Few restaurants are as operationally complex as The Cheesecake Factory. Its 500-page employee training manual includes:
That complexity extends to its physical locations, which range from 5k to 21k square feet and employ ~170 workers each.
In March 2020, the chain furloughed 41k workers and cut pay for executives and board members by 20%. At one point, the SEC reported the firm was losing ~$6m per week.
Then, like many restaurants, Cheesecake Factory embraced takeout. It transformed the tables in its cavernous dining rooms into delivery assembly lines and converted parking spaces into pickup locations.
The chain also ramped up advertising by 60% compared to 2019 to attract to-go diners, and partnered with DoorDash for delivery orders.
As a result, delivery cheesecake took off:
The chain’s 21-page menu (you read that right) paired with its short staff has made for a chaotic work environment -- and, at some locations, floor-to-ceiling stacks of cheesecake.
That may sound amazing as a diner, but not so much for employees. The chain has now simplified its application process to attract more workers.
Thankfully, The Cheesecake Factory plans to operate a dine-in/takeout hybrid -- meaning late-night cheesecake delivery isn’t going anywhere.
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