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California Pizza Kitchen Joins Eat-at-Home Food Frenzy

Los Angeles-based casual dining chain California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has joined a growing list of restaurant brands that are leveraging their brand affinity and culinary authority to capture the food-at-home sales opportunity.

CPK, which operates more than 200 restaurants in eight countries and U.S. territories, announced on Tuesday (Sept. 14) that it is adding take-home, ready-to-bake pizzas to the menu for customers to add to their dine-in entrée orders. These CPK Take & Bake pizzas bake in seven minutes and are available in almost 30 varieties.

The Context

While restaurants looking to parlay their culinary authority into products that consumers can take home is no new phenomenon, the move has become more common since the start of the pandemic, as restaurants sought new ways to generate revenue amid dining room closures. Additionally, with the rise of online restaurant and grocery ordering, consumers have found the ways that they consume food — once separated into the clear restaurant and grocery categories — running together into one connected “eat” routine.

You may also like: How Consumers Live in the Connected Economy

By offering a food-at-home option, CPK has the opportunity to integrate its offerings into a larger portion of these “eat” routines. Additionally, by linking this at-home option to its dine-in offering, the restaurant incentivizes consumers to engage with the brand across food-at-home and food-away-from-home eating.

What Consumers Are Saying

Consumers increasingly want to get their food-at-home needs met by restaurants. A survey of over 5,200 consumers featured in PYMNTS’ report “The Bring-It-to-Me Economy,” a collaboration with Carat from Fiserv, found they are now 31% likelier to eat their restaurant orders at home than they are to dine at a restaurant, and 61% of consumers are now ordering food online.

Read more: New Study: Bring-It-to-Me Economy Ascends as Consumers Embrace Home-Centric Lifestyles

What Experts Are Saying

“There are roughly 45 million consumers — we call then them digital shifters — at the tip of the connected ‘Eat’ ecosystem spear,” Karen Webster wrote earlier this year. “And this Eat ecosystem — how consumers buy and pay for their food and where they eat it — is quickly becoming one of the most fascinating case studies for how connected economies develop, compete and scale.”

She noted that within a year after the start of the pandemic, consumers had started ordering their food online, expecting instant convenience.

Similarly, in an interview with PYMNTS, Ken Chong, CEO of restaurant technology platform All Day Kitchens, predicted that over the next several years, more restaurant brands will find ways to grow their digital presence through their social channels, online ordering platforms and websites, as well as by integrating digital technologies.

“We’ll see this convergence of hot foods, ready-to-eat foods, convenience items and groceries, and maybe eventually packages, in this large, micro-fulfillment system,” he said. “We’ll probably see that for everything that’s last-mile and hyperlocal.”

See also: The Instacart Way to Innovating in the Connected Economy

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