The Competitive Advantages and Disadvantages of The Cheesecake Factory

6 June 2016

The Cheesecake Factory opened its first casual upscale restaurant in 1978 in Beverly Hills, California. The restaurant came by way of the “The Cheesecake Factory” store founded by Evelyn and Oscar Overton. Their son David Overton set out to offer their guests more than just cheesecake. What The Cheesecake Factory set out to accomplish created more competitive advantages for itself. Although all businesses have weaknesses; The Cheesecake Factory still has much strength to utilize to offset and minimize its weaknesses.

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A strength that The Cheesecake Factory possess that most restaurants don’t is that they are an all in one restaurant, bakery, and bar. There are not many restaurants that operate a full bakery and bar under one roof. The fact that I can order a small portion of dessert to eat after my meal or just come in to buy some whole desserts or cheesecakes more than exceeds my expectations. If you don’t want sit down for a four course meal you are more than welcome to take a seat at their full service bar. There you can enjoy some drinks maybe an appetizer or two and kick back, relax, and watch their flat screen TV’s.

The Cheesecake Factory has strength in numbers. Not only do they have over a 170 restaurants in over 37 different states including Puerto Rico. But they have approximately 200 menu items. These items include but are not limited to seafood, steaks, chicken, burgers, pasta, pizza, salads, and we can’t forget desserts. Aside from regular desserts they have approximately 50 variety flavors of cheesecake. And if that’s not enough restaurants and food items on the menu; The Cheesecake Factory operates two bakery production facilities. The role of these bakeries is to produce high quality cheesecakes to sale at their restaurants. The Cheesecake Factory believes that by doing this it puts them in a competitive position against other restaurants.

Another strength that The Cheesecake Factory holds is value of quality. They do this by giving excellent service and hospitality and targeting high profile restaurant locations. The restaurant strives to meet and exceed customers’ expectations by training and keeping high quality staff members. The staffers have to execute their concepts and deliver a sense of personal commitment to their core values and culture of excellence.

No matter what state I’m in I always seem to see The Cheesecake Factory in a high profile mall or location. This is true because they try to target areas like this on purpose. They call this flex site layouts and locations. It is the flexibility to accommodate urban and suburban layouts. The Cheesecake Factory is also known for its distinctive contemporary design, décor and style. It truly does give an exclusive high-end feel while dining. By investing in high quality staff members, locations, and décor; The Cheesecake Factory has proven to its competitors that they are in it to win it.

While Cheesecake Factory offers a 10 and younger children’s menu if you ask for it; you will not see it on the regular menu. Families want to go to places that they can take their kids, food is quickly served, and prices are reasonable. Consumers now days are looking for fast casual restaurants or quick service restaurants. Casual restaurants are places like Chipotle and Quiznos. And quick service restaurants are like McDonalds and Taco Bell.

There seems to be a growing number of these restaurants because they are a consumer’s demand. The main consumers that demand these types of restaurants are families with kids. These fast casual and quick serve restaurants gives The Cheesecake Factory an appearance of weakness. Not only do these casual restaurants serve quick food with kid friendly menus, but a lot of them offer an early breakfast menu as well. The Cheesecake Factory offers a brunch menu only on Sundays, giving these other restaurants a head start on service.

The one way The Cheesecake Factory can utilize its strengths to minimize its weaknesses is its ability to expand into international markets. They currently have one licensing agreement in the Middle East. With this agreement it will provide development of 22 restaurants by 2016 in five different countries. Not only will this be competitive, but I believe this will work out for them because a lot of these quick serve restaurants have already done this with much success. Take McDonalds for instance, they went global and they now have over 1300 McCafe’s worldwide in dozens of countries. If The Cheesecake Factory uses the same strategy they can minimize and overcome their weaknesses.

The role of competition in the restaurant marketplace is fiercely growing every day. The Cheesecake Factory is just one of many restaurants trying to make leverage by using new strategies and technology. It seems that The Cheesecake Factory has developed the right strategic plans in place to keep up with its competitors and eliminate is weaknesses.

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