Some of the best businesses start in the home. That’s what happened with the Cheesecake Factory, an American restaurant, and a cheesecake distribution company.
Evelyn Overton started baking cheesecakes out of her home in Detroit, then out of a small shop, then back out of her home again. When she and her husband moved to Los Angeles, they expanded her business into a wholesale bakery and the Cheesecake Factory was born. The business grew slowly, going from one store to several across California through the next twelve years.
The Cheesecake Factory may have started out as a shop that made cheesecake, but it quickly expanded to include a whole expanse of other food items. Cheesecake remains the focus of every store, but the menu grew to include short order and fast-food style food.
The company expanded to the East Coast of the United States in the early 1990s with a store in Washington D.C. The restaurant includes a rotating style menu that changes twice per year. Menu items include seafood, steaks, vegetarian options, and of course desserts. The idea of changing the menu came from Evelyn’s husband David, and it quickly became a staple of the restaurant’s style. Customers come back for their favorites, but they also come back for the new menu items that they haven’t tried before.
David also planned to expand by three to four stores per year to increase the company’s sales by one-quarter year over year.
The biggest controversy for The Cheesecake Factory has come from health-focused groups criticizing the company’s calorie-rich menu. The chain was ranked as the worst family restaurant in America in 2010 by Men’s Health Magazine. For example, the company sold one dish called the Bistro Shrimp Pasta, which weighed in at 3,120 calories. That single meal represents more calories than an adult should eat in a day in order to maintain a healthy weight. More than any other meal at any other national restaurant chain.
The Cheesecake Factory responded to the criticism by rolling out its Skinnylicious menu, featuring lower-calorie cocktails, entrees, and even desserts.
The Cheesecake Factory has expanded to have a global presence selling its products. Starting in 2012, the company pushed through an expansion that saw it open restaurants in Dubai, Shanghai, Qatar, Mexico City, and many more.
Worldwide, there are two hundred and ten restaurants that generate more than two point six billion dollars in revenue. The company went public in 1993. It produces its cheesecakes in two factories, one in Calabasas, California and one in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The Cheesecake Factory licenses its name and its products to food service companies that can then sell them under the Cheesecake Factory brand. This includes cafes in Barnes and Noble bookstores. Subsidiaries of the Cheesecake Factory include the Grand Lux Cafe, RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen, and the Social Monk Asian Kitchen. The Cheesecake Factory has continued plans to keep expanding its brands in the future.
After almost fifty years in business, the Overton family still runs the business. The Cheesecake Factory represents a decadent treat of a restaurant for lovers of indulgent food all over the world.