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The Cheesecake Factory executives said on their first-quarter earnings call for 2024 that the parent company was bringing Flower Child’s supply-chain functions under the corporate umbrella.

Flower Child blossoms in the fast-casual space

The Fox Restaurant Concepts-created brand is moving further under the Cheesecake Factory umbrella

The fast-casual Flower Child is poised to become The Cheesecake Factory’s next “national concept,” executives for the Fox Restaurant Concepts-created brand said in earlier May.

Flower Child ranked No. 278 in the Top 500, with 32 units and systemwide sales of $127.5 million. The company grew sales by 11.1% over 2022 and unit counts by 6.7% over the prior year.

The Cheesecake Factory executives said on their first-quarter earnings call for 2024 that the parent company was bringing Flower Child’s supply-chain functions under the corporate umbrella.

“Part of the reason that we've taken it more fully under our umbrella and leveraged things like the supply-chain team is because we have a very strong belief in the concept,” said David Gordon, president of The Cheesecake Factory, which also owns North Italia.

Average unit volumes at Flower Child were about $4.4 million, he said.

“The new markets have been very strong,” Gordon said. “We just opened a new Flower Child in Plano, Texas, which is an existing market, but we are very happy with the sales there thus far. We think it's very promising. We're excited to open up six to seven more this year, and that continued growth moving into next year and the years beyond.”

The company opened another Flower Child unit in the new market of Ballantyne, south of Charlotte, N.C.

“With strong consumer demand, a robust operations team, and support infrastructure now in place, and an attractive unit economic profile, we believe Flower Child is well positioned for accelerated growth,” Gordon said.

Gordon said sales continued to grow “nicely.”

“In fact, Q1 comparable sales for Flower Child were the highest of any of our core concepts, and sales demand and the newer locations continue to trend well,” he said. “Over the past 18 months, we have successfully implemented several operational and supply-chain improvements to enhance the guest experience and drive cost efficiencies. For example, we implemented a kitchen display system across all restaurants resulting in improved order throughput and operational efficiencies. The loyalty platform was replaced with a more robust and scalable solution.”

Gordon said Flower Child’s restaurant opening training teams were expanded to support accelerated new unit growth objectives.

“We are now leveraging The Cheesecake Factory operational reporting platform and deploying operational dashboards to provide improved planning and performance visibility,” he said. “The Flower Child's purchasing is now integrated into the broader Cheesecake supply-chain operation to take advantage of our scale and purchasing capabilities.”

The company also rolled out a kitchen display system to Flower Child.

“We do know that it's made some good strides and benefits for the guest experience with throughput, the dine-in experience being faster than it was previously, and really allowing them to manage the throughput of off-premises and dine-in,” Gordon said.

Flower Child has a relatively high off-premises mix at about 55%, he explained.

“It's fully rolled out at all the Flower Childs,” Gordon added, “and we're including it in all the new restaurants as we open them as well.”

Flower Child’s menu offers customizable bowls, wraps, salads, and different mix-and-match veggies, grains, fruits, and healthy proteins. Customer favorites include the Mother Earth Bowl, Mac and Cheese, and the Flying Avocado Wrap.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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