How Cheesecake Saved the Cheesecake Factory

With its massive menu offering everything from crispy chicken sandwiches to coconut cream cakes, Cheesecake Factory Inc. already ran among the most complicated operations in the restaurant industry. It’s emerging from the pandemic with a model that’s even more sprawling and complex.

When Covid-driven closures cut deeply into sit-down business in Cheesecake Factory’s cavernous, lavish dining rooms, the 208-restaurant chain emphasized to-go orders to help buttress sales. It worked: The chain is averaging more than $3 million in to-go orders per location this year, more than double its typical amount before the crisis.