Thursday, January 17, 2008

Whoever is heading up the marketing for California Pizza Kitchen is brilliant

I have no other words to describe it. This morning was TOTALLY COOL. Our playgroup met at California Pizza Kitchen at 9am to celebrate the kids who have January birthdays. I don't know if this is everywhere, but this CPK hosts kids' parties ...before the restaurant opens to the public. I took BOY out of school because how often do you get the opportunity to make your own pizzas and get a tour of a restaurant and see how the whole operation works - in a way that kids can understand and appreciate.


First all the kids lined up along the long banquette to sit and listen to "the rules of the restaurant." Cleverly delivered by a tag team of kid friendly manager and head chef, the kids listened to most of it. Then we took the tour. All in a line we went past the prep cooks chopping veggies, had drawers pulled out to show us the stocked items, saw pizza dough flying and of course, the pizza oven. Then we headed to the back where we saw a waiter rolling the set-ups (silverware), passed the cleaning supply closet, and the best part ...got to go inside the walk-in refrigerator! Imagine 3 & 4 year olds with the idea of a refrigerator that you can walk inside. It was GREAT. The group happened to corner two prep guys who did well considering they were forced against the wall while juggling stacks of cucumbers. The manager told the kids they were in a space where they could yell as loud as they wanted to. So, on the count of 3 there were shrieks and bellows of glee.

Going back into the dining area, the kids sat out at tables and bowls of cheese, pizza sauce and peperoni were placed on the tables. Each child was given a small flat round of dough on a sheet of tin foil and were shown how to put the ingredients on it to create their very own pizza. While the pizzas baked in the oven, the manager came around with a pitcher of milk and filled up their kiddie cups and the kids colored and did the puzzle book. Then the pizzas were ready and consumed as fast as the pies could cool off. And surprise...grown-up pizza for the moms. It was early, true, yet who can turn down fresh pizza?

Before we left the kids were each given a certificate with boxes checked off to show that they were certified pizza makers, certified pizza samplers and now would be very special guests for another visit. Yes, a free kids meal certificate. Whoever is heading up the marketing for CPK is brilliant. Happy kids, happy moms and people who will return. It can't get much better than that.


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14 comments:

Lisa Milton said...

Sounds like a fabulous time, getting their hands all dirty and squealing.

My boy would like nothing better.

Heather said...

Sounds like fun! I remember doing something like that as a kid. I hated getting all messy and my pepperoni had to be neatly lined up. Yeah, I was that kid.

Mrs. G. said...

We have a CK in my area, and it is a family favorite. What a fun day...now you have professional little pizza makers.

Rima said...

Thanks for sharing that! We eat at CPK all the time with the kids, but I had no idea they did kids' parties. Sounds awesome.

HRH said...

I am so glad to hear about that and will schedule that next time I host my group...hopefully, the other girls haven't read this yet! Shhhhhh....I will look brilliant.

MamaGeek said...

Wow, sounds amazing. I have never heard of one or seen one, but I WANT ONE. What a concept.

happygeek said...

Good weather, CKP, Target, you Americans get all the good stuff. All we've got is Tim Hortons and Poutine.
Glad you hada fun morning! Sounds like a lot of fun!

painted maypole said...

that does sound like fun. And CPK food is yummy, to boot. I miss them, we don't ahve them here in "the other LA" (I'm now in louisiana, I used to be in Los Angeles)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Yeeee! How fun! I haven't been to a CPK in years! I should check it out.

Sober Briquette said...

I'll have to check if we have one. However, when my daughter was a toddler, the supermarkets in our area would do sort of the same thing - a tour of the market, including making a pizza, petting the lobster, cookies from the bakery, then eating the pizza they made and leaving with balloons -- all for free!

Jen said...

Sounds like a great time! I just wanted to let you know, we are having some computer problems, so I might not be online for a while.

Mary Alice said...

Wow...I am in marketing awe. Now I am left considering how friends who own a soda fountain could incorperate this into their marketing and how health laws might apply. Thanks for this post.

THE MOM BOMB said...

Sounds soooooo much better than doin' "the Cheese". Chuck E Cheese, that is.

Heather said...

I had no idea about this. Thanks for passing it on. My kids both have May birthdays. We'll definitely check this out.

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