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The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. ( ) is a restaurant company in the United Statesmarker. The company currently operates 146 dining restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory name in 34 states and the District of Columbiamarker. The company also operates 13 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe name and one under the RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen name.

The restaurants are characterized by extensive menus, custom décor, and large portions. David M. Overton, the company's founder, opened the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hillsmarker, Californiamarker, in 1978. The restaurant established the future chain's pattern of offering an eclectic menu, big portions, and signature cheesecakes.

The company used to operate one self-service, limited-menu express foodservice operation under The Cheesecake Factory Express marque inside the DisneyQuestmarker family entertainment center in Orlando, Floridamarker. Its cheesecakes and other baked goods can also be found in the cafes of many Barnes & Noble book stores.

In addition, it operates a bakery production facility in Calabasas, Californiamarker, which produces baked desserts and other products for its restaurants and other foodservice operators, retailers, and distributors. A second bakery was opened in Rocky Mount, North Carolinamarker in March 2006. The Rocky Mount plant handles the distribution for the eastern half of the United States. In 2008, Cheesecake Factory’s total revenue was $1.61 billion, of which, $1.98 billion from Restaurant sales, $120 million Bakery sales and ($49.7) million (loss) from Inter Company Bakery Sales.

History

According to the company's website, the Cheesecake Factory had its beginnings with Oscar and Evelyn Overton, who dreamed of opening their own business, and more specifically with Evelyn, a skilled cook with a cheesecake recipe much liked by her friends.

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, Michiganmarker 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.

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 store that bore the name "The Cheesecake Factory."

Evelyn would bake and manage the office while Oscar worked in sales and building new accounts. The early years of their new company were sometimes difficult, but 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, David founded The Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Beverly Hillsmarker, which made Evelyn's cheesecakes even more famous. The chain would become 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.

Grand Lux Cafe

The owners of the The Venetianmarker in Las Vegasmarker asked David Overton to create an upscale casual restaurant for the Venetian. After traveling to Europe to study the cuisine, architecture, design and decor of Italian trattorias, French bistros, and the grand cafes and pastry shops of Viennamarker, Overton created the Grand Lux Cafe, which, according to the Grand Lux's website, merges the luxury of European cafes with the sensibilities of an all-American restaurant. The floors and tabletops are all-marble, and the glass fixtures are hand-blown, and intricate mosaics grace each location. The Cafe offers, in addition to European-style food, cuisine from cultures including Thai, Malaysian, and Caribbeanmarker.

Today the company operates thirteen Grand Lux Cafe restaurants in Arizonamarker (Fashion Squaremarker in Scottsdalemarker), Californiamarker (Beverly Centermarker in Los Angelesmarker), Coloradomarker (Park Meadows Center in Lone Treemarker), Floridamarker (Aventura Mallmarker in Aventuramarker, Sawgrass Millsmarker in Sunrisemarker, and Town Center Mallmarker in Boca Ratonmarker), Illinoismarker (Michigan Avenuemarker in Chicagomarker), Nevadamarker (The Venetianmarker and The Palazzomarker both in Paradisemarker), New Jerseymarker (Westfield Garden State Plazamarker in Paramusmarker), New Yorkmarker (Roosevelt Fieldmarker in East Garden Citymarker), and Texasmarker (The Galleriamarker in Dallasmarker and the Centre at Post Oak in Houstonmarker).

The Grand Lux also places particular emphasis on the on-premise bakery found at each Grand Lux Cafe, which are baked to order, though they also offer baked goods at the bakery counter for take-out. Lunch specials are served daily until 5:00pm, and special breakfast selections are served Saturdays and Sundays until 2:00pm.

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen

RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen features an Asian-fusion inspired menu within a contemporary setting. The new restaurant recently opened its first location in California at Century Citymarker in Los Angelesmarker. The restaurant features many Asian cuisines. However, David Overton intentionally excluded Chinese and Japanese cuisines, as these two genres of food are served at both the Grand Lux and Cheesecake Factory restaurants. Depending on the feedback from their initial location, the Cheesecake Factory LLC may choose to open a second location in Las Vegas.

Online

Cheesecake Factory Restaurants, INC., is its online venture service; which offers cheesecakes delivered to customers in dry ice.

Legal cases

In July 2008, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a class-action suit against Cheesecake Factory Inc. in U.S. District Court in Arizonamarker. The suit claims that three male victims were harassed in the Chandler, Arizonamarker, restaurant by a group of males who allegedly grabbed and forced the victims to engage in simulated sex with their clothes on. The commission attorney also stated that the managers of that restaurant were made aware of the situation and did not attempt to resolve the issue or discipline the offenders. The lawsuit is requesting monetary compensation for the victims along with an injunction ordering Cheesecake Factory Inc. to improve its policies and training programs.

References

  1. http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090220005109&newsLang=en
  2. "What Is The Cheesecake Factory?" About Page on the company's website
  3. The Cheesecake Factory Plans for Second Bakery Production Facility
  4. Cheesecake Factory Revenue Sources, Wikinvest. Retrieved July 15, 2009.
  5. "Our Story" A History of the Cheesecake Factory at the company's official website
  6. A timeline of the Cheesecake Factory's history
  7. History Page at The Grand Lux Cafe's official website
  8. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cheesecake26-2008may26,0,6323663.story?page=1


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