Whether you’ve never been to The Cheesecake Factory a dozen times this year or you visit a dozen times a day, we bet there are some things you still don’t know about this popular restaurant. Keep reading to learn more about The Cheesecake Factory.
10. It Started Out as a Bakery
Evelyn Overton, mother of The Cheesecake Factory’s current CEO, opened a bakery in Los Angeles in 1972 and named it The Cheesecake Factory Bakery. She sold 20 varieties of cheesecake and other desserts. Six years later, Overton’s son decided to expand the business by opening a restaurant selling his mother’s cheesecake. The business became a success and eventually spread to other locations. Today, there are more than 200 locations worldwide in places like Canada, China, Mexico, Qatar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. There are plans to open restaurants in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East as well.
9. The Cheesecakes Aren’t Made at the Restaurants
The cheesecakes are made on-site at bakery production facilities in Calabasas, CA, and Rocky Mount, NC. Then they’re shipped frozen to restaurant locations and are defrosted before being served to customers.
-The cheesecake recipe hasn’t changed since Evelyn Overton began making them. She got the recipe from a newspaper back in the 1940s.
-They have 35 different types of cheesecakes. Flavors include dulce de leche caramel, red velvet, Reese’s peanut butter chocolate, pumpkin cheesecake and peppermint bark cheesecake, to name a few.
8. It Has a HUGE Menu
The Cheesecake Factory’s 21-page menu contains a whopping 250 items! So, why are there so many items on the menu you ask? David Marshall Overton, the founder, chairman and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory, explained it all to Thrillist: We were working on new menu items we hoped would stick–and they did. “As we kept expanding the menu, people kept responding positively,” he said. “At this point, after a couple years, I was thinking that I didn’t want this concept to run out, and I didn’t want another restaurant to open down the block and take my business away. We just kept putting things on the menu, that people seemed to like. Finally, I thought, ‘Well, there’s nothing that America wants that we shouldn’t be able to put on the menu.’ So, we just kept at it.”
7. There are Lots of Items You May Not Know You Can Order
With such a huge menu, there’s no way you could possibly know everything that’s sold there. With that said, these are just some of the things you can order that you probably didn’t know you could get at The Cheesecake Factory: avocado toast, tuna poke, strawberry shortcake, spaghetti and meatballs, a bowl of fresh strawberries and whipped cream, vegan-friendly food, all-day breakfast, steak, fruit-infused smoothies, a bowl of vanilla ice cream with whipped cream on the side, gluten-free foods, and even Thanksgiving dinner any day of the year. FYI, it’s not actually Thanksgiving dinner, but rather a Thanksgiving-themed sandwich, complete with turkey, crispy onions, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.
6. There are Little-Known Cheesecake Flavors, Too
Not only are there little-known menu items you can order at The Cheesecake Factory, there are little-known cheesecake flavors, too. These include Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake (made with Ghirardelli chocolate, of course), Celebration Cheesecake (perfect for ordering on your birthday), Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake, Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake Cheesecake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Lemon Meringue Cheesecake, Key Lime Cheesecake (this comes with a vanilla crust), Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Galore (served with Hershey’s chocolate and crumbled Honey Maid graham crackers), Tiramisu Cheesecake, and Peppermint Bark Cheesecake.
5. They Deliver
Well, The Cheesecake Factory doesn’t actually make deliveries, but you can get their cheesecakes shipped to your front door via premium food and gift retailer Harry & David. You can order from then via phone, catalog or website. Unfortunately, not all 35 cheesecake flavors are available for shipping.
By the way, did you know that you can prepare some menu items at home yourself (No cheesecakes of course. After all, they don’t want to give away their recipe.)? But, there are recipes for some of their other menu items listed online, including the almond-crusted salmon salad, Cajun jambalaya pasta, and warm crab and artichoke dip.
4. You Can Still Get the Factory Burger
Even though The Cheesecake Factory recently got rid of the Factory Burger (a cheeseburger served on the chain’s popular brown bread), you can still order it, according to Donald Moore, Chief Culinary Officer at the restaurant. But there’s a catch: You have to go to the original location in Beverly Hills and you have to have been a longtime customer. If you ask the staff nicely, they’ll make one for you, Moore told TODAY Food. If you don’t live near Beverly Hills or if you haven’t been a longtime customer, there still may be a way around it. According to Eat This, Not That!, there’s a menu hack for sandwiches. Just order a sandwich and ask for it to be made on the chain’s honey wheat brown bread. While you may not get the actual factory burger, you may be able to get something similar to it.
3. There’s A Fast-Casual Asian Cheesecake Factory Restaurant
The Cheesecake Factory recently opened a new fast-casual Asian restaurant in Westlake Village, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles. Known as Social Monk Asian Kitchen, this new restaurant serves up noodle dishes, rice bowls, spicy Thai chicken wings, and plenty of other Southeast Asian fare. Other menu items include soups, salads, sandwiches, vegetables, sides, and desserts. There’s also a children’s menu. And, according to its website, all ingredients used are “bold” and “fresh.” Located on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Social Monk Asian Kitchen is open Sunday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
2. Its Best Customers Dine There Several Times a Week
Ten to twelve times per week, to be exact. That’s what California couple Odette and Chuck Ebersole do. The Ebersoles have been dining at The Cheesecake Factory for 30 years. “I absolutely know Chuck and Odette still eat at The Cheesecake Factory every week because if something isn’t up to their liking, I get an email,” Moore told TODAY Food. “They’re our best guests. They’re a part of our culture at The Cheesecake Factory,” he added.
FUN FACT: Odette credits her 40-pound weight loss to her daily Cheesecake Factory diet. Now, that’s music to our ears!
1. They’re One of the Best Companies to Work For
The Cheesecake Factory has consistently been named as one of Fortune‘s 100 Best Companies to Work For. The title was bestowed upon the restaurant in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. It was also named one of Fortune‘s 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity in 2018.
But that’s not all. The Cheesecake Factory is also very charitable. They donate more than 500,000 pounds of food a year to The Harvest Food Donation Program. The collected food goes to local shelters and soup kitchens, transitional housing, and after-school programs. The Cheesecake Factory also partners with Feeding America and the Salvation Army to host an annual Thanksgiving dinner in 13 cities across the U.S.
Have any secrets or hacks of your own you can tell about The Cheesecake Factory? Feel free to share them with us below. Thanks for reading!