I chose to write about The Cheesecake Factory because although I have eaten there a handful of times, it is the restaurant I hear the least about. One of The Cheesecake Factory's strengths is how extensively the staff is trained. First, kitchen and regional managers attend training lectures, view videos and participate in workshops that instruct them on how to prepare the new menu items, but are also taught how to train the kitchen employees at their respective restaurants. On the first day of training, the kitchen managers work their way through thirteen stations preparing each new dish and their performances are evaluated. The following day, they had to teach their regional managers how to prepare each dish and this time, the instructors assessed how well the kitchen managers had taught. The managers then returned home to replicated the training session to the chef kitchen managers of every restaurant in their region (Gawande, 2012).
Another strength is their menu for a few reasons, first the menu is large, some may think it is a weakness, but I feel it is a strength because everyone will find something appealing on the 200 plus item menu, which happens to also be their slogan "something for everyone". Second, the menu is updated twice a year and third, the Cheesecake Factory has recently created their "skinnylicious" and kids menus to appeal to more customers.
A third strength is how the kitchen design is laid out the same in every restaurant, like a manufacturing facility. Along the back wall are the walk-in freezers and prep stations, the next zone where the cooking is done with two parallel lines of countertop – a hot side where the stovetops and grills are located and a cold side with bins of fixings (sauces, garnishes, seasonings, etc) (Gawande, 2012). I think this is a strength because a kitchen staff employee could work at a different restaurant and know where everything is, there is no learning curve or getting in anyone's way.