If the 20 months of pandemic have any bright side, The Cheesecake Factory Inc. may have found one: The COVID-19 era actually lured new consumers to the casual-dining brand, especially in its off-premises channel, and those new guests are frequent and loyal, new company research found.

David Gordon, president of the Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based company, said off-premises sales remained strong in the third quarter, nearly double 2019 levels throughout the period.

“We recently completed a consumer research study that showed that we attracted a significant number of new guests to The Cheesecake Factory throughout COVID, particularly via the off-premises channel,” Gordon said on an earnings call Wednesday.

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