The Cheesecake Factory Plans to Reopen 124 Restaurants By Mid-June 'with Limited Capacity'
The Cheesecake Factory is ready to get back to business after temporary closures amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to several reports, the popular restaurant chain has already opened 34 locations for dine-in services as of June 2 "with limited capacity in accordance with local mandates," and hope to get that number up to 124 by mid-June. In total, the restaurant group has 294 restaurant locations across the United States.
The company noted in a press release that these reopenings would be "subject to any closures due to further demonstrations and other factors related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic."
In a business update to Nation's Restaurant News last week, the company said that the reopened locations have been able to reclaim about 75% of prior-year sales levels.
“For The Cheesecake Factory restaurants that are continuing to operate an off-premise only model at present, current weekly off-premise sales would equate to nearly $4 million per unit on an annualized basis, on average,” they said.
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The company has had a difficult time dealing with the economic fall-out of the virus, telling its landlords in late March that they would not be able to make the next month's rent.
“Unfortunately, I must let you know that The Cheesecake Factory and its affiliated restaurant concepts will not make any of their rent payments for the month of April 2020,” the restaurant chain’s founder and CEO, David Overton wrote in the letter, which was dated March 18. “Please understand that we do not take this action or make this decision lightly, and while we hope to resume our rent payments as soon as reasonably possible, we simply cannot predict the extent or the duration of the current crisis.”
In a statement to PEOPLE at the time, The Cheesecake Factory Chief Financial Officer Matthew Clark said: "We have very strong, longstanding relationships with our landlords. We are certain that with their partnership, we will be able to work together to weather this storm in the appropriate manner."
Additionally, they had to furloughed 41,000 hourly employees, according to Market Watch.
Despite the struggle to make rent, The Cheesecake Factory has remained optimistic about a bounce-back, telling investors in May that they anticipated their large capacity dining rooms to be an advantage amid reopening of dine-in services, Restaurant News reported.
The company claimed that their "flexible seating layouts will uniquely enable us to ensure ample levels of social distancing while maintaining sufficient seating capacity to generate what we believe could be meaningful sales volumes."
As of Monday, June 8, there are 1,951,722 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., and a total of 110,771 reported deaths.
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