The number of Cheesecake Factory restaurants might be holding steady for the moment, but sales in recent years have been stagnant. Things aren’t looking so great for the once-popular chain. So why is this mall dining staple struggling?
Next to an array of decadent cheesecakes, the restaurant is probably best-known for its incredibly long menu. The sheer size of it can be as overwhelming as it is appetizing. So why have a menu that contains 250 items? Founder David Marshall had this to say about it:
“I wasn’t a chef, I had no experience in the restaurant business […] I made sure that everything we served, was something I could make myself. […] I probably should have kept the menu slimmer, if I knew then what I know today… I had no idea we would become a chain, and would have to recreate this menu dozens of times.”
The trend of the long menu appears to be waning with American diners. National chains have begun slimming down menus over the last decade in order to cut costs, and because a massive menu sends a message that the food might not be great. The Cheesecake Factory, however, has resisted change.
Restaurant diners today are also demanding that their food be healthier and fresher. While the The Cheesecake Factory does make all of their food with fresh ingredients, it’s hard to market yourself as healthy dining when you’re known for large portions and decadent desserts.
And many, many of its dishes really are unhealthy. The restaurant was named by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as the winner of its “Xtreme Eating” survey in 2014 for having three of the unhealthiest dishes in the country. As mouth-watering as the Bruléed French Toast looks, it’s hard to justify ordering a breakfast that’s packed with 2,800 calories and 93 grams of saturated fat.
That accolade wasn’t enough to scare The Cheesecake Factory into a diet and once again, in 2017 it took home top honors with its 2,310 calorie Pasta Napoletana.
While they did release a SkinnyLicious Menu in an attempt to keep up with the times, even that is a minefield of fat, sugar, and sodium. It’s no wonder that health-conscious diners may be finding other places to eat.
Watch the video to see why the Cheesecake Factory is struggling to stay in business!
Their menu is way too long |
They’re shockingly unhealthy |
Labor costs are rising |
It’s not exactly a cheap meal |
There’s more options for home cooking |
Casual-dining trends are old news |