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This Popular Pizza Chain Is Launching Its First-Ever Burger

The brand wants customers to explore its non-pizza menu items.

They say variety is the spice of life, and one popular pizza chain has decided to spice things up in a major way by going rogue and adding a burger to the menu.

October is national pizza month, but the popular pizza brand with close to 200 worldwide locations has decided to celebrate the occasion by encouraging guests NOT to order pizza.

Yes, you read that right. California Pizza Kitchen is rewarding customers who forgo the brand's signature pizzas in favor of the new West Coast Burger. CPK will treat those who try the burger from October 4 through October 31 with a free 7-inch pizza that can be redeemed at their next visit.

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The West Coast Burger is the first-ever burger offered by California Pizza Kitchen throughout the brand's 35-year history. Rolling out across all company-owned locations this Tuesday, the new burger features an elevated beef blend of wagyu, chuck, and brisket topped with melted cheese, Nueske's applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, tomato, pickles, lettuce, and house-made burger sauce on a brioche bun.

The originator of the California-style pizza wants to flip the script on national pizza month and highlight all of the other delicious non-pizza items on their menu. So, besides just the new West Coast Burger, rewards members who choose a salad, pasta, or other non-pizza entrees will also be gifted a free pizza during their next visit to a California Pizza Kitchen location.

"We love our California-inspired pizza, and it will always be our first priority," said Scott Hargrove, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at CPK, in a statement. "But we're boycotting pizza this month because we know our non-pizza menu items don't always get the same attention. We want guests to explore our menu and try something new. Whether it's an original CPK salad like the Thai Crunch, an unexpected pasta pairing like our Kung Pao Spaghetti, or a fresh take on a traditional comfort food like our new 'West Coast Burger,' there is so much menu creativity to explore."

It's estimated that the pizza brand generated roughly $490 million in sales last year, and over 65% of California Pizza Kitchen's sales already come from non-pizza menu items. Now, the popular pizza chain is attempting to further showcase the wide assortment of pastas, salads, entrees, desserts, and cocktails available to guests.

Remember, this month-long promotion is only available to registered California Pizza Kitchen rewards members. Anyone can become a member by downloading ​the CPK Rewards app for iOS or Android. Keep in mind the free pizza reward expires after November 10!

John Anderer
John Anderer is a writer who specializes in science, health, and lifestyle topics. Read more about John