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The Cheesecake Factory Just Made a Big Announcement About Its Menu

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the beloved brand sees a big menu as its advantage.
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese
cheesecake factory

Customers can't wait to return to The Cheesecake Factory's dining rooms, and its legendary robust menu may have something to do with it.

The parent company of the chain with more than 200 U.S. locations recently reported its year-end earnings, which revealed a significant demand for indoor dining at the popular family-friendly establishment. While the company's overall earnings dropped by about 20% in the fourth quarter, 24 of the locations that had been open for limited indoor dining reported positive same-store sales, according to Restaurant Business. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)

The chain has also seen a continually high demand for its takeout and delivery services, even while 80% of its locations are open to diners in some capacity. President David Gordon attributed the healthy demand to what The Cheesecake Factory is best known for—its huge, varied menu. Speaking to analysts on an earnings call, he said the chain has no plans to trim down its menu any time soon. Meanwhile, several other brands have resorted to cuts in order to simplify operations during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"The 'no veto vote' is really, I think what's continuing to help us grow these sales . . . There's so many choices, so many options," Gordon said. "I appreciate the desire for simplicity. Certainly, our operators would; they have the desire for simplicity. But it's our differentiator and will continue to be . . . I wouldn't anticipate that we're going to be looking to shrink the size of the menu for any short-term gain. We're here for the long run, and we'll continue to leverage the menu as a great marketing tool and for guests to be able to get whatever they want."

In fact, The Cheesecake Factory is doing the opposite of simplifying operations—it's continuing to expand its menu amid the pandemic. The chain rolled out a Timeless Classics section with 11 new dishes in October, and it announced the addition of a dozen more new menu items several weeks ago. Set to arrive at all locations in March, the latest additions include new brunch options, a cheeseburger, pastas, and even tacos.

For more on the beloved menu, check out The Best and Worst Menu Items at The Cheesecake Factory. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mura Dominko
Mura is a senior news editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more