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Cheese Cake Factory Competitive Advantage

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Assignment 1: Identify Your Competitive Advantage.
Write a three to four page (3-4) page paper in which you:
1. Identify which restaurant you choose to research, and explain that restaurant’s strengths, and weaknesses and justify your explanation
2. Identify one (1) way in which the restaurant you choose can utilize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses to be competitive. Explain why you believe this would be effective.

1. Identify which restaurant you choose to research, and explain that restaurant’s strengths and weaknesses and justify your explanation

I have chosen to research the Cheesecake Factory for assignment 1.
I am going to and explain Cheesecake Factory’s strengths and weaknesses and justify my explanation. Strength
When people think of Cheesecake Factory, the first thing that comes to their minds is cheese cake. The name Cheesecake factory is a strength I credit to the Cheesecake factory and its founder, Evelyn Overton. Evelyn Overton had created her own cheesecake recipe. She opened a shop in Detroit in 1940 but eventually closed the shop and moved to her basement and continues her business. Evelyn made that choice in order to be a say at home mom and raise her children. While cooking in her basement, she still was able to continually supply major restaurants with her delicious cheesecakes. About 30 years later in 1971, she and her husband made the choice to move to Las Angeles to try to establish a shop again in California. They both managed to open a 700 square foot store called The Cheesecake Factory.
Numerous people have common knowledge of cheesecakes. There are so many different varieties of cheese cakes. The over 40 choices of cheese cake varieties available s is another one of the outstanding strengths Cheesecake factory has. The consumer will keep coming back to try all the various cheesecake varieties available. From personally visiting the cheesecake factory, I notice they have so many types of cheesecake to choose from. I have thought about the question of why have not they started to sell all these cheesecakes to stores all over the country? They have more than enough to market for all those stores interested in selling the product. Then the thought of they may not want to do so because it could take away customers from the actual restaurant lingers in the back of my mind. When someone samples a frozen cake from cheesecakes collection and enjoys it, they may say to themselves if that is so good, I wonder what it is like made fresh in a restaurant setting. This brings me to the last strength I would like to comment on. Cheesecake makes their food in their restaurants daily and use high quality fresh ingredients. As a result, they have earned a strong name and popularity mainly in North America with 150 locations and still growing.
What sets apart the product of the Cheesecake factory are the branding, and quality of the product they sell. The owners Oscar and Evelyn Overton made a brand with a great American success story and developed the awareness of their product. The company is most famous for its large portions which are great for taking home. Not only does it mean that a customer gets a lot for the price, it also suggests another marketing technique which is word of mouth.

Weakness
A weakness that comes to mind is the name. How can the name be strength as well as a weakness? When people see Cheesecake factory with out prior knowledge of the company’s existence, they may think of a place where only cheesecakes are sold. They don’t see the place based off of the name as a place to have an extraordinary dining experience. The appeal factor is not apparent unless desert is what someone is looking for. Also, the Cheesecake factory would not excite someone to believe it should be on their list as a place to hang out. Someone may picture the Cheesecake factory like a factory setting mass producing cheesecake.
When people do decide to dine at the cheesecake factory, to many patrons, the price of the items on the menu and atmosphere is not always budget or kid friendly. Cost of an average meal for one may run $18.00. On top of not being budget friendly to many, customers with small children may not find a table right away, and have to wait in a long line to be seated. Currently Cheesecake factory does not allow reservations to be made and all patrons must walk in on a first come first serve basis. Personally, if I see a line that goes out the door, I will turn around and find a restaurant less crowded to and avoid the long wait.

2. Identify one (1) way in which the restaurant you choose can utilize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses to be competitive. Explain why you believe this would be effective.

One way Cheesecake Factory can utilize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses is by marketing. The owners Oscar and Evelyn Overton made a brand with a great American success story and developed the awareness of their product. That awareness should be further spread by use of technology and not only by the methods being used now which are personal selling, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing. The main thing I have noticed about Cheesecake’s marketing strategy is that I have never seen a Cheesecake Factory commercial. I do see that they have heavily invested in the surrounding communities where word of mouth has prevailed as their main advertising method. A new advertising strategy would be effective when they using TV and internet networking sites would bring in a new wave of customers in to their numerous locations and boost sales. Currently Cheesecake factory employs hostesses and waiters to interact with customers for personal selling the available products. The advertising range is limited with their current method and adding TV, internet networking sites and other marketing outlets would reach a broader customer base. I personally did not know what was on Cheesecake’s menu until I walked in to the restaurant. I realized that Cheesecake factory specializes to American tastes by serving steak, chicken, pizza burgers, salads and desserts. Currently the way they increase sales is done by special offers off of the website, or offers emailed to customers ho sign up for mailing list which is how they directly market to consumers to keep them coming back. I believe with TV marketing to advertise what’s on the menu other than cheesecake would drive in more customers. Citations:

Cheesecake Factory. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from the World Wide Web: http://www.thecheesecakefactory.com The Cheesecake Factory. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from the World Wide Web: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheesecake_Factory.com The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated –SWOT analysis. Retrieved October 25, 2013, from the World Wide Web:
http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/1937709/the_cheesecake_factory_incorporated_swot

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