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Racial turmoil shuts 87 Cheesecake Factory restaurants

The operations were fully or partially closed as reopened units saw sales climb back to 75% of pre-COVID levels.
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Cheesecake Factory said it closed or cut back the operations of 87 restaurants last weekend because of the demonstrations and riots that followed the death of George Floyd.

The full or partial closings of nearly half the chain came as the brand continued to reopen dining rooms that were forced to close by the COVID-19 crisis. The 34 Cheesecakes offering limited dine-in service are generating 75% of their pre-pandemic levels, the company said in a business update released Tuesday afternoon. The volume reflects “continued strength in off-premise sales and building dine-in business,” Cheesecake said.

Most of the chain’s other branches are offering takeout and delivery as they await a go-ahead from their host states to resume table service. Their sales are averaging about $77,000 per week, or the equivalent of $4 million per year.

The protest-related closings on Saturday and Sunday contributed to a 63% drop in same-store sales for the fiscal second quarter ended May 31.

Cheesecake also owns and operates the North Italia casual chain and the various brands within the fold of Fox Restaurant Concepts, an independent-restaurant group that Cheesecake purchased last year. In total, Cheesecake’s portfolio includes 294 restaurants. About 25% of that group is currently offering limited dine-in service, according to the company.

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