At The Cheesecake Factory, we strive to take care of every guest, every day at every meal by delivering a unique guest experience, which differentiates us and creates a defensible competitive advantage. This strategy forms a strong foundation from which we believe we can continue to successfully grow our Company in the years ahead. The key elements of our competitive position include the following:
Leader in Menu Innovation We offer one of the broadest menus in casual dining. We change our menus twice each year – adding new menu items and sometimes entirely new menu categories, while simultaneously removing less popular items – to respond to changing consumer dining preferences. The ongoing evolution of our menu drives a high degree of relevance and allows our menu to remain modern and innovative, contributing to our full margin sales without discounting. In 2016, The Cheesecake Factory was recognized as the number one casual dining brand for Millennials in a survey by Technomic. And in 2016, we were once again recognized as the number one casual dining brand in Nation’s Restaurant News’ Consumer Picks Survey. The Consumer Picks survey is a comprehensive study that rates restaurant chains based on customer preferences, and The Cheesecake Factory was selected for food quality, menu variety, reputation for excellence and likely to recommend.
Excellent Service and Hospitality Drives Sales. Our mission is to create an environment where absolute guest satisfaction is our highest priority. Since we began measuring overall guest satisfaction in 2008, we continue to improve our already high service scores. Last year, guest satisfaction scores for the casual dining industry were down on average between 1% and 2%, while at The Cheesecake Factory, we outperformed the industry and maintained our high scores.
Operational Excellence Stems from Experienced, Talented and Tenured Management. One of the most important aspects of delivering a consistent and dependable level of service is having a team of experienced managers who can execute our high volume, highly complex restaurants. Our field operations leadership team consists of Cheesecake Factory veterans, whose careers span between 11 and 26 years with us. This tenure and knowledge drives our high productivity and helps us operationally in executing an exceptional guest experience. We retain our talent by investing in leadership and mentoring programs that are focused on comprehensive and ongoing training to support career development. Our competitive and highly effective compensation program includes a base salary, bonus, equity compensation and a new leased BMW every three years. Our focus on development, engagement and retention of our staff and managers led to us being named to the FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list for the third consecutive year.
Integration of our Bakery Operations. Vertical integration of our bakery is a key differentiator that allows for the creativity and quality of approximately 70 different cheesecakes and other baked dessert offerings. The primary role of our bakery operations is to produce innovative, high quality cheesecakes and other baked desserts for our restaurants and those of our international licensees. Our signature desserts drive a significant level of dessert sales—approximately 5x greater than the industry average.FORTUNE and 100 Best Companies to Work For® are registered trademarks of Time Inc. and are used under license. From FORTUNE Magazine, March 3, 2016 ©2016 Time Inc. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated.