By Jeni Marinucci
It’s been a common destination for American diners for years, and four decades have passed since The Cheesecake Factory arrived on the restaurant scene in the United States. Now, after innumerable burgers grilled and large slices of dessert served, the chain is making inroads in the Canadian market with the announcement that the chain is coming north.
From the Toronto Star:
“For nearly 40 years, The Cheesecake Factory has been known for creating delicious, memorable experiences for tens of thousands of Canadians visiting the U.S.,” said David Overton, chairman and chief executive officer of the restaurant chain. “We are now delighted to be expanding into Canada.”
The expansion is planned to open in late 2017, and the first location will be in Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall. Additional locations have yet to be announced.
The Cheesecake Factory has been a popular dining destination for Americans (and Canadian tourists) for 40 years. The first location opened in 1978 in Beverly Hills, California – a long way from our colder Canadian climes – but took off like mad, and The Cheesecake Factory Inc. brand chain can now boast 185 locations across the U.S. Popular culture has also served the brand well, with references to the restaurant in songs like “Child’s Play” by rapper Drake. The restaurant is also a popular setting on the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory where the characters regularly meet, and several characters have worked over the years.
Will the popularity of the menu translate with Canadian diners who are perhaps accustomed to more… reasonable portion sizes when dining out? With the opening of a new location here in Toronto, it appears the chain’s placement in our pop culture zeitgeist is only the first slice of the pie for Canada.