California Pizza Kitchen Is Celebrating National Pizza Month In A Truly Bizarre Way

If you go to CPK this month, take our advice: Don't order pizza. Sure, the famous initials are an abbreviation for California Pizza Kitchen — as in, "pizza" is my middle name — but don't let that fool you. The chain is essentially offering you a bonus for not getting pizza.

Why? Well, if you just fell off the food truck and hit your head, you may just now be realizing that this October — the creepy, yet heavenly month of Oktoberfest, pink ribbons, mini-Snickers, and Daenerys Targaryen and Ted Lasso costumes – is also National Pizza Month. Do you hear angels singing or is it just me? 

National Pizza Month began with a proposal from Pizza Today magazine founder Gerry Durnell in 1984 and an act of Congress in 1987. The mid-80s marked a new age for pizza and it's also when former federal prosecutors Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax opened the first CPK in Beverly Hills in 1985. That doesn't explain why CPK would pick October to shun its bread-and-butter pizza, but the company has its reasons.

CPK says: Eat pizza in November

The marketing team at CPK decided to use National Pizza Month to allow customers to become better acquainted with the chain's new and existing non-pizza menu items (per California Pizza Kitchen). Seafood Cioppino or a wagyu blend burger anyone?

The pizza chain is rewarding customers for discovering the other items on their menu all month long: salads, pasta, or entrées. For the first time in its 35-plus history, CPK is offering a West Coast Burger, made of wagyu, chuck and brisket, and topped with cheese, bacon, and caramelized onion, on a brioche bun. "... 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," said Scott Hargrove, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at CPK, in a statement.

As a thank you, CPK will add a complimentary seven-inch BBQ chicken, pepperoni, or cheese pizza to your CPK Rewards account, to be redeemed on the next visit. Who would've guessed that celebrating National Pizza Month without pizza would lead to free pizza?