13 things you probably didn’t know about The Cheesecake Factory

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There are some things you might not know about the popular chain. Reuters

Known for its extensive menu and indulgent desserts, The Cheesecake Factory is a popular restaurant in the US and across the globe.

Here are some interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the chain:


The idea behind the chain started in Detroit, Michigan, where founder David Overton grew up.

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David Overton’s mother owned a bakeshop that made cheesecake. Shutterstock

Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton told Vice in 2016 that his mother is to thank for the popular chain.

She found a cheesecake recipe in a newspaper and opened her own bakeshop in Detroit before moving the operation to the basement of her house for 25 years so she could be around as her children grew up.

After his parents moved to Los Angeles, at his suggestion, as a last-ditch effort to really get their business off the ground, Overton said, “My father would get in his car and go door-to-door and just try to sell cheesecakes to restaurants.”

Today, The Cheesecake Factory HQ is located in Los Angeles County, where the chain was officially founded in the late 1970s.


Before going into the restaurant business, Overton was in a band.

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David Overton’s band even opened for Janis Joplin. AP Photo

As a young adult, Overton dropped out of law school to play drums in a rock band. The group, Billy Roberts Blues Band, was relatively successful, and they even opened for Janis Joplin.

“I went to law school in San Francisco, but I dropped out because I wanted to pursue music,” Overton said, per Nation’s Restaurant News in 2017. “I played until I was 27. That’s when I joined my parents in LA to build their cheesecake business.”


There are more than 200 locations worldwide, including some in the US, Dubai, and Hong Kong.

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The Cheesecake Factory has restaurants across the globe. Reuters

The Cheesecake Factory may be a fixture at your local suburban mall, but the chain also has international licensing agreements in places such as Mexico, Hong Kong, and Dubai, where the restaurant is situated at the bottom of an indoor ski slope.

In total, there are more than 200 locations, most of which are found across the US.


There’s a reason why the menu is so long.

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The restaurant’s long menu is meant to be a talking point. Zoe Miller/INSIDER

The Cheesecake Factory is known for its extensive menu, which is usually nearly 6,000 words long with around 250 items. And there’s a reason why it’s so lengthy.

According to Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin, authors of the book “Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers With Word of Mouth,” the menu is a talk trigger, or “a built-in differentiator that creates customer conversations.”

Overton also told NRN in 2017, “We’ve changed the menu twice a year, every year, for 40 years. That’s what keeps people interested … There’s nothing that America wants to eat that can’t go on the Cheesecake Factory menu.”


The chain sells more than 30 flavours of cheesecake and will ship it across the US.

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The Cheesecake Factory’s tiramisu cheesecake. Paige Bennett

From plainer fare – like fresh strawberry and vanilla bean – to more over-the-top creations – such as Toasted Marshmallow S’Mores Galore – there are more than 30 flavours of cheesecake for diners to choose from.

And the cakes can be shipped anywhere in the US through Harry and David.


Even with all the added flavours, Evelyn Overton’s recipe is still the base for every cake.

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All the cheesecakes start with a five-ingredient base. Paige Bennett

According to Overton, despite the wide variety of flavours available today, his mother’s basic cheesecake recipe hasn’t changed.

“We haven’t changed the recipe of my mother. We just make new ones with new things inside: flavours,” he told Vice in 2016. “… You can’t patent it. Good cheesecake is just five ingredients. It’s just how you mix them.


The Cheesecake Factory sells other desserts, too.

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Linda’s fudge cake is a popular non-cheesecake dessert on the menu. Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In addition to cheesecakes, the chain offers layered cakes, cupcakes, and other sweet treats, like the popular Linda’s fudge cake.

Plus the company supplies the baked good for other national chains, like B&N Cafe at Barnes and Noble.


There’s a story behind The Cheesecake Factory’s eye-catching decor.

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The unique columns are meant to be attention-grabbing. Zoe Miller/INSIDER

In a 2017 interview with Eater, The Cheesecake Factory’s in-house designer, Rick McCormack, spoke about the restaurant’s Victorian and Egyptian decor, saying, “If I try to describe to you what it looks like, you’d probably think it was one of the most horrible-looking places around.”

“The one design element everyone, for good reason, seems to focus on when you talk about Cheesecake Factory design are the Egyptian-style columns,” he told the publication. “Certainly they’re very unique and people immediately take notice of them, which is one reason they’re there.”

According to McCormack, the column design is also different in some locations to give the restaurants another vibe.

For example, the ones in the Marina del Rey, California, restaurant look like palm trees, and others in flagship locations are covered in mosaic tiles for “more glitz.”


The chain is famous for its brown bread ― and you can ask to have your sandwich prepared with it.

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Opt for any of The Cheesecake Factory’s sandwiches on brown bread. Zoe Miller/INSIDER

People go wild for The Cheesecake Factory’s brown bread, but customers may not know that they can request to have sandwiches prepared on it, according to Delish.


The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. owns several other chains, including Grand Lux Cafe.

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Grand Lux Cafe is a little fancier than The Cheesecake Factory. Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

In addition to The Cheesecake Factory, the company also owns several smaller chains, including North Italia, Flower Child, RockSugar, and the Grand Lux Cafe – which is like the restaurant’s more sophisticated sister.


Drake references the chain in one of his popular songs.

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The lyric appears in ‘Child’s Play.’ Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Drake, who owns a mansion near the chain’s headquarters in Calabasas, California, references The Cheesecake Factory in his song “Child’s Play”

The lyrics are, “Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake? / You know I love to go there.”


The company gives back through a charitable foundation.

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Actors Wilmer Valderrama and Ali Landry have volunteered with The Cheesecake Factory and Feeding America. John Shearer/GettyImages

In 2001, the company established the Oscar and Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation, named after the CEO’s parents.

Some of the nonprofit’s initiatives include a partnership with the hunger-relief charity Feeding America and a Thanksgiving volunteer program with the Salvation Army.


It’s one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

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The Cheesecake Factory has been recognised as a great place to work. Paige Bennett

This year, Fortune named The Cheesecake Factory one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the seventh time.

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