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The Cheesecake Factory Inc. releases second-quarter earnings with COVID-19 impact.

Cheesecake Factory finds customers eager to dine out

At reopened units, brand is finding wait times of 20 minutes to an hour on weekends

Many consumers are eager to dine out despite the coronavirus pandemic, and The Cheesecake Factory Inc. said it is already enjoying considerable wait times on the weekends at its open units, the company said this week.

The Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based dining company said that as of Wednesday, when it released second-quarter earnings, about 71% of its Cheesecake Factory units, a total of 146, have reopened dining rooms as March restrictions eased. And about 16% of its restaurants, which include North Italia, are operating with reopened patios.

“We have seen strong pent-up demand with many Cheesecake Factory locations running a wait on weekends,” said David Overton, Cheesecake CEO and chairman. “Our large restaurant footprint and flexible seating layouts are enabling us to recapture meaningful sales levels despite capacity restrictions.”

While same-store sales at Cheesecake Factory restaurants were down 56.9% in the second quarter with the COVID-19 impact, Cheesecake units with reopened indoor dining rooms are capturing about 80% of prior-year sales levels in the quarter to date, the company said.

“We are on the waits anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes on the weekend,” Overton said, “and that is in every geography and every size restaurants.” The Cheesecake Factory units ranges from 5,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet.

For restaurants that continue to operate with only an off-premise-only sales model, units are doing about $4.2 million per store in annualized sales. For the third quarter through July 26, same-store sales at Cheesecake Factory restaurants are down about 32%.

For the second quarter ended June 30, The Cheesecake Factory swung to a loss of $83.7 million, or $1.61 a share, from a profit of $35.5 million, or 79 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenues fell 50.9% to $295.8 million from $602.6 million in the prior-year quarter.

The Cheesecake Factory owns and operate 293 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada under brands that include The Cheesecake Factory, North Italia and a collection within the Fox Restaurant Concepts subsidiary. Internationally, 26 Cheesecake Factory restaurants operate under licensing agreements.

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Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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