The Cheesecake Factory Must Die

Warning: I am about to vent. If splenetic ranting is not your
thing, back outta here now, for I am seriously pissed off.

I’m four days into an intense seige of work at an
I-can-tell-you-but-I’d-have-to-kill-you location in suburban New York,
toiling away at a worthy cause. I’ve been at it for twelve hours, and
I am truly ready for a decent meal. (Lunch was skimpy Japanese.) My
colleagues and I send out for a massive order of comestibles from a
place called the Cheesecake Factory.

The Cheesecake Factory is a chain joint, but the locals think it’s
OK. And indeed my “Ton O’Fun” burger is reasonably well made, if of a
size I normally associate with minor planetary bodies. One of my
colleagues looks at it and mutters in a nearly reverent tone “Arteries
be damned!” This fails to disturb me. I consume it with

All goes well until I come to the alleged cheesecake.

At this point I need to explain that I take my cheesecake pretty
seriously. Given that I am averse or allergic to most forms of
cheese, this might strike some as mildly odd — but it’s the
molds and fermentation products that make me go ick, not the dairy
proteins or lactose. Cream cheese and I get along just fine, and one
of my favorite dessertlike things is a good old-fashioned

By “good old-fashioned”, I mean what is sometimes called the New
York style — immensely rich, made with pure cream cheese. It is
not “lite” or “fluffy”; indeed, it rejoices in a density only slightly
less than that of neutronium. Your true cheesecake is flavor-dense as
well, requiring no silly embellishments like frosting or fruit sauce;
this cheese stands alone. Though there is sugar in it, sugar should by
no means dominate in the flavor, which should rather be savory and

The most important test for a proper traditional cheesecake is
simple. Stick a fork in it vertically. A metal fork, not a silly
lightweight plastic one. Now take your hand off the fork. If it
falls over of its own weight, tearing a messy divot in your dessert,
the cake is fake. A true cheesecake supports the fork indefinitely
without so much as a quiver. Another test is the texture. A properly
made cheesecake shows a distinct grainy texture when cut with a fork,
slightly moist but not expressing liquid to the surface.

Color is also significant. Your good cheesecakes are usually pale
yellow rather than white. The truly superior ones tend to have an
ever-so-faint, nigh-indetectable bluish tinge. I have studied these
nuances with attention and care.

I’m ordering from an entity called “The Cheescake Factory” in the
New York heartland of the cheesecake. I order the variety labeled in big
bold letters “Traditional”. And what do I get?

A vile, revolting, over-sweetened, bland cheese gelatinoid thing so
lacking in integrity that it slumps on the plate.

OK, I’m cool with free markets. I’m even cool with free markets
when they produce lowest-common-denominator results I don’t happen to
like. It may be that most of the consumers out there adore the gooey
studge that the soi-disant “Cheesecake Factory” passes off as
cheesecake. If its crappiness were confined to atrocity-of-the-week
flavors like “Coffee Heathbar Crunch” or “Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cake
Cheesecake”, I could sigh in resignation at the wretched tastelessness
and endure it nevertheless.

But, dammit, advertising the characterless pile of goo they gave me
as “traditional” is fraud. And it’s not a harmless fraud, it’s
an act of subtle but damaging violence against good taste. It
de-educates the palate; it lowers everybody’s standards until we lose
the capability to tell the real thing from a puddle of ersatz shite.
This is how civilization ends, not with a bang but with a jingle.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d rather live with bad desserts than have
anybody’s culinary standards, even my own, rammed down peoples’
throats in the name of ‘civilization’ by some snotty academie of
iron-fisted connoisseurs. Civilizations can die that way too,
constipated on their own stuffiness.

But when some soulless android of a chain restaurant designer
willfully perverts the meaning of “traditional” so he can sell dreck
to the ignorant with the illusion that said dreck is just like what his
Yiddish grandma made, that’s where I reach my limit. The Cheesecake
Factory must die.

Categorized as Culture


  1. The Cheesecake Factory started in California, which probably explains a lot right there.

    I rather enjoy their Luau Salad…

  2. *applause*

    *mental note to write my mother for her cheesecake recipe, which passes the fork test.*

  3. My mother’s cheesecake is classified by the British MoD as a “Heavy Weapon”. I believe they played some part in retaking the Falklands.

    If I don’t feel my heart throb with strain as I consume each mouthful, it ain’t real cheesecake…fortunately, my wife makes a real slayer of a cheesecake also :-)

    Hats off to ya ESR…fight the good fight! lol

  4. Splendid rant! I’ve been to a Cheesecake Factory only once with a large (20 or so) group of people. The food was good, but the portions were so large that not one person in that group ordered dessert. No cheesecake for us. My mother made the best cheesecake I ever had, but I wouldn’t call it New York style; it gets a velvety smoothness from beaten egg whites. I put the recipe up a few years ago at I’ve only made it twice myself, but it’s easy and delicious. I think a fork would stand up in it, but it’s not grainy like the authentic traditional style.

  5. “I’m four days into an intense seige of work at an I-can-tell-you-but-I’d-have-to-kill-you location in suburban New York, […]”

    Oh, wow — where are you? I’m in Jersey … are you close enough for me to have a Brush With Greatness? :-)

  6. My lovely German wife and I engage in a lively debate about US ‘faux cuisine’.
    There was nealy an international incident when Dorothee and her sister went to Panera Bread, and saw a “German Chocolate Danish”. Subsequent research on Wikipedia indicates that “German” in this context refers to a baker named German who popularized a cake recipe at some point.
    Nevertheless, go try to order a Belgian waffle in Belgium, or French toast in France.
    Ethnic food in the US is not quite.

  7. If you think that was bad, try the Cheesecake Factory’s frozen desserts, available in the frozen aisle at your local supermarket.

    The best cheesecake I’ve had is Harry & Davis; how does that rate, Eric?

    Beautiful rant, by the way. “This is how civilization ends, not with a bang but with a jingle.”

    Given that we’re talking about lousy cheesecake, doesn’t it end with a jiggle?

  8. Every time I come to this site via Google’s RSS reader (, instead of seeing the text of the article and posts, I see

    Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier ‘/’ in /public/html/esrblog/wp-content/plugins/google-hilite.php on line 107

    I work around the problem by clicking in the “Location Bar” and hitting the Enter key. (I’m using FIrefox 1.5).

    I’d guess that the site is trying to do something clever based on the referrer, and falling on its face.

  9. Have you tried actually sending a letter? Who knows–there might be legions of crotchety old guys who want their cheesecake bluish and bricky, just waiting for you to give their grievance voice. TCF might even introduce “crotchety old guy traditional” cheesecake. Might be worth forwarding them this rant.

  10. You know Eric, I’m starting to think that your long term goals have nothing to do with libertarianism, open source, making fun of liberals… no, you’re far more subtle than that. Your aim is to create a world in which every single blog post contains the words “soi disant” at least once. Even posts about cheesecake.

  11. As a former pastry chef, let me weigh in.

    The key to good cheesecake is a short initial period at high heat, followed by a very long actual cooking time at low heat with the oven vented. The initial high-heat seals the crust and browns the top, while the long low-heat cooking creates the famous texture.

    The best cheesecake recipe I have ever found in a cookbook is the one in “The Joy of Cooking”, which is similar to my own recipe. If you’re looking to make a good cheesecake, this is where to start. Follow the directions to the letter, and you’ll have a decent cheesecake.

    You can’t have my recipe until you’ve eaten a cheesecake I’ve prepared, in my presence. You need to know the destination before I tell you the route.

    As far as “soi disant” goes, I personally like how it bears a linguistic similarity to “so distant”. I’m not quite pretentious enough to use it in everyday speech and writing, but it’s a delightful phrase.

  12. soi-disant laissez faire economists…

    nix the froggy bollocks…”so-called”, “self styled”, or “self dubbed” will do ;-)

  13. Well, what did you expect? Cheesecake Factory sucks all-around (except for the lemonade). What I don’t understand is how a restaurant ostensibly oriented towards dessert stuffs such enormous main courses into patrons that they can hardly even contemplate eating cheesecake or anything else, ever again. Bleah. I have no patience for Morgan Spurlock and John Banzhaf can have my cheeseburger when he pries it from my cold dead fingers, but I just happen to like the idea of being able to eat multiple courses in a meal. The end result may indeed be gut-busting, but the only way to achieve the variety I want is smaller dishes at each stage. I’m also more ready to pay for quality than quantity overall.

    Which is why I don’t eat at Cheesecake Factory either.

  14. I think ESR should have opted for multiple instantiations of the skimpy Jap food…mmm…sushi…my nihonophile (!?!) roots betray me ;-)

    Although that monster burger does sound appealing…

  15. I gave up on Cheesecake Factory when we discussed going there, and realized that the wait would be long enough that we should have some sandwiches before putting our names down for a table. Not worth it.

  16. About soi disant, when I finally looked that up in the dictionary, I was sorely disappointed. So called? In French? It’s an extra syllable and an extra letter, I don’t get it.

  17. Good on ya, Erik! When some faceless organization passes off phony anything as real anything, lay into them with all the bandwidth you’ve got!

    In the end, the only defense the consumer has is information. Posting the information you have is a service to us all.

  18. “Soi-disant” means, literally, “calling itself”. The connotation there is that it’s not just “so-called”, but it’s actively participating in the deception.

    There’s also the minor feature that anything said in French (to an American, anyway) has a certain je ne sais quoi, just as anything said in Latin sounds profound.

  19. It might be supposed to make _soi-disant “progressives”_ sound even more pretentious and effete than _so-called “progressives”_.

    Serious danger of backfire, tho’.

  20. While my standards may not be _quite_ as high as ESR’s, I do think that if referring in commerce to any culinary item incapable of passing his fork test as “traditional cheesecake” isn’t a violation of truth-in-labeling laws, then those laws are on that basis alone proven utterly useless as currently constituted. (Hell, I only concede the legitimate necessity of “traditional” as a rhetorical bone thrown to people so insane as to actually desire “cheesecake” which does not meet the traditional definition in at least that regard.)

    I’ve had some quite good cheesecakes that varied in _flavoring_ from the “traditional New York style”…but any supposed cheesecake which can’t support a fork must necessarily have been prepared by a charlatan or an imbecile. I would reject such out of hand on that principle alone…even if the product itself didn’t frankly disgust me (which any such surely would).

  21. You’re in NYC, ferchrissakes. Get on a frigging B train and go to Junior’s.

    What you said. Parking in downtown Brooklyn is not easy but not impossible either, especially if you’re on a pilgrimage. Hey, if you love cheesecake like I do, you can’t die without visiting Junior’s. I’ve never ordered on line from them, so I don’t know if it’s the same.

    I must confess I haven’t been there in years, because I have a (ostensibly) Junior’s recipe that comes pretty damn close. In fact, I’m making one today for tomorrow’s Super Bowl, as I do every year.

  22. American food appears to be going into the shitter (along with Empire – connection?) what little of that food was good. American ersatz coffee was never worth drinking and
    I’ve had plenty.

  23. Actually, jomama, I think you’re very wrong. American food has improved drastically within my memory. Yes, the low-end stuff is crap, and chains like this one are evil — but the quality of what you can get if you’re willing to spend 20% over everage has gone waaaay up and is more than competitive with anywhere I’ve been in Europe. (I live
    in the Northeast, which helps.)

    Can’t say about coffee as I don’t drink the stuff. But one index of improvement is that I can now get cocoa from mainstream outlets that is worthy to be drunk by an adult — strong, complex in odor, with a rich mouth feel and good carry to the palate. Twenty years ago all the cocoa available was weak and oversweetened mixes aimed at children.

    (In case anyone cares, I recommend Godiva or Ghirardelli made with steamed whole milk. Don’t add sugar. Do add cinnamon. While it’s possible to get high-end cocoas better than this, I don’t think the small increment in quality justifies the price point.)

  24. Sorry, all of you. Cream cheese cake, like cream cheese, is disgusting glop not worthy of the name. There is not room in this margin to instruct you on Real Cheese, but Real Cheesecake is made with a cheese whose name begins (to parody a famous remark about the Mafia) with “R”.

    I admit, of course, that Real Cheesecake can be ruined, like anything else. But it doesn’t start out ruined.

    I confirm Eric Hanchrow’s experience with Google Reader vs. the feed, FWIW.

  25. > (I live in the Northeast, which helps.)

    It helps a LOT. I was recently in Boston for the MIT Mystery Hunt. I went to Chinatown to get some sushi. Down in Florida, I can pay three times what I paid there and not get nearly the same quality.

  26. I don’t think I’ve ever had a decent cheesecake that wasn’t homemade. Did you know some people put flour in it?!?

  27. Well, it’s a cake. It stands to reason that it’s got flour in it, dunnit? Otherwise they wunt call it a cake, they’d call it a pudding or something.

  28. I work for the CCF. If you had your facts right, idiot, you would know that the cheesecake factory was not started in California, but in Michigan and then relocated to Beverly Hills. The recipe is from Detroit and is Evelyn’s, the mother, of the original cheesecake. It does not say traditional, it says original. Like I said, for a dumb New Yorker who can’t read correctly, and can’t spell correctly, no wonder you can’t get the story right! It is a perfect cheesecake recipe for Michigan, not New Yorkers with an attitude! Read your menu or shut up!! Further more, we at the CCF prefer original as opposed to the new york style, hard as a rock, can’t get down your throat, tasteless, cheesecake!

  29. You go pamela.
    Some people just like to complain about anything.
    So many people whine on-line, I’m sink of it.

  30. So many people whine on-line, I’m sink of it.

    Then swim on over to or something else more suited to your temperament and intelligence. The adults are having a discussion here.

  31. Well I don’t know about most of you but if CCf is so bad why is it doing so well financially? Why are the stocks doing better than any other restaurant of its type or even close to it? Why did they resently set a record of a Billion in sales with fewer than 100 restaurants? Why is there staff retention double of others? The wait, well most “regulars” show up place their name on the list and proceed to shop in the mall, meet at a nearbyn bar or just hang out (most CCF’s located here). Either way, why have they been waiting in line for hours for over 10 years? They must be doing something right~! Last only 36 responses here, myabe you should visit the CCF fan site with over 300 respones of “Why I love the cheesecake factory”…….just a thought…

  32. As with any other kind of food, everyone has their own preferences. One style of cheesecake can’t please everyone! Is there one kind of pizza place that satisfies everyone? Nope. I personally cannot stand Pizza Hut and can’t believe how popular and successful it is. To me, it’s not real pizza at all. Is Olive Garden really good Italian? Certainly not to me. But, I’m not going to lose any sleep over either of these chains nor condemn anyone that likes them. To each his own. This is America , where we have the freedom to choose. And while we also have the freedom of speech, which you are expressing, I’d worry a little bit more about your stress level than the cheesecake…take a load off and just relax. “The Cheesecake Factory must die”? Surely you have more important things to worry about!

  33. Had lunch at CCF today for my first and last visit there. Not so much the cheesecake that was underwhelming, but the food and the service. Had a supposed “Kobe Beef” hamburger and believe me it was worse than any hamburger from McD’s – ordered rare but delivered extra crispy. Complaint was just shrugged off by server.
    By the way, Californians like me are happy to have you poke fun at us – means you won’t be moving out here and polluting our great state with your nausea-inducing phony arrogance. Enjoy shoveling your driveway… oh, that’s right – you don’t HAVE a driveway. Okay, I’m only half serious – this is a great country and you people are a proud part of it. Too bad I’m not proud that CCF is American.

  34. Good to see that there are still folks holding the line.

    I’ll join your cheesecake crusade if you will join my jihad to prevent the chains from serving ghastly concoctions in martini glasses and labeling them them as martinis.

    Ugh, a martini is 3.75/1.0 gin/vermouth, shaken not stirred with or without olives. Vodka is barely, barely acceptable. It should be cold enough to form tiny ice crystals at the top of the glass during the pour.

    For Civilization!

  35. Chill, Dude! Some of us prefer the lighter cheesecake that gives you the flavor but not the 100lb weight in your belly. Cheesecake Factory provides a light compliment to a really good meal. While I also enjoy the NY style cheesecake, I don’t eat it very often because it is so heavy and rich. At CF I can have my cake and eat it too.

  36. Wow. I smell astroturf.

    Pamela, if you knew anything at all about Eric, you’d know that he’s from the Philadelphia area.

    If you’ve ever *had* a cheesecake in NYC – as I mentioned above, try Junior’s on Flatbush Avenue (I have no opinion about the one in Grand Central Station; I’ve never eaten there, an omission I’ll rectify the next time I’m in NYC) – you’d know that it’s most certainly neither hard as a rock, impossible to get down your throat, nor tasteless.

    I’ve had real NY cheesecake. I’ve had Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. I’ll take the former.

  37. Oh, and before you jump to any conclusions: I’m originally from Houston, and now live in rural southern Minnesota. (Californian, I have 9 feet of driveway, and a snowblower to keep it clear.)

  38. Well written and spot on! The only two cheesecakes worth eating are those made by my mother (yeah, yeah – mommas boy my ass) and Juniors in Brooklyn. Too many people claim to make cheesecake but make some other sweetened wedge of magic ingredients that may taste OK but are not cheesecake. Don’t make a “lite” anything and call it what it ain’t. This goes for beer, cheescake, butter, cream cheese – whatever – name it something else.
    We have a Cheesecake factory where I live and I avoid it like the plague – as I do most chains.
    They’re all Wal-Mart to me.

  39. Very well written. Heading off to NYC for Spring Break, where would be a good place to get a good “old fashion New York Cheesecake”? I’m curious of the fork test and want to see if it does top the “traditional” cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. I’m from Oklahoma so the Cheesecake Factory is like a sugar heaven for me for dessert visitations mind you.

  40. well i am from romania and i ate cheesecake for the first time last summer at the cheesecake factory in ny . i liked that cheesecake . but somebody made me a real cheesecake and i realised that homemade cheesecake is better .
    but what i was tring to tell you is that for me the cheesecake factory was the proper place to “meet ‘ a cheesecake . and yes i agree that everything is too much , too large there . sometimes you can’t eat the cheesecake because the salad was huge .
    so my advice is to order only a cheesecake , if you liked it of course .
    sorry for my grammar mistakes .

  41. You’re exactly the type of person who gives New Yorkers a bad name. “Our version of anything once originating from NY is the best!” Shut your cake-hole, douche.

  42. Sigh. I’m getting tired of repeating it: I’m not from New York. I live near Philadelphia.

    And, by the way, what we do that can’t be beat by pale imitations elsewhere is the Philly steak, a kind of fried-beef sandwich on Itakian bread.

  43. Well ya’ll, i gotta hand it to ya, I had a few great chuckles reading all the responses. I came across this blog looking at cheesecake recipes. I made my cheesecake and WOW ! I’ll put it against the fork test, texture test, taste test and the soi-distant (lol) Cheese Cake Factory test. Just a good ole Georgia gal looking for some good ole homade cheesecake. Viva La Cheesecake ! !

  44. OK OK People honestly-

    I am originally from NY myself, and now live elsewhere and work at the Cheesecake Factory.

    All I have to say is this: If you don’t like the cheesecake, don’t eat it.

    If you don’t like the big portions, come before 5 pm and order lunch sizes.

    If you can’t come before 5 pm, get the rest boxed up.

    Don’t say that due to one experience that all the food is bad and service is crappy. At my particular restaurant, our managers and serving staff are at the top of their game making sure our guests are happy.

    If you have a bad experience with your food, don’t blame it on the server.

    NY cheesecake is good, I agree, if you are into that kind of cheesecake, but so is CCF’s, if you’re into a wide variety.

    And finally, if you can come up with a concept like David Overton did and make a billion dollars doing it, then you won’t care what someone from Philly has to say about your “TRADITIONAL” (which is actually the ORIGINAL, not TRADITIONAL) cheesecake, because you’re a billionaire.

  45. there are 2 styles of cheesecake, the New York Style wich is the one you were expecting which is thick and passes this so called fork test. And then there is the California style which considering that is where the cheesecake factory started that would be the type of cheesecake sold this style is lighter and fluffier ( if thats a word?) And the Cheesecake Fatory doesn’t do any sort of Advertising ever anywhere. So this advertising you were talking about was either in the menu listed as Original cheesecake (which is the “original” cheesecake good ol’ mrs. Overton made in her basement), or in the Bakery case at the restaurant therefor they have all of the cheesecakes on display so you would have known there was a toping ( which is just cream cheese, for an added element, to make this your not so everyday cheesecake). And about the different flavors… if you went to an Ice Crem Factory would you expect them to only have vanilla? NO you would expect them to have every flavor from A-Z and then some…correct? Nobody ever said you had to eat everything onyour plate it is a known fact that restaurants serve portions that are 3-4 times bigger than what you should eat, so if your looking forward to eating some cheesecake (which why else would u come to CCF to eat) then take the rest home, it’s not un heard of, there are also sandwhiches and appetizer salads and appetizers that would safice as a meal anytime if your not into taking anything home with you!

  46. I am looking for the best strawberry cheescake their is, My boyfriend loves it. but I can not seem to find a good receipe. He always talks about his mothers cheesecake and she is deceased, so I would love to make him one from scratch. Anyone out their has a good receipe here is my e-mail Thanks!

    Have a great day!

  47. Great Read. Thank you.

    After getting a (junk) email from “the cheesecake Factory” it reminded me of when i was in new york for one night (new years). As a last thing to do before heading home, i made everyone join me for a piece of Cheesecake.

    we ran around town trying to find a place that had cheesecake late into the evening, asked ppl who worked and lived there, and no one seemed to know…i thought that rather odd.
    we gave up trying and head to the car… along the way i say a small little bakery with just a couple tables (around the 50s and about 6th)

    The Best NY style cheesecake i’ve ever had. it would have past all the test you mentioned im sure. Not sure about the blue one tho)

    I have to Challenges ahead of me.

    and Finding a RECIPE that calls for REAL Creamcheese

    if anyone can help me with this one Please email me

    Again, thanks for the rant… i now know not to ever go to that resturaunt.


  48. Chris,
    it’s really ignorant for you to make a decision to go to a restaurant based on ONE guy’s opinion. Why don’t you make the decision of whether you’d like it for yourself? In the year I’ve worked there, I’ve never had even one complaint about our cheesecake. You know what, nevermind, I wouldn’t want to serve an ignoramous like you anyway. Have fun making all your friends join you for cheesecake in other places. And FYI, just because you get a junk email with the Cheesecake Factory’s name, doesn’t mean it’s from the Cheesecake Factory.

  49. It is not called “traditional” it is called “original.” Traditional could connotate that it has followed a line of traditional cheesecakes and it would be similar to preceding cheesecakes. In this case it is “original,” which simply means it is the “original” cheesecake made by The Cheesecake Factory, with no special flavors or gimics. It seems like you were stressed out and vented on The Cheesecake Factory because you ate there at the wrong place at the wrong time. Take the cheesecake for what it is, they do not claim that it is “New York Style.” The company originated in So-Cal, I wouldn’t assume they were trying to forge New York Cheesecake in Southern California. If “New York Style” cheesecake is what you want, you do like in New York, I assume it would be easy to find some.

  50. A few months ago Karl Gallagher said, “I gave up on Cheesecake Factory when we discussed going there, and realized that the wait would be long enough that we should have some sandwiches before putting our names down for a table. Not worth it.” So I tried it out. He was right. On any given day in Jacksonville, Florida you can wait for over an hour and a half to sit down in this re-worked Denny’s. The stores managers that surround it say that they profit from the long wait times as do the near by sandwiche shopes. Upon my visit, I was more take back by the sticky nature of my menu than the food . . . I don’t eat a places that can not seem to keep the menu clean (It comes before the food. Why is it sticky? Gross.). I told the shocked server, “No thank you. The menu is dirty.” and she replied “So?”. I will not go back. No. I would rather me found on a Denny’s pankcake high.

  51. Ok heres the thing…….I agree with what you are saying but it is not the “traditional” cheesecake…its the Original

  52. CCF is definitely not for seniors; for that matter I wonder how anyone who has a life at all can handle it or any of the restaurants that do not take reservations but require a long wait. I do my shopping at shopping time on a schedule of my own choosing and my eating at eating time also on a schedule of my own choosing. My senior feet will not tolerate a long wait in line, as happened last night when we went to CCF to celebrate a birthday in the family. Luckily a nice waiter found us a quiet corner with chairs, but even at that, we usually do our sitting at sitting time on a schedule of our own choosing, usually with a book or TV to help pass the time. I saw total insanity around me. More people waiting than dining; how can people live this way? It’s much like the hours we spent in an emergency room recently, and at least you expect to be unhappy in that setting!

  53. Its just a cheesecake so chill out, if everything tasted the same what a boring plate wed be asked to eat, ever think of that?

  54. I work at he CCF in Rancho Mirage Ca. This is the worst job I have ever had in 20 years of food service.
    We have the highest worker turn-over in the whole valley.
    We are currently 27 servers short!!! The reputation of working here is horrible.
    This is a total nightmare job, cant wait to find something else!!!!!!!!

  55. *sigh* So I was searching on looking for a servers ranting page when I stumbled upon this blog. As a Cheesecake factory employee, I feel the need to comment. I am a server at CCF, and have been working there for almost 2 years. Cheesecake factory was started by a man named david overton and his family. His mom made the cheesecake after an article recipie in some newspaper. Anyway, the reason the portions are so huge is because CCF wanted to make sure that not only would each guest have enough on his plate, but also enough to ensure that he would share his plate with everyone else.
    now you may ask why I care enough about CCF to post to this blog. Truth is, I really dont give a shit about CCF, I love waiting tables, but CCF as a whole sucks ass.
    Anyway, I just figured I would answer your question.

  56. It would be great if Mr. Big Fat Overton would get his “slaves” decent medical insurance, pay us desent wages. WE are truly the working poor, 2/3rds of us cannot afford the suck ass insurance that hardly pays for anything, we are forced to “tip-out” huge amounts of money every day tp the laziest bussers I have ever known, they are trained by management to just clear table at the end and set it up, no assisting the servers with drink refills or boxing of food, no help at all. I was forced to pay over 4,500.00 last
    year to the bussers alone!!!!! We have been loosing an average of 3 servers a week things are so bad at this restaurant, the only way to change things with this Stupid Company is to go Union, that is the only way lot of us see as a hopeless situation.

  57. Our bussers deserve every penny they get tipped out. They aren’t required to refill drinks or box food or anything either, but they do it when they see we need help, every day, every shift. They also help roll silverware when we’re behind, bring bread when we’re behind, and help pre-bus, which is the server’s job, enormous amounts of heavy plates. I dont know who trained your bussers, Karen, but I guess it’s not the same set of standards we have at our store.

    The insurance does suck though.

    My problem isn’t CCF, though, it’s the freakin guests. People like 75% of the people on this page who come in to the restaurant, order their $10 martini, $30 filet mignon, and $7 cheesecake, KNOWING our prices are that way, and still leaving $3 as a tip and thinking that’s ok. At $3.38 hourly, they pretty much just took money out of my pocket for that crap.


  58. I am not here to change any minds on The Cheesecake Factory, but to provide some facts. As of right now, CCf has 108 locations in the US and will have 250 within the next two years. They are in the top five for highest grocing restaurants in the US.
    As for the “Traditional” cheesecake the writer said to have ordered, CCF has no and never has had a traditional cheesecake. It is the “Original”. Beside the point, it is not a NY Style cheesecake. It’s a light graham cracker crust cheesecake with a sourcream topping. The Fresh Strawberry is the only NY Style cheesecake that CCF sells.
    CCF has a 200 entree menu and 50 dessert choices, so there is much to try. For those who complained about the large portions: Dave Overton (CCF owner) is all about what he calls “The Wow Factor”. He wants you to recieve your food and be amazed by how large it is. How can one complain about recieve “Too much food?”.
    As for the company benefits: about 5% of US chain restaurants offer health, vision, and dental insurance to their employees. You are also allowed vacation hours and maternity leave. You must remember that you are working in the food service industry and not a fortune 500 company.
    I have had the pleasure of meeting and having conversations with Dave Overton. He is one of the most humble men I have had the pleasure to meet. This man is a multi millionaire, but when I met him, he was in no way boastful, arrogant, or conceited, and he entered the establishment in a rather unimpressive green suit jacket with mismatching pants. He is very intouch with his humble roots and does not focus on materialistic things despite the fotune he inherited from Evelyn and Oscar Overton.
    So before you rant about the “huge portions” and “non-NY Stlye cheesecakes” remember that CCF is trying to rise above the ordinary and satisfy millions of hungry americans with their diverse cuisine and 39 different cheesecakes.

  59. I found this by accident while looking to get CCF’s latest take out menu. I had no idea people harbored such ill will towards a silly little restaurant chain!! For those who are working for Mr. Overton as “slaves”… why don’t you just find a new job?? No one is holding you hostage!! I worked 30 hours a week (give or take) as a server making an average of $1000.00 AFTER TIP OUT… The money is good. Quit your bitching and go back to school. Or find a new gig… It’s not rocket science!!

  60. The Cheesecake Factory actually has a happiness scale to judge how happy a guest is. Does anyone here think wuith all the nazi like bullshit the factory makes you do that a Server has enough time to play psychologist and ascertain how happy a guest is? What a fucking joke. By the way, guests at my home don’t pay to eat so they are fucking customers. Quit treating this dining out thing as some kind of once in a lifetime experience. You are eating a meal, not buying a fucking car. THEY ARE FUCKING CUSTOMERS!!!!!!

  61. Leave the Cheese cake factory alone its a dessert for crist sake you bougoise dessert facista. Having eaten at the rather splendid Chicago establishment, finished the main course, which seems to defeat most of the overly rotund contributors to this page, the dessert was splendid. Was not quite sure if it was a cheesecake or a tort (subtle difference americans would not appreciate) but who cares it was sweet it was tasty and it rounded of a pleasant meal and dining experaince.

    Stop moaning and vote with your feet and reduce the lines waiting to get in!!!!!

  62. Overton whips his Mom while she slaves over a hot oven making cheesecakes. Seig Heil Overton and all the othet goose steppers. Greet table in 2 minutes, clean bathrooms, no smoke breaks, run the weal Server’s food and greet your triple sat tables in 2 minutes, bring desert in 4 minutes, perform running sidework all night, know a 200 fucking item menu and take two weesk to train for a fucking Server job. Upsell this, add-on that, treat this like the gulag. Seig Hel Fuherer David the hog

  63. No meal breaks for the slaves. Go to the Gas Chamber Oven while Overton enguls 8 cheesecakes. Get screamed at by kike cunts, raile don by goose stepping Managers. Wait to be liberated from this Nazi hell. Hut two three four. 50 steps of Service, do’nt be yourself. Conform and be all alike. Seig Heil Cheesecake Factory. Fold fucking na[kins, wipe silver, bring entrees in 12 minutes check back in 2 bites, count the bites exactly. Heil Hitler, Overton!

  64. As a potential “new manager” of The Cheeesecake Factory” I only have two comments. First to the cheesecake expert, who feels he must speak for the entire nation, thank you for the advertising. By your venting you have brought attention to a restaurant that perhaps hasn’t been frequented by all who have read the blogs. I hope that they will try CCF and form their own opinions. Afterall only in America can you choose an American Burger from an array of “Burger Joints” and each establishment has it’s own version of the “American Hamburger”. And secondly to the disgruntled former employee, thank you for leaving. Attitude is 99% of life, which constitute success or failure. With unemployment at an all time high, jobs are precious and many employers offer very little in the benefit department, only what is required to be competitive. There are many people who are jobless and have no benefits that would gladly trade places with you. I wish you luck in your next job and may life give you what you have given others.

  65. I’m not American so maybe I’m not best placed to comment on the post from “ccfemployee” posted June 15th ’06 but I was outraged and had to share my disgust.

    How can ccfemployee make the statement:


    ccfemployee. Surely tipping is optional?? Why does any diner owe you a living? Do you make sure my rent is paid? Do you know or care what I do to make ends meet?

    Why do I owe you at least 18% of the price of my meal? Is this your own calculation? If so, what is the basis for it?

    Merriam Webster defines a tip as a gift. Do you demand and specify all your gifts or just the monetary ones?

    Grow up. We don’t owe you anything. If you don’t like the service industry, get out of it.

  66. hut two three many pieces of lettuce on a chinese chicken salad? You must know this two be a factory sheep. Cheesecake and jews to the oven. Servers beg to be liberated from Overton’s iron fist. Seig Heil Cheesecake Factory. 400 steps of service. How happy is your guest? If they are lower than a 7 you must suck their cocks. Goose stepping Managers wear big brother hearing devices. No smoke or meal breaks from Overton the pig master. Heil, Overton!

  67. What about 4 days in ny ? how about 180 days on the road ? whimp. The cheese cake factory sucks, and i’ve never been in 1, and don’t want to ! When your gone 6 monts straight with 1 day off to travel, you don’t go to these stupid places. I’d rather drive 20 minutes to some mom and pop place for the local cuisine. I never have the same ethnic food 2 times a week. German, greek, shushi, ETC. I never get bored. So stop wining about the cheese cake and get on with life. who cares. The only times I go to a chain, is to get a cocktail, just because the stupid women go there. I don’t even eat food from room service, but some of the servers are foxy. and the girls r 1 step closer to my bed. u must have a crappy job to complaine about nyc, 4 days, try 21, too wimpy to take a cab or subway, or is your company to cheap to give u a peirdeim ? oops. try finding a nice diner in queens, or is that too intimidating ? Maybe the best place is Wilonski & Smith steak house ? oops to much $ sorry get a real job and stop bitching about cheescake.


    Whoa! Calm down, and perhaps do a reality check. 15% of the pre-tax bill (as it is presented, not as it is adjusted for erroneously prepared food) is a good tip for acceptable, unremarkable service. From that point, a customer should vary up or down if the service was superlative or inferior, respectively. Thus the effective range is usually 10-20%. For what it’s worth, many accounting departments will not reimburse tips in excess of 15%.

    I, myself, am easily satisfied. So I usually hit 17% or so. But a bad attitude will knock that baby down to 10%, and may eliminate it altogether. (When I lived in New York, a lot of servers I encountered were so insufferable, I could hardly believe they still had jobs — much less expected gratuity!)

    On the upside, some servers are great. My girlfriend and I recently had terrific service here at a moderately expensive restaurant here in Orange County. The server ended up with a $50 (30%) tip because she helped create such a memorable evening.

    P.S. CCF’s popularity is no accident. The restaurant has a diverse menu and uses great ingredients. But, nothing on the menu attempts to be an authentic version of anything. Not pesto, not tacos, not pizza, and not New York cheesecake (which, sadly, I found to be a total disappointment when I lived in NYC).

  69. Stoney River is just as bad. Do not eat there. Seig Heil Jeff Sein jew bastard. hut two three four. Give a spiel like you are giving a fucking graduation speech. 15 seconds here two minutes for bussing. goose stepping trainers berating you. seig heil stoney river. cut into your steak to see if it is ok. the fucking steak betrter be cooked why the fuck do I have to ask the guest to cut into it? Fucking retards. get a job at the cheesecake factory. you will fit right in motherfuckers. To the oven Stoney River slaves!

  70. Heil Goose stepping trainers. March to the butcher for a trite cow learning class. Cut lemons this way, squeeze butter that way. BUT DON’T TRAIN BEHIND THE BAR UNTIL THE FIFTH FUCKING DAY OF TRAINING. Overrated shithole stoney river. do not eat there. The steaks are dog meat and the people are robotic clones. hut two three four. 2 hours of sidework. do your running sidework while you have to take another server’s drink order. 20 steps of fucking service. I am tired of these HR assholes with no clue to reality. Mark your table with a fart. Fuck you Stoney River and Jeff kike sein

  71. Stoney River is the worst fucking place I have worked. The steaks are rat meat and the trainers are nazi assholes. Don’t eat in St Louis. I saw a cook wipe his nose and some snot ran onto a steak on the grill. Seig Heil Wes Mammos you swarmy greek coscksucker. LIAR. TRAIN YOUR FUCKING BARTENDERS INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM LEARN HOW TO SQUEEZE BUTTER YOU FUCK!!! Seig Heil Jeff Sein kike

  72. Great Rant. I do aerial photos and went to the New Cheesecake Factory in Albany NY. Quite alot of money for a small strawberry cheesecake but I bit and paid the $25.00 bucks to go. I here you on the NY Style comparison. I’ve had cheesecake at Lindy’s in Manhattan and Factory just doesn’t compare. But the Place is packed everynight. GO Figure. A Brand New 7 million restaurant and the atmosphere is nice. Chris Milian Photographer Upstate NY

  73. I googled Cheesecake Factory as I thought about sending cheesecakes as gifts to clients this year. Can’t say I ever tried cheesecake at the Cheesecake factory as the few times I’ve been there I’ve never been able to even put a dent in my meal (and we wonder why so many Americans are obese? well, we don’t…) … so thanks for the advice. I guess I was looking for an easy way out.

  74. i don’t eat at work if i can avoid it because i usually get a stomachache, and not from the portions.

    if you think the dessert is bad, try working there. especially as a busser, host, or prep cook. hosts and kitchen make minimum wage or the local equivalent (whatever it takes to get semi-charming, hard-working people to show up in that part of the world) and don’t get tipped out. this is usually in a very high volume restaurant where the guests are waiting from half an hour to two hours for dinner much of the year. so staffpeople are not standing around doing nothing.

    the company makes a subtle art of divide and conquer. at my location all the prep cooks are mayan immigrants who don’t even speak spanish, the bussers are latin american spanish speakers, the hosts are suburban (tho not necessarily white) college flunkies, and the servers are often law students etc. the managers in general are amazingly energetic, and usually amazingly f’d up. a couple of them at my location keep creating harassment complaints and seem confident they’ll get away with it, while staff are perfectly happy to take it to the fullest extent to get them to stop. what, do these guys think they’re teamsters?

    bussers take home $10-15/hour here after a small fraction of the servers’ tips, but better be well-built. (seriously, they all have amazing washboard abs and the shoulders of oxen.) they carry up to 75 pounds of dishes back and forth across a huge restaurant for 5 to 8 hours at a time. they didn’t used to get a break in california no matter how long they worked, but times have changed there as of organizing and a suit that settled for a small amount of back pay for breaks due by law…

    whereas the servers in some areas of the country clean up BIG time on tips and don’t care what the hell is going on as long as their tables leave them something. ccfemployee above must live in missouri or texas or something, try moving to another location if you want to capitalize on the ccf. of course the cost of living will be higher. i agree with the server above on tips, always; but would add, if your host is nice to you and seems to care at all, give them a tip directly because they aren’t getting anything. i make $10.50 an hour in a very expensive town, and would probably make a few bucks more an hour most days as the server above making a base pay of $3.38/hour. but servers who move here from slow locations or the south seem to love it here, aside from the stress and cost of living. $20-30/hour is not unusual for a good station and a good time of day.

    i hate this company, and i try to keep some clarity about why. how much is about the idiot individuals who i would run into at any job, and how much is crap trickling down from the top? it’s hard to tell sometimes. i can tell you that the company makes an art and a science of engineering profit. they send staff home when it gets slow, so you never know what your paycheck is going to look like. therefore they have pretty high turnover at certain times of year, or when a stupid new manager shows up who doesn’t know which staff members are worth not treating like dirt. they promise a raise and don’t deliver until after two months of badgering. they do the same with vacation pay. they don’t have sick pay unless local law requires it (hope that happens here soon.) they don’t recycle their cardboard or glass bottles…too expensive.

    i’ve been at this place for almost two years and know what i’m doing better than most staff. it’s laughable how much the managers suffer because of staff that doesn’t know what they’re doing, yet they don’t appreciate those who make an effort. my bad for hanging around obviously. the flexible schedule is nice but the ulcers are starting to get on my nerves.

    last but not least if you work in a busy restaurant, better get good shoes because your feet are going to hurt like hell at the end of the day, and you will end up old and disabled with excruciating bunions and regret it later. i have a massive bunion on one foot that makes me look funny (feet don’t match now!) and makes it hard to find shoes, but doesn’t hurt that much yet. from wearing flats with no support, heels, and ecco clogs (they suck.) i know a bartender in her twenties who has already had bunion surgery.

    this is a bloodsucking, sleazebag company, about the bottom line and what it can get away with. but then so are all corporations. it’s just galling that this one is so good at it and has such a veneer that it even sucks the staff in.

  75. i was injured on the job at a restaurant and was put on light duty. since the accident, which was a slip and fall, i have worked 2 days. when i left the doctors office, i went to get my perscription filled, thewn to the restaurant. i wasn’t asked how i was or how i feel, but was asked if i was ready to go back to work, even thopugh i was put on light duty. i feel like instead of caring about the employees, this place cares about their bottom line. without work and not being put out of work by a doctor, i am basically screwed. there are more issues with this place that i can’t go into, such as cleanliness and safety issues. a restaurant that has a profit margin like the ccf, you would expect more from, but none the less, the bottom line is all that matters.

  76. While I’m not sure anyone actually reads this anymore I just found it and I wanted to add my 2 cents As a self titled Cheesecake connoisseur, I have to agree w/ the original post’s desc of proper cheesecake. I grew up eating Jell-O cheesecake (ack) When I grew up I learned to make real cheesecake and I have to say I still like Jell-o Cheesecake, but here’s the key: not unlike watching Return to Oz and expecting the same magic as Wizard of Oz, you have to know ahead of time they are two totally different entities. They contain the same name. They sort of (SORT of) look the same, but really they’re not the same at all. Real Cheesecake is a totally different dessert than Jell-O cheesecake. I suspect from the descp of the Cheesecake Factory it is relatively the same. I got my recipe from a Taste of Home magazine and will hold it dear until my dying day. And people? I love cheesecake as much as the next guy (probably more) But I’m not sure cheesecake is what I would base a cross-country, name-calling, out and out battle over. Ease up on the personal attacks Huh? ~~Becki, Appleton WI

  77. Wow you are an angry little CCF employee. I will agree that tips should be given based on service and service alone. Food qulity and quanity should hold almost no bearing on the tip provided. Maybe you’re a piss poor server so you receive tips accordingly… Maybe the clientele in your geographical locale are not accustomed to proper tipping. Alaways keep in mind though that the public as a whole are quite unintelligent this is a down side to my profession as well but as I always say “Hey it beats waiting tables”, you can say “Hey it beats sitting in a cube surfing the web”.

    As for the cheesecake, honestly it was almost the worst I have tried. To each his own though.

  78. I beg to differ. The Cheesecake factory did NOT start in Michigan. The owner was born and raised in Michigan. His parents moved to California and that is where the chain started. Only recently did he build a Cheesecake Factory here in Michigan, by his own admission.

  79. I have been had a check that totaled 20.00 and that server deserved her 20% I gave her. I have had a check total 200.00 and had a server that did not deserve 2% tip. Just because the meal costs more does not mean you deserve more of my money. I WILL TIP YOU WHAT I FEEL YOU DESERVE and not a penny more. Whether it be a $10 tip on a $20 check or a dollar tip on a $200 check. All wait staff make the same salary (I believe you said 3.83), you could be a lousy server but because you work at CCF or The Palm you think you deserve more than the server at Pizza Hut, I SAY NOT. TIP your servers what they deserve not by the size of your check or the complexity of your palate. If the server deserves more than the CCF server than give her the bigger tip!!!!!!!!

  80. I live in Califrnia and have dined at the Cheesecake Factory on occassion. I don’t know why I go back. The food is decent but portions are ridiculously large (thus allowing them to justify the high prices). I’d rather have a half portion and pay half the price because quite honestly I won’t be eating the leftovers tomorrow. I was just there tonight (not by choice – it was a friend’s bday party so i had to go to whatever restaurant was chosen). I ordered a smaller salad and still had leftovers on my plate. And I finally tried one of their cheesecakes and it was dry, gritty and lacked flavor other than corrugated cardboard. I was grossly disappointed. I still tipped well because like cffemployee says, if you chose to dine at a place that charges an average of $15 for a plate of simple american fare, that’s your perogative. Be decent and tip the waiter/waitress 18%. Despite the fact the food is nothing to write home about, if you’re going to spend that much on average food, spend some more on your waiter. There service I’ve had has always been excellent. But from now on, I will not patronize a place that overcharges on food you’re just going to waste.

  81. I also work at CCF in a place called winter park Florida where trendy rich house wives love to come eat a lunch chinese cix salad and drink a passion fruit tea, personnaly I hate everything about ccf our managers are about as smart as a pile of rocks and our tip outs are rediculouse. I CANT WAIT TO QUIT THIS JOB.

  82. I used to work at the CCF and discovered that it was hands down the most stressful serving job I have ever had! I hate how CCF attracts ALL types of people. People would come in and eat and barely afford it and then barely tip. It was so frustrating especially since I was busting my ass to make sure their dining experience was pleasurable. Please do not go out to eat if you cannot afford to tip-it’s that simple. Oh! And I would love how those stupid mall rat kids would come in late at night ordering a side of fries and then ask for 25 cents back instead of tipping you…And I think Eric is going to die of a heart attack if he doesn’t settle down…what a nerd. And David Overton is SOOOO FAT! Has anyone noticed that the CCF’s food always smells soooo good, but whenever you eat it it tastes too rich and disgusting! Wierd…

  83. As an employee of CCF, I would first like to apologize that your experience with the CCF was anything less than amazing. Second I would like to take a minute and vent a little myself on an issue that I find a little more important than a bad piece of cheese cake. Ignorant people! It’s people like you that make life a little more sucky for the rest of us! For the most part everyone I work with gives 110% to make the dinning experience a great one at the CCF. From what I can tell your the type of person that looks for the bad in every situation, and you know something, I bet you find it every time! Is the glass half empty of half full! You decide! Did you ever stop to think that maybe someone other than yourself was having a bad day! And if you don’t like the cheesecake, do us both a favor and don’t come back! I don’t think we’ll notice, we are too busy serving over 10 million pieces of our wonderful cheesecake annually to our other happy customers! Sorry again, but ask me if I care, seriously!

  84. i like ccf cheese cake. i think that i over tip but i figure if the service was great…it wasn’t the last time so i left no tip and i have not been back to eat that was 2 years ago…but i like the cheese cake

  85. I never understood why in America service isn’t included. Where I live (somewhere in Europe) service is included, then you tip what you
    a)can afford
    b)think is reasonable for the service you got. (10 percent is an average tip)

    And you’re not considered tight if you only tip a little. It’s more of a gesture, and It’s a lot less difficult/embarrasing for the customer. I think instead of being annoyed at the customers you should be annoyed at the firm that employs you – they charge huge amounts for their food and pay you 3.38 an hour??? That is DISGUSTING, Is there a minimum wage in the US??? All I can say is the CCF is the one ripping you off, not the customer.

    And to get a filet mignon here, in a really good quality restaurant would cost you less than 30 dollars, so it’s not a matter of places having to up their prices if they payed the staff a bit better!

    Anyway I jsut came here to find out what REAL cheescake was. As I wanted to know.

  86. Bravo! I recently paid 7 bucks for this mockery of cheesecake. I am a New Yorker and I should have ran when I heard California style.
    I went against my best judgement and wow although it was not horrid by any means I was severely dissapointed it definitely resembled a Jello cheesecake in taste & texture. I must say a slice from Chic-Fila was far better.
    I have a suggestion if you wish to call yourself a Cheesecake factory offer NY style and not just silly flavors.

  87. Ha this was the funniest post ever. I must say, I am a soon-to-be CCF employee starting in Aug ’08. FIRST and foremost. Cheesecake “tradtional” or “Original” is much too fatty and rich no matter how good or bad it is prepared, regardless if you get it at Cheesecake or Junior’s. So you should quit stressing on where to get your next slice FATTY MC PATTY! Second, I am going to work at CCF b/c the one here where I live in Tampa is always packed, which only means good money for me. Although I have only dined at the place 3 times ever since it opened here about 6 years ago (3 times too many). I hate the portions, make me want to throw up, the cheescake sucks, and the outside chairs are uncomfortable. The menu is much too large and I can’t stand dining out and having to read a novel before ordering, makes me lose my appetite. Also, the floor is much too slippery and I almost fell down more than once. Lets see, the service i had was mediocre, and the food is a bit too expensive for the quality. ON the other hand, my main complaint that i can make…. from what i’ve heard from other CCF-ers… that they do not offer the employees a discount on food? All the bread and soup, but no employee meal discount?? See now… although CCF is not my choice of dining out, for such a big empire that is just outrageous and I think every emplyee deserves a dicount at their place of employment! I currently work for Outback steakhouse, (no plans of quitting, just need a 2nd job that offers lunch shifts b/c outback only opens in the evening and i’m a student and go to school at night also and only work once a week so i need another job.) I must say OB is by far the best restaurant anyone can work at… or any of the OB chains. Bone fish, carrabas, etc… They not only offer med benefits, flex scheduling, promotions from within, paid vacation, but also an employee meal discount of 50% off at any of the chains for you and a guest anytime you want it however many times! no restrictions! I have been there for almost 3 years and LOVE it! I have worked prior to OB at about 10 other restaurants and would always quit b/c of how much I hated it. Go work at Outback if you like serving and want a good place to work. Now as far as CCF goes… i’m not going to hold my breath but hope to make good money and possibly like it so i don;t quit right away. i guess we’ll have to wait and see…. BTW NYers are much to uptight. I am a FLORIDIAN and love the beaches and to surf… I am a senior at USF majoring in Communications and love serving. I don’t feel unworthy or less of a person b/c I am a server, and KNOW i provide excellent service to all my guest and regulars at OB so I know a good personal work experience and good server/client relationship all depends on attitude and willingness to make a connection with your other party so everyone leaves happy. I agree that tips should equal 20%, but only if the service was deserving of such a tip. I as a server go out to dine often and expect and demand excellent service, and if that is not granted the sever will get 10-15%. YES, i know… being a server… how could i do that! You know, lazy servers out there who can’t handle a mere 3 tbl section… you should find another profession, or frustrated old servers who couldn’t do anything better with their lives and continue to serve at 40 and hate life should maybe find another profession or change your attitude and quit smoking (b/c you know you do DIRTY MOUTH!) and maybe you will get better tips and be a happier camper. ALL IN ALL… get a good recipe, make your own cheesecake if you love it so much, and servers quit your bitching and do your job, i’m sure your tips will improve. And you cheap bastards who go out to eat and leave your signature “$5 tip” even if you do receive top service learn to tip! you go out and take up a table for an hour or so when someone else who is actually deserving of that service and will tip could have been there. AHHHHHHHH SORRY SO LONG! I could write a novel about this and any topic!


  89. >>Ok wow! I don’t know what locations all you people work at, but this has not been my experience working for cheesecake factory at all. I have worked for the company as a server for 2 years and while it may not be the best job in the world, it could certainly be worse. Have you guys never worked in a restaurant before? Most restaurants don’t offer/or is basically impossible to get health insurance for servers (cheesecake does through aetna, which is great ins!) or vacation hours. It is also one of the cleanest places I’ve ever worked. Most of the managers do have their head up their ass, though. The tip-out does suck–only because at the one I work at you are expected to tip much more than the minimum (i tip out more than 1/3 of my tips).

    >>I currently work at one in California where the minimum wage is $8/hr plus tips, but am moving to Boston in a couple of weeks where the minimum is $2.63/hr or something ridiculous. Does anyone know someone who works at the one in Boston and can tell me about how much you make there as a server ’cause I’m scared! Are there a lot of tourists at that location too? Because in that earlier posting euro-dude is so ridiculous! WE ARE IN AMERICA! Gratuity is not added or included in the price. If it was, you would be paying a lot more for your food and your server wouldn’t be as nice to you because there would be less incentive to kiss your ass! 10% is not acceptable, especially not at that wage!

    ***I do love traditional NY cheesecake–which I wish we had. But the Oreo, Godiva, and the long gone (sniffle sniffle) WC Peanut Butter Truffle are amazing too****

  90. currentccfempleoyee—the reason you make 8 dollars an hour in Cali is because the cost of living is RIDICULOUSLY high…i think highest in the nation? So if you move, yes your hourly wage will be less but I’m sure once you balance out everything you will still be bringing in the same amount of money because it costs considerably less to live anywhere besides cali, lol.

    Dude I don’t know why all of these ccf employees are complaining, i LOVE being a server there(the one in cincinnati) and I feel that all of our servers(besides a few of the old ones) are EXCELLENT. we work as a team and our guests are always satisfied (well except for the ones who decide they arent going to be satisfied no matter what, haha) i think all of these complainers have the wrong attitude about life in general; so of course its gonna show through in their job. Positive energy people!!! Serving isn’t meant to be a career anyway in my opinion; but it’s the best money you can possibly make as a college student! :)

  91. You know. for a chain that dosen’t advertise Its doing quite well they open at least 5 new ones a year and as far as the food goes its good . the portions are a bit over sized but satisfying. so for the most part the public likes it accept for a few cheesy New Yorkers . I know Ill show up to work tomorrow and that ‘Public’ will pay my wages.


  92. Cheesecake factory cheesecake is supposed to have its own taste and flavor and texture. It’s not New York cheesecake and its not California style, as it is NOT supposed to be. Quit your rant and talk about something more important in this world…like our economy!

    For you to say “The Cheesecake Factory must die” is absurd. The Cheesecake factory employs thousands of people and that is something to be thankful for!

    I think we can all agree that you can’t please everyone.

  93. Ummm hello…Yiddish is a LANGUAGE not an ethnicity! Get it together!!!! Just say what you wanted to and write ‘JEWISH’grandmother for chrissakes!

  94. I jerked off into a kike cunts Chinese chicken salad and she said it was the best salad she ever ate.

    Corporate restaurant jobs are for the initiated or truly pathetic server. Corporate restaurant managers are spreadsheet addicts who generally have the personality of a turd: what they say stinks!

    Overton is a nazi bastard and his restaurants suck dick just like the assholes on this thread who tip less than 15%. Yea, you may think you don’t owe us anything. But when you come back, we owe you a big glob of cum in your food.


    I am glad the economy is down so these scumbag diners have to sit at home and it ceral out of a box. My tips have gone up since the slimeball diners have faded into their empty 402ks


    Fuck you cheescake factory slaves and Overton the pig nazi douchebag!

  95. Sadly, I agree with the lewd comments made by the gentelman before me. David Overton is a cock sucking ass clown. I’ve met the guy…he reminds me of what Jim Carrey would be like if you slipped him a zanny bar and slapped a rolex on his wrinkled cold wrist.

    As an employee of this corporate monster, I definately feel the strain of being only on employee among hundreds and hundreds at my location alone. I am simply a number on a W-4 form and this fact has been made abundantly clear throughout the course of my employment there.

    Aside from the chinsey, oversauced food and the “Delicious, Fresh Baked Gourmet Cheesecakes” that were just thawed from a deep freezer where they have spent the better part of the their 4-month frozen shelf life so that you can stuff your fat fucking face with some more calories after packing back that double barbecue bacon cheeseburger and five refills on your cologne infused passion fruit shitbag tea….the place also sucks as an upstanding member of the coporate world at large.

    Whenever the cheesecake factory is looking to cut the fat, you know where there start? With ME!!! A server who makes $4.25 an hour slaving for these fat drooling slobs who only leave 20% when you don’t notice the gratuity that I included on your check. That’s right. For example, my CCF location furnishes what are called “green tickets” (free meals) to their servers for working a scheduled double…NOT ANYMORE…thanks Mr. Overton, you ugly, Barney Fife looking fagot. Oh, but wait, every single person who works in the back of the house still gets a green ticket EVERY FUCKING DAY!!!!!

    I don’t care that these fucking assholes can’t speak english, get an education and get a real job. I don’t even care that most of these wetbacks probably have like nine kids at home all waiting to grub on daddy’s free employee meal. I’ve got bills to pay to you insensitive pricks!!!

  96. THANK YOU. I actually have the pleasure of working at the Cheesecake Factory… It pains me at times lie through my teeth when customers ask for dessert recommendations. They have some great entree selections but when it comes to cheesecake- their pride, joy, and means of luring in the ignorant- they fail MISERABLY. There are really only two flavors I’ll eat, and while they’re enjoyable enough they still need twice the cream cheese and half the sugar. But what’s worse than the soulless android of a chain restaurant designer willfully perverting the meaning of “traditional” so he can sell dreck to the ignorant is that people actually leave that restaurant bragging to their friends about how amazing the cheesecake is and come back for more! Whenever I want REAL cheesecake, I walk to the Italian restaurant across the street! Aside from that the Cheesecake Factory is the stingiest company I’ve EVER worked for. I can’t wait to be rid of the idiocy… Anyways I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who remembers what cheesecake is supposed to taste like.

  97. Pleasure of working at the Cheesecake Factory, I barffed in my mouth you saying that..

    The Cheesecake factory is THE Slavecake Factory. Stingy is beyond words… They are flat out evil liars (just like all American companies)

    They flaunt how sales are over projection yet complain over staff meals and taking too many togo boxes. They under prep, under staff.. then when shit hits the fan yell and scream about ticket times and quality. We get so worried about the next check that they cant even get the first one out, hot, accurate…They blow smoke up peoples ass about making food to recipie but if they pack in 500+ people on a sat night, Its “make it happen” time, Basically its ok for a manger to cut a corner but not you. YOU who works twice as much for half as much. Its disgusting. Then they want to fuck you in the ass by saying “oh were going to participate in help feed America month” The cheesecake factory is another disgusting pig of America. Literally. No Compassion.. HOW LONG HOW LONG HOW LONG thats it. I would urge a strike but the problem lies in the social construct of some people in that they are used to working hard for little pay which is then exploited. Throw in a little economic propaganda along with 6 months wait for insurance and you have a scared-stressed-beatdown-working class hero employee.

    Congratulations Cheesecake Factory you have successfully created a system to demoralize, and humiliate. Hitler would be proud.

    I fucking hate this place.

  98. NIC SAID……….ccfemployee. Surely tipping is optional?? Why does any diner owe you a living? Do you make sure my rent is paid? Do you know or care what I do to make ends meet?

    Why do I owe you at least 18% of the price of my meal? Is this your own calculation? If so, what is the basis for it?

    Merriam Webster defines a tip as a gift. Do you demand and specify all your gifts or just the monetary ones?

    Grow up. We don’t owe you anything. If you don’t like the service industry, get out of it.

    I used to work at CCF Chicago among many other restaurants but got out. Hey Nic……..Go back to Europe or wherever you came from. Tipping is not a gift if you eat out. If you get good service, it’s expected. When you wait tables, especially in a corporate restaurant, the restaurant and the government assume at least a 10 average tip on every table. This means that if you stiff your food server, he must pay taxes on a tip that he did not receive from you……..H for the wonderful experience of waiting on a wonderful guy like you!

  99. NIC SAID……….ccfemployee. Surely tipping is optional?? Why does any diner owe you a living? Do you make sure my rent is paid? Do you know or care what I do to make ends meet?

    Why do I owe you at least 18% of the price of my meal? Is this your own calculation? If so, what is the basis for it?

    Merriam Webster defines a tip as a gift. Do you demand and specify all your gifts or just the monetary ones?

    Grow up. We don’t owe you anything. If you don’t like the service industry, get out of it.

    I used to work at CCF Chicago among many other restaurants but got out. Hey Nic……..Go back to Europe or wherever you came from. Tipping is not a gift if you eat out. If you get good service, it’s expected. It’s like saying “Bless you” when someone sneezes, it’s customary. When you wait tables, especially in a corporate restaurant, the restaurant and the government assume at least a 10 average tip on every table AND TAKE IT OUT OF YOUR WAGES. That’s before you the server tips out bartenders and assistants and whoever else .This means that if you stiff your food server, he must pay taxes on a tip that he did not receive from you……..HE PAYS for the wonderful experience of waiting on a wonderful guy like you! He must also tip out his assistant and bartender, as that is all done on sales figures, not on actual tips in pockets. STFU Nic!

  100. I happen to LOVE the Cheesecake Factory and I have yet to find restuarants who make entrees as good as their creamy alfredo chicken parmesan, fried corn appetizer, and filet mignon! The cheesecake whether it be fake is the best tasting cheesecake I have ever had! Just wanted to defend one of my favorite restuarants. Yay for freedom of speech!

  101. Yes, I agree with you. The cheesecake factory sucks. Bad food and bad service that’s overpriced.

  102. Although I agree that the Cheesecake factory’s cheesecake is not the best, you still sound like a huge snob and it’s SO unattractive.

  103. Gotta say, it was a good rant….with that said, i work for the cheesecake factory. yes, some things can be improved upon, others are already perfected. Personally, i do not like the original, which does not come with frosting (actually a sweetened sour cream topping)…i prefer the 30th anniversary cheesecake. Like someone stated, if we were so horrible at what we do, make and serve (food-wise) why are we a multi-billion dollar company that can still afford to build more restaurants. Yes, some people have bad experiences, some have great experiences, and some are just ok. Those who are great servers will continue to make great money and those who give horrible service find themselves without a job.

    Maybe some people are bitter…how many people can say they made $300 in one shift?

    To each their own…

  104. WoW I was just surfing while my husband is trying to set up our movie for the night. Interesting thoughts about the ccf. I have been to the one in chicago several times on buiness and was never disspointed. I am a very good cook myself so if your ccf was unsatisfactory that was probably that restaurant its self. But again I am just mom listening to fellow american voice their opinions. Thank god we can share are views and experiences.

  105. If you hate the cheesecake factory check out a new facebook group called cheesemares. It’s all about the nightmares that cheesecake causes you and your friends. Spread the Word

  106. Have you seen the calorie counts on the food items at this place. They are outrageous. I saw the calories and saturated fat for just the kid’s menu items at the know where you eat blog and was shocked. 1809 calories for a kid’s pasta, are you crazy! Something needs to be done about this monster.

  107. CCF is the biggest nazi operation this side of Stoney River. When will the cocksuckers in upper mangement realize that the steps of service they require actually IMPEDES service. The people in the trenches know how a restaurant should operate, but they have to abide by a bunch of spreadsheet addicts’ decrees.

    Overton is a fucking pig!

  108. All you haters… Go back to work and pick on someone else. Best company I’ve ever worked for and no one is holding a gun to your heads. Get a friggin life!!!

  109. Really? I stumbled upon this site while looking up a phone number for my benefits program from the Cheesecake Factory (yes I am a current employee). I’m saddened to see how many people harbor such hateful feelings towards something as simple as their dessert; however, after a few years of serving and bartending while working on a master’s degree I have seen a huge mix of happy and highly satisfied regulars walk through the door as well as miserable people who already walked in feeling hateful and decided to blame their terrible lives on the staff, the food, et cetera. Truthfully, it’s seven dollars for a piece of cheesecake- you spend close to that on a cup of coffee (admit it, you do). If you want NY style, go somewhere where they serve that particularly repulsive dessert. Also, fellow servers, this is not a bad gig, quit complaining because this job is as flexible and profitable as it gets without going into fine dining or slaving away at some office job that you hate. It’s a place where you learn to think on your feet, you make great money annd get a hell of a workout while you’re on the job, plus the benefits aren’t bad. If you are unhappy, as with all other things in life, you have a choice, maybe it’s time to move on.

    As far as the “non-American” NIC goes, sorry, I have to address this because this is not how things work here, and that post is just rude and offensive:

    Nic Says:

    August 24th, 2006 at 5:38 am
    I’m not American so maybe I’m not best placed to comment on the post from “ccfemployee” posted June 15th ’06 but I was outraged and had to share my disgust.

    How can ccfemployee make the statement:


    ccfemployee. Surely tipping is optional?? Why does any diner owe you a living? Do you make sure my rent is paid? Do you know or care what I do to make ends meet?

    Why do I owe you at least 18% of the price of my meal? Is this your own calculation? If so, what is the basis for it?

    Merriam Webster defines a tip as a gift. Do you demand and specify all your gifts or just the monetary ones?

    Grow up. We don’t owe you anything. If you don’t like the service industry, get out of it.

    Look…we don’t like you, right off the bat if you’re European, South American, sorry to say but African American, for some reason, 90% of the time you end up being cheap assholes. Seriously, I wouldn’t go live in your country and expect to have the same standard as the one I came from, why should you come live in mine and not follow the customs that we have? Just be aware, servers DO keep tabs on who tips poorly or not at all and who overly complains about their meal.We’re busy but you have to be pretty attentive and smart to memorize that textbook of a menu and all the ingredients in each dish and dessert, as well as multitask and juggle each guests particular finicky needs…next time you come in you may be in for a surprise, maybe you’ve already had one or several. By this I mean I have witnessed servers put foreign and bodily objects in food, give guests other people’s glasses, dirty ice…really, be nice to your waitstaff, why on earth would you want to piss off the people handling your food???!!! (Go watch The Help, it’ll be very enlightening)

    To address the original rant-writer, good riddance, nobody likes a whiny asshole, and since it sounds like you could skip a meal or two please do so. Maybe instead of sitting at your computer you could go for a walk and enjoy your city a bit. It’s what I’m going to do, maybe it’s what everyone on this post should do because really? We’re talking about cheesecake here? I’m sure there’s better things to think about.

  110. ii i worked i worked at the cheesecake and let me tell you that from a point of view from someone that works and see all the things that go in there, YOU DO NOT WANT TO EAT THERE… i guess it was good at the beggining when it started but now seriously its some bull***it huge corporation shit feeding people, first of all the bread is kept in the fridge for a maximum of 2 weeks before its thrown away, and most of it its at least a week old when served to people, and no matter how much they want it to make it look sanitized it is the most disgusting thing in the world, the servers use their hands behing their server stations when they box your food and the bussers dont even care if they used their bare hands to clean the floor they will use those dirty hands to set your table…i mean i am not blammig them for being careless but the company for being so pushy and the managers for pushing them to do their work FAST. that bullshit main phrase they have of ” to develop an environment where absolute guess satisfaction is our main priority” is sooooooooo overrated, seriously…people please thing twice when going to this place…..oh yeah and mentioning too that cooks, servers and bussers are treated like slaves and you do not get more that 15 min break on a 17 hour shift when working

  111. Like most corporate restaurant kitchens in the year 2013, the line is replete with lazy Mexicans who fuck up boiling noodles. Stay away from corporate restaurants and dine at locally owned independent restaurants.

    Support people who care about the restaurant industry, not some pedophile pig like David Overton or Jeff Kike Sein.

  112. Wow, that was a lengthy rant about The Cheesecake Factory. I would hate to see your Facebook page. I would imagine its just you…putting the world on blast about how you are right; and everybody else is wrong; using every big word you can along the way. How about next time just quietly decide to yourself, “Self…I really did not enjoy that cheesecake; maybe I’ll go somewhere else to get cheesecake next time. Yeah I’ll do that.”, instead of raping the worlds sight and mind with your idiot assumptions. Have a super duper day.

  113. Corporate chains are worthless for receiving quality food and excellent service. The HR assholes create numerous unnecessary steps of service that impedes service. Olive Garden wizards came up with some dumb idea called “Evolution in Service,” a futile exercise in service by requiring servers to work in toe-member teams and each server has to introduce themselves to their partner’s tables.

    Guests outside of my section are not paying my bills. Bo wonder Olive Garden continues to sink in popularity. That and the wetbacks who microwave food in the kitchen.

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