Cheesecake Factory Restaurant
A Look at The Successful Chain

The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant

The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. is a mid price, casual dinning restaurant company in the United States. According to the Wikipedia, the company operates 221 dining restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory name in areas in the United States.

Cheesecake Factory restaurants are characterized by diverse menus and elegant interior décor. Customers are accustomed to wait for their table for up to two hours. Restaurant gave a plastic device to the waiting customers which vibrate when their table becomes empty. Waiting customers creates airport like scenario at the waiting porch.

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The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant / The Man Behind the Establishment

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 offering an eclectic menu, big portions, and signature cheesecakes, and the chain became a multi-million-dollar sales performer. The company went public in 1992, and was the first restaurant chain to reach a billion dollars in revenues with fewer than 100 restaurants in operation.

The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant / Early History

Early history reveals that cheesecake was first noticed in Greece as a cottage cheese product. The Cheesecake Factory had its beginnings with Oscar and Evelyn Overton. Evelyn first decided to open a business after making a cheesecake for her husband's employer in 1949. Evelyn opened a small cheesecake shop in Detroit, Michigan in the late 1940s, but later gave it up in order to raise her two children, David and Renee. She continued to supply cakes to several of the best local restaurants, however, through a kitchen in her basement.

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By 1971, their children were now grown, and Oscar and Evelyn moved the business to Los Angeles, using the last of their savings to open a 700-square-foot (65 m2) store that bore the name "The Cheesecake Factory." Evelyn would bake and manage the office while Oscar worked and sales and building new accounts.

The early years of their new company were sometimes difficult, but as the company's reputation and sales grew, the Overtons realized they needed a larger bakery, which they opened in 1975, at which point their business expanded dramatically, with Evelyn creating over 20 varieties of cheesecake and other desserts for hundreds of accounts from Santa Barbara to San Diego, and even out of state.

In 1978, with backing from his parents, David Overton opened a small salad and sandwich shop in Beverly Hills featuring 10 flavors of the Overton's cheesecakes on its one-page menu. They simply wanted to open a restaurant that would showcase their cheesecakes.

The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant / Increasing Sales

In decade of 80’s cheesecakes proved popular with California diners, and in 1983, Overton opened a second restaurant, in Marina del Rey. By 1987 the Beverly Hills shop had grown to a 78-seat restaurant and was grossing $3 million a year, even without a bar area, with diners spending an average of $8 for dinner. The Marina del Rey location had a bar and combined indoor and outdoor seating for 270 people.

In fact, annual sales were increasing by 15 percent a year, and Overton opened a third restaurant, in Redondo Beach, south of Los Angeles. The company spent $2 million renovating the location into a 21,000 square foot, 300-seat restaurant. The new unit was located on the waterfront at King's Harbor, a popular tourist destination.

In 1991, the chain took its successful concept across the continent, to Washington, D.C., for its first restaurant outside Southern California. The new location was in the fashionable Chevy Chase section of the District. In 1992, Overton and his mother incorporated the company and took it public in September. In 1993 Cheesecake Factory saw the opening of two more restaurants in California one on the water in Newport Beach and another in Brentwood.

The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant / Yummy Dishes

Top menu items for the chain were pasta dishes, followed by Cajun Jambalaya and Spicy Cashew Chicken. The company changed the menu twice a year, in June and in December, with new items added from the annual food trips Overton made with his staff to New York and Boston. The list of offerings included pasta, burritos and fajitas, steaks, seafood, ribs, pizza, burgers, omelets, salads, sandwiches, and vegetarian dishes. In addition to cheesecakes, dessert options ranged from hot fudge sundaes to fresh fruit to cakes to apple dumplings.

By early 1995, the chain numbered 11, with a new unit in Bethesda, Maryland, a Washington suburb, and two restaurants in Florida, in the Miami suburb of Coconut Grove and in Boca Raton. After 1995 the chain's expansion saw no let up as three more restaurants opened within an 11-week period late in 1995 in Chicago at the John Hancock Center, at the Galleria in Houston, and at the Atrium in Chestnut Hill, a suburb of Boston.

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The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant / Spreading Its Wings

The company operates its restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe marks. As of February 21, 2006, The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated operated 103 full-service, casual dining restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory mark in 29 states and the District of Columbia District of Columbia, federal district. As of February 21, 2006, it also operated seven full-service, casual dining restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe mark in Sunrise; Florida Sunrise is a city in Broward County, Florida, United States.

The City of Dallas Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, and one self-service, limited menu express foodservice operation under The Cheesecake Factory Express mark inside the Disney Quest family entertainment center in Orlando, Florida. The company also operates a bakery production facility in Calabasas Hills, California, which produces baked desserts and other products for its restaurants and for other foodservice operators, retailers and distributors. It has also licensed two bakery cafes under The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Cafe mark to another foodservice operator.

Feb. 20, 2009 The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated announced the opening of its newest Cheesecake Factory restaurant at Plaza Escuela in Walnut Creek, California, in the San Francisco East Bay Area. The restaurant opened on February 19, 2009 and contains approximately 11,000 square feet and 330 seats.

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