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Cheesecake Factory® Wisdom

*210 restaurants with $10 million in annual sales per restaurant, 40 thousand employees, 250 menu items, 3,250 orders to fill per day, 1,800 tables to bus, 2,400 drinks to serve. That is what it means to be The Cheesecake Factory®!

Last year they had 800 thousand applicants to fill 28 thousand positions in their stores.
(*This data is based on my notes from hearing Dina Barmasse-Grey, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at The Cheesecake Factory® in a recent speech delivered at California Lutheran University’s School of Management. Any errors are mine, not hers.) 
In February of 1978, David Overton gave up his music career as a drummer and opened a restaurant serving his parents’, Oscar & Evelyn Overton’s excellent cheesecakes.
He put together a business plan, announced the opening and placed a sign on their restaurant door in Beverly Hills stating that they’d not be open until 2pm. When he unlocked the door there were people lined up around the block! It’s been that way ever since.
Clearly the Overtons have hit upon a formula, a menu, a system and a business philosophy that works!
They say that they are “Leading with Purpose” for “every person, every shift, every day.”
They even ask employees to state in writing, “What is YOUR purpose at Cheesecake Factory®?”
In the company statement they say, “We honor all the good things that happen when people come together for a meal.”
How does that compare to your sense of purpose? Your company’s?
They aren’t just focusing on the food, the service or even the restaurants. They are focused on the customer’s experience while there.
That is a BIG differentiator. Like the folks at Disneyland, the “Happiest Place on Earth”, they have a higher purpose than merely completing the functions of their work. It’s about the outcome, the effect on the recipient. That is what keeps them focused and motivated.
And unlike their competitors they aren’t able to communicate electronically with their staff while on their shift. Communication is face to face and immediate. It is also constant and built into the happy culture for them. People look forward eagerly to arriving at work because they know it’s going to be fun and it will do much good for the people they touch today.
Let’s all learn from this wonderful example. Find your purpose by looking at the impact on your customers, focus all your energy on making it the best it can be, create policies and practices that make it fun and meaningful and never forget to value your people and show them that you care.
Thanks Dina and Cheesecake Factory® for your excellent example.
#cheesecakefactory #success #mindset #leadership
Jim Cathcart