Off-premise sales at restaurants operated by The Cheesecake Factory have recently soared 85% above the levels seen at the end of 2019, prompting the multiconcept company to project that delivery and takeout business could average $3 million per unit on an annualized basis.
Nevertheless, same-store sales for March dropped 46%, compared with a 3% rise in February, the last full sales month before the COVID-19 crisis hit, the company revealed Friday morning.
In a preview of first quarter results, the casual-dining company said it expects comps for the full three-month period to be down 13%.
The company had said early in the crisis that it anticipated off-premise sales volumes to be sufficient to keep the company sustainable.
With dine-in service suspended in virtually all units, Cheesecake furloughed 41,000 employees and cut the pay of executives by 10% to 20% last week.
Cheesecake said that 30 restaurants across its various brands have ceased operations. Three of the stores are units of the company’s namesake brand.
The company owns and operates 294 restaurants in total.