If, like us, you think cheesecake should probably be its own food group, then there are a few things you absolutely need to know about the national restaurant chain dedicated to the dessert. The Cheesecake Factory might be your favorite destination for date night or even just a few slices of towering chocolate-chip cookie cheesecake to-go, but we bet you didn’t know nearly half of the stuff about the company that you definitely should. Read on for all the details on your favorite dessert spot.
1. You Don’t Have to Wait for the Check Anymore.
If you or someone you know has a habit of flagging down your server, desperately trying to catch his/her eye from across the room while miming an autograph, you can finally give your attempts at ESP a rest: Cheesecake Factory recently launched CakePay, an app that lets you split the bill and pay (including tip) directly from your smartphone.
2. Drake Name-Checks the Brand in a Song.
In “Celebrities, they’re just like us!” news, the rapper famous for turning Dad-dancing in a turtleneck into a hit music video (ahem, “Hotline Bling”), confesses to being every bit as obsessed with the CF as you are: “Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake / You know I love to go there,” he sings in “Childs Play.” It prompted the brand to tweet a photo of a helicopter delivering the dessert to the singer:
3. The Chain’s Getting in on the Superfood Trend.
With a menu that’s longer than most children’s books, it’s a wonder that the company can even dream up more items to add, and yet, it continually does. The latest: a Super Foods menu, which features antioxidant-rich recipes, like almond-crusted salmon salad, kale and quinoa salad, and yes, even an on-the-nose super antioxidant salad, which features spinach, kale, avocado, broccoli grapes and more.
4. It all began from a1940s newspaper clipping.
Evelyn Overton used a recipe she found in the paper to craft her own “Original” cheesecake that everyone knows (and is totally obsessed with) today. After that, she opened up a small shop in her basement Detroit, MI.
5. The first official outpost opened in 1972.
The Los Angeles location was called The Cheesecake Factory Bakery and it wasn’t until 1978 that Overton’s son, David, debuted the first iteration of The Cheesecake Factory in Beverly Hills with a dessert-forward menu.
6. There are nearly 200 locations today.
The chain has expanded to 39 states and five countries, but continues to open more locations regularly, including highly anticipated locales in New York City, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
7. It’s one of the best companies to work for.
According to Fortune, the Cheesecake Factory ranked as #92 on the magazine’s 2014 list and was the only L.A.-based company to make the cut. Before that, the magazine slated it as the number 6 most-admired company in the food industry in 2013.