The Cheesecake Factory
The front entrance of a Cheesecake Factory in downtown Seattle, Washington, 2009
|Traded as||NASDAQ: CAKE
S&P 400 Component
|Headquarters||Calabasas Hills, California, United States|
Number of locations
(Chairman and CEO)
|Products||Cheesecakes, burgers, pizza, pasta, steaks, sandwiches|
|Revenue||$1.87 billion (2013)|
|$160.95 million (2013)|
|$114.35 million (2013)|
Number of employees
The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. is a restaurant company and distributor of cheesecakes based in the United States. The company operates 185 full-service dining restaurants: 165 under The Cheesecake Factory brand, 11 under the Grand Lux Cafe brand and one under the RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen brand. The Cheesecake Factory also operates two bakery production facilities—in Calabasas, California and Rocky Mount, North Carolina—and licenses two bakery-based menus for other food service operators under The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Cafe marque. Its cheesecakes and other baked goods can also be found in the cafes of many Barnes & Noble stores.
David M. Overton, the company's founder, opened the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hills, California, in 1978. The restaurant established the future chain's pattern of featuring an eclectic menu, large portions, and signature cheesecakes.
Founding and early years
The Cheesecake Factory was founded by Evelyn Overton. Evelyn first decided to open a business after making a cheesecake for her husband's employer in 1949. She opened a small cheesecake shop in Detroit, Michigan in the late 1950s, but eventually gave it up in order to raise her two children. She continued to supply cakes to several local restaurants through a kitchen in her basement. In 1972, Oscar and Evelyn Overton moved to the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles where they opened a wholesale bakery, in which they produced cheesecakes and other desserts for local restaurants.
In 1978, Evelyn's son David opened a small salad-and-sandwich restaurant in Beverly Hills which sold 10 varieties of Overton's cheesecakes on a one-page menu. In 1983, the Overtons opened a second restaurant in Marina del Rey. By 1987, the Beverly Hills location had expanded into a 78-seat restaurant and was experiencing great financial success. This led to the opening of a third, larger location in Redondo Beach, which was eventually renovated into a 300-seat, 21,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) location. By the end of the 1980s, The Cheesecake Factory's one-page menu had expanded and the restaurant offered additional fast-food and short-order items.
Expansion beyond Southern California
The 1990s saw the opening of the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant outside of Southern California. The new restaurant was located in Washington, D.C. The Cheesecake Factory was incorporated in 1992 and went public in September 1993. David Overton planned to open 3-4 units a year in the hopes of generating 25% a year increase in sales.
The company began changing its menu twice a year and added items including steaks, seafood and vegetarian dishes. The company continued to open new restaurants, and by 1995 was ranked 11th in the United States.[clarification needed] As of April 2013, The Cheesecake Factory operated 162 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory name in 36 states.
The company used to operate one self-service, limited-menu express food service operation under The Cheesecake Factory marque inside the DisneyQuest family entertainment center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
On January 25, 2011, the company expanded into the Middle East in a partnership with Kuwaiti retail franchising company M.H. Alshaya Co. The 300-seat restaurant opened on August 16, 2012 at The Dubai Mall. This is the Cheesecake Factory's first location outside the United States.
As of November, 2014, the Cheesecake Factory had seven restaurants in the Middle East. They have three in Dubai; at The Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates, and Jumeriah Beach Residence. In Kuwait, they have one in The Avenues Mall and another in Arabella, with one in Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, and lastly in the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. In December 1, 2015, The Cheesecake Factory opened its eighth Middle East Branch at the Verdun Shopping center in Beirut, Lebanon. The opening was attended by many of The Cheesecake Factory management including managers from the US and Dubai.
The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Cafe operates two bakery production facilities in Calabasas Hills, California and Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and licenses two bakery-based menus to other food service operators. This division operates in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Grand Lux Cafe
David Overton designed the Grand Lux Cafe, a restaurant for The Venetian hotel-casino in Las Vegas. The restaurant is modeled after Italian, French, and Austrian styles. The Cafe offers, in addition to American and European-style food, Thai, Malaysian, Caribbean cuisine, and others. The Cheesecake Factory operates thirteen Grand Lux Cafe restaurants.
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen
RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen is a contemporary Asian-fusion restaurant which opened on June 19, 2008, at Century City in Los Angeles. David Overton excluded Chinese and Japanese cuisines from the menu, as these are served at the Grand Lux and Cheesecake Factory restaurants.
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The Cheesecake Factory has been criticized for featuring large servings of high calorie and high fat foods, and a corresponding lack of healthy menu options. For these reasons, the chain was dubbed the "worst family restaurant in America" for 2010 by Men's Health magazine. The average sandwich at the restaurant contains 1,400 calories. In 2013, the Center for Science in the Public Interest gave a better understanding toward some of the food found at The Cheesecake Factory, including the "Crispy Chicken Costoletta" that has more calories (2,610) than a 12-piece bucket of fried chicken from KFC and The Cheesecake Factory's "Bistro Shrimp Pasta" dish, which had more calories than any other entrée from a national chain restaurant at 3,120 calories, with 89 grams of saturated fat. The United States Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion states in its dietary guidelines that a typical female adult should consume about 2,000 calories (males plus 500) and no more than 10 % of saturated fat per day. In an attempt to offer healthier, lower calorie meal options, The Cheesecake Factory created a Skinnylicious menu that features a variety of cocktails, salads, appetizers, and specialty dishes such as lemon-garlic shrimp and grilled salmon. 
In popular culture
A fictionalized version of The Cheesecake Factory was used as a setting in the U.S. sitcom The Big Bang Theory. According to the company, it "does not have any sort of arrangement with the show". A third-party source identifies this plot element as an example of product placement.
Likewise, in the Nickelodeon series iCarly, a parody of The Cheesecake Factory and The Spaghetti Warehouse, The Cheesecake Warehouse is featured, where the main characters acknowledge the ludicrously large portions provided in their meals. Canadian rapper Drake's song "Child's Play", references The Cheesecake Factory.
- List of companies in the United States
- List of S&P 400 companies
- List of restaurant chains
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