a time nearly every day during the busy months. This means morning prep is all-day prep, managers were constantly running to the store to restock foods, and we had continuously shorted items from our delivery supplier. We were a high-volume store with needy customers. What gets my goat is that I have been in this industry for 15+ years, and I am in the same state when I started, no house, no car, no progression in any measurable value, no insurance, or any form of benefits working in this industry. Sure, they have the kindness fund, but that was for people who were in the potential spotlight of being a PR problem for the company. I'm sure there were some exceptions, but overall this is not a review of CPK but a review of the current state of the foodservice industry, which is now undesirable as a career option. I am never working at a restaurant ever again!
ProsFree food for BOH, kindness fund if something terrible happens to you, decent pay, and outstanding managers who are flexible with your time.
ConsHuge company, no 'affordable' benefits, a crazy volume of customers, obnoxious customers, CPK slowly turning into a fast food joint, slow progression in the job, no menu changes, so you are cooking the same thing over and over, and no social life for you (no weekends for you - that's nothing new)
Host/Hostess | Honolulu, HI | Oct 28, 2014
fun work environment!
Depending what shift you get for example, " Opening" I would have to make the floor maps of the day. Which regards which server is covering what area on the floor for their shift. Help the busser put roll ups on the tables or wine glasses if help is needed. Check menu boxes on the side of the kiosk to see if they need to be returned to host stand. Since I worked in Honolulu, Hawaii it's known as the tourist island. CPK had English, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese menu's. I had to organize all menu's. If I had "Lunch" or "Closing" shift, depending if I was staging, doing the seating, or greeting guests, I was always interacting with the guests, making sure they felt welcomed and they felt important. I learned that the customers are always right! Always smile and have a small conversation with them so the customers can get that fun, positive vibe about CPK. We made sure that the customers are satisfied and happy with our customer service and the food. My co-workers were amazing! Many different personalities and different backgrounds. They came from all over the states. Some went to Hawaii to go to school, some for the adventure, others to start a new beginning in their life's. Nothing was really hard about this job, it's just very face paced. Most of the time things had to be done back to back none stop. This CPK is located in the Waikiki strip also known as Honolulu's Downtown, so that's how you know it was busy. Having tourists from different countries and st
Prosmusic, co-workers, 50% off meals.
Bartender | Cerritos, CA | Aug 10, 2019
stressful workplace that pays well
I worked with CPK for 4 years right after I graduated from high school. It is good for opportunity when it comes to "moving up" positions from busser to server etc. but it may not be worth the mental strain for someone with previous serving experience. I have worked in 3 locations: Rainbow Harbor, Cerritos Mall, and Palm Desert. All 3 of these locations operate in the same way: corporate. The money is good when you start to serve here, which is what the point of working is, but after tossing and turning for years, I decided I had to quit for hopes of a happier life. I was a 5 star employee and at every location I have worked and I was always at the top of the charts when it came to stats like PPA and the Rewards attachment rate; but somehow, regardless of how hard I worked for CPK, I would always have management watching me, breathing down my neck, and trying to manipulate situations, to try to find something wrong. It had me in a constant state of stress and made it feel difficult to concentrate. They would expect you to have 10 tables and then threaten you with a write up if you didn't run out all of your tables' food. They throw servers into the flames here but then give their employees no rewards whatsoever. Cerritos Mall was the hardest for sure because they would flood you with a 13 table patio section or a 8-12 table indoor section. My first write up was at Cerritos for not charging 50 cents to make a pasta spicy. My last write up was in Palm Desert for not running a
Host/Hostess | Palo Alto, CA | Jan 10, 2014
Productive and fun place to work
A typical day at California Pizza Kitchen would be arriving on time for my shift, cocking in and greeting the host stand. If the windows are dirty I'll clean that and make sure the restrooms are nice and clean before the shift gets busy. What I have learned from working there is that you always have to have a positive attitude when going into work and make your guests visit enjoyable so that they'll feel welcomed back. There are 5 different managers that run the restaurant and they all have their own techniques and own way of running the restaurant which is something I really enjoyed. Working with different types of managers really gives me different perspective and different work experience. The hardest part about the job would be when it's rush hour and the restaurant gets really busy and you have hungry guests everywhere wanting to get sat and be able to eat. What I learned from that is that you have to be patient with the guest and apologize for the wait being so long or not having a booster chair available at the moment all the small things that could ruin their experience. The most enjoyable part for me was seeing all my regular guest come in. Working at this location for 2 years has been an amazing experience because there's guests that have been coming in long before I started working there and they come in with their children and it's very enjoyable to me because I feel like I watch their children grow and I get to know the children even if it's only for 10 minutes
ProsGreat staff, very friendly guests
ConsHealthcare, short hours
Bartender | Frisco, TX | Dec 18, 2015
Great food, management, co-workers, and a great company in general.
A typical day at work was pretty similar to what you would expect from any restaurant job: find out what section you have, find out what your side work is, take tables in your section. This particular store had a consistent traffic flow throughout the week, being relatively slow during the week and then lines out the door for the weekends. I learned a lot from this job, it was the first job that I worked over a year at. It was this job that taught me how to work hard under pressure, especially when dealing with customers. No matter how crazy the shift gets, you can't show that to the guests. They are there to have a nice time, and you can't ruin that for them by being a panicked mess. Working at California Pizza Kitchen also taught me how to work hard and move up in a company. I started as a server, and ended up in a position where I could have moved into Management if I wanted. I chose instead to pursue an academic career instead of spending the rest of my life in restaurants. Management at CPK varied depending on the manager on duty, but generally they cared about their restaurant, their employees, and their guests. They were knowledgeable and helpful, and provided opportunities for me to learn new things in the store. Servers in a restaurant become a kind of family, as you suffer through many hard days and nights together. As a server you constantly have to deal with the uncertainty of income because of slow days or bad tippers, but when you work with great peopl
ProsGreat co-workers and management, great food at a discount.
ConsUnpredictability of traffic and income due to being a tipped position.
Food Runner | Temecula, CA | May 7, 2018
If you just want to have something in your empty resume, apply here
It was okay at first, as a host, you make friends with other hosts and maybe with a couple busboys and waiters, while you learn when not to bother the other staff who seem to be in a bad mood. Or even learn how to take blame and criticism, whether it was directly your fault or not. Standing for 5 hours or more straight with no permission to sit or lean, unless you're rolling napkins, is good for building leg strength. And the super bubbly environment that management tries to obligate everyone to create, even though it's so superficially fake that it's almost farcical, helps one learn how to always appear happy on the outside. The ridiculous expectations with equally ridiculous responses to whatever action was taken, also builds ways to deal with such expectations for people entering the adult world. Customers come to eat and be sat down asap, and yes, they would appreciate the door open for them, but the only people who get upset for not keeping constant eye contact and a forced smile at all times and ask about their life story within the 15 seconds of walking to them to their seats, are the managers. I don't know if it was just the particular location I worked at that had issues, but I sure did learn a lot in the most emotionally frustrating way than any other job. And it definitely makes all the other future jobs look better. So again if it's your very first job, apply here as the first step into the private sector or if you're really passionate about the restaurant service
ProsEasy job, discount on otherwise expensive food
ConsMediocre managment, Moody coworkers, Can't have back problems
Host/Server | Boston, MA | Oct 31, 2012
Poor management but great pay
I was very fortunate to be working in very good locations. Two of the locations I worked at were in malls so it was very busy every day. California Pizza Kitchen is a great place to learn how to be a server because the menu items are very easy to sell. You will encounter every type of customer possible and you're forced to develop skills very fast. The money is very consistently good and there are always plenty of employees to cover shifts if necessary. However, it is very corporate and therefore, very competitive. This is to be expected working for a chain restaurant, but this went above and beyond. There were charts in the back listing sales percentages of certain items. If you didn't meet a certain percentage for a straight month you were fired. If you had a bad review on a survey you were suspended. There were secret shoppers and the district manager managers would often come in unannounced. There was constant turnover, again, to be expected. I did not expect the amount of manager turn-over. I worked at a CPK in Boston for nine months, worked at one in Maryland for a summer, and came back to Boston where four (out of five) managers had left in a three month period. While I was at the CPK in Maryland for three months, two of the managers had left. It creates a very unorganized atmosphere. Other than the management working at CPK was pretty worthwhile. The money was good and it was very easy to pick up extra shifts. It was even easy to pick up shifts at other locations. I e

Questions And Answers about California Pizza Kitchen

What is the promotion process like at California Pizza Kitchen?
Asked Dec 17, 2020
Horrible. Management made you feel bad for asking questions, as well as, when you get asked by management to ring things in a certain way, and you do that, then the cooks get confused, and you as the server, gets an attitude from management.
Answered Mar 24, 2023
Slow, not worth it.
Answered Feb 23, 2023
How often do you get a raise at California Pizza Kitchen?
Asked Sep 10, 2021
Answered Mar 7, 2023
Answered Feb 28, 2023
What is a typical day like for you at California Pizza Kitchen?
Asked Jun 24, 2020
Answered Mar 20, 2023
Answered Feb 19, 2023
What tips or advice would you give to someone interviewing at California Pizza Kitchen?
Asked Jan 24, 2018
The manager will possibly be different so definitely look out for that
Answered Feb 23, 2023
No minor should work here,
Answered Feb 18, 2023
What is the best part of working at California Pizza Kitchen?
Asked Feb 1, 2020
Nothing. Very mismanaged
Answered Jun 23, 2022
the money
Answered Jun 13, 2022