Founded in 1972 by baker Evelyn Overton, the chain is now as renowned for its plethora of menu options as it is for its commitment to indulgence. From being named after one of the most decadent desserts to the super-sized portions it proudly presents, there’s nothing subtle about this dine-in chain. It’s common knowledge that when you take a trip to The Cheesecake Factory, you’re going to go big before you go home.
But one thing you won’t find on that giant menu is the chain’s secrets. We did a bit of digging, and it turns out there are a few things The Cheesecake Factory isn’t quite as loud about.
For more fast-food news, check out 8 Worst Fast-Food Burgers to Stay Away From Right Now.
At Eat This, Not That! we do our fair share of rankings. From the unhealthiest order at any restaurant to meals with crazy amounts of sodium, calories, and sugar, the Cheesecake Factory’s menu items are an unfortunate regular on these lists. It’s worth bearing in mind that they have so many menu options that they might just be statistically more likely to end up on any given roundup. But when the ranking to end all rankings was done by Consumer Reports, The Cheesecake Factory did take the number one slot on the unhealthiest restaurant overall.
If you’re a cheesecake connoisseur, maybe this is less surprising. However, given that the dessert is Cheesecake Factory’s pride, joy, and namesake, we were a bit taken aback to learn that its after-dinner delicacies are actually made in Calabasas, Calif. and Rocky Mount, N.C. and shipped to locations nationwide.
Speaking of cheesecake, here’s something we can almost guarantee that the Factory would rather keep non-viral: it is possible to make a convincing copycat version in your own kitchen. We shared this recipe, which offers all of the deliciousness and significantly fewer dietary drawbacks.
In 2019, a former Cheesecake Factory staffer sat described what it’s like behind the scenes of that famously luxurious dining room. Among the revelations? Even the smallest details in the way the chain operates are regulated by corporate policy. The ex-employee said it was the most intense training they’d been through for any job, and that there were strict regulations for everything from how much ice to put in a drink to the exact angle at which you were supposed to slice the bread.
But the training process isn’t limited to just learning corporate regulations, according to the former server. Apparently, your first week on the job is dedicated to memorizing that behemoth of a menu. The Cheesecake Factory gives out stacks of flashcards to help, but ultimately they do make their staff take multiple written and verbal tests to prove that they are ready to serve.
One might expect that, as a waiter, you work less traditional hours and are often required to clock in on nights and weekends. At The Cheesecake Factory, you are supposed to be able to work a handful of those shifts each week. Apparently, as holidays are also busy for the Factory, it is company policy that workers aren’t allowed to request time off on holidays. Most people end up working “at least one big shift” over a holiday.
The Factory Burger is gone but far from forgotten. It was essentially a standard cheeseburger sandwiched between two pieces of the restaurant’s brown bread. They removed the item a few years ago, claiming it didn’t sell as well as it used to, but the word on the street is you can still snag it. All you have to do is ask.