Cheesecake Factory has been an all-American family favorite for decades, whether you're into their giant desserts or equally sinful appetizers (that spinach-artichoke dip — heaven). That's why it's kinda surprising to hear that the chain's business is down, especially when you hear the reason why.
Chairman and CEO David Overton said in a statement that Cheesecake Factory "faced unfavorable weather that reduced patio usage” and that's why the company expects second-quarter sales to decrease 1 percent and shares of Cheesecake Factory are down 8 percent in Tuesday's trading.
While obviously, we all love to dine al fresco, how many people really think of a chain restaurant with massive pieces of cheesecake as an ideal spot to enjoy the summer sun? What seems more likely is that Americans want to eat healthier — both generally and in advance of summer swimsuit season.
Still, if this is something that's unique to summer this year, rather than every summer, it could be that people are realizing that the Cheesecake Factory is not the best option for their families when it comes to eating out.
“We've seen heightened volatility in week-to-week sales trends, indicative of uncertainty on the part of many consumers,” says Overton. “Specifically, we have seen pockets of softness as we moved through the quarter, notably in the East and Midwest where we also faced unfavorable weather that reduced patio usage.”
Interestingly, the brand plans to expand delivery options and is testing a fast-casual concept. Not sure how that'll help with the patio weather situation, but we'll be keeping an eye on Cheesecake Factory to see if it can draw customers back in.
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