The Cheesecake Factory defies all odds

Despite doing everything wrong, the Cheesecake Factory prevailed.

If you’ve ever eaten an entire loaf of brown bread while flipping through a menu the size of a small novel, you know the Cheesecake Factory.

First opened in 1978 in Beverly Hills, the restaurant now has 211 North American locations and consistently ranks as a customer favorite. And it’s seeing record revenues despite doing arguably everything wrong, per Vox.

Restaurant rebel

The rules for a successful restaurant are simple: minimize everything. Labor, ingredients, and menu offerings are often cut to scale successfully.

Meanwhile, the Cheesecake Factory:

  • Has 250+ items on the menu
  • Makes its food on-site from scratch
  • Strives for a lavish, in-person dining experience

During the pandemic…

… that spelled danger for the chain. The company furloughed 41k hourly workers and was charged by the SEC for failing to disclose it was bleeding out $6m in cash per week.

But Cheesecake pivoted its efforts to delivery, rehiring the majority of its employees to sling carbs to couch-bound customers.

Still cheesin’

Nevertheless, the Cheesecake Factory bounced back. The company reported record revenue of $769m in July 2021, and topped that with $832.6m in Q2 of 2022, despite inflation and reduced consumer spending.

Even more shocking: The restaurant’s most popular dish isn’t cheesecake at all. It’s fettuccine alfredo, which is ordered 200k+ times every month.

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