Mmm, Cheesecake

The much-anticipated addition to Woodland Hills Mall, The Cheesecake Factory, is set to open its doors for dinner Aug. 23.
By opening day, a staff of 250 will have been training two weeks to learn 18 pages of 200 menu items, including 40 different cheesecakes and 10 other desserts.
When each location of The Cheesecake Factory rakes in an average $10.8 million in sales per year, the standard ticket of $750,000 for training at each store represents a company commitment to quality, said Howard Gordon, senior vice president of The Cheesecake Factory.
As many Tulsans already know, the restaurant chain relies on word-of-mouth marketing. The Cheesecake Factory has never paid for advertising because “no one does what we do,” Gordon said.
“It’s about an experience. Some of the things we do for that experience is that we have great locations, we have a great ambiance, good food and service, very generous portions with price value, and with 200 menu items and 50 desserts, there’s something for everyone.”
Of the 1,500 potential sites around the country for The Cheesecake Factory, the chain selected 21 to add to its existing portfolio of 125 locations. The Tulsa location will be the second in Oklahoma.
The Cheesecake Factory has had Tulsa on its radar because “it’s a good food town,” Gordon said.
“Our site selection is very exact. When we take a look at a redevelopment, the city has to be behind it for it to happen. When we see that combination, we see that the city is committed to have the residents of the area stay there and shop and eat.”
The Tulsa location, open for lunch and dinner, will contain 10,381 SF including a patio. The patio will seat 96, and the indoor dining room will seat 285. The restaurant, bedecked with marble floors, hand-painted murals and hand-blown glass fixtures made specifically for the Tulsa location, will also feature a full bar.
The first diners to the scene can expect prices on the appetizers menu to range from $6.95 to $11.95 and to include Firecracker Salmon Rolls, Ahi Carpaccio and Fire-Roasted Fresh Artichoke. Entrees like Jamaican Black Pepper Shrimp, Hibachi Steak and Chicken Madeira range from $10.95 to $19.95. About 80 percent of guests take home leftovers, Gordon said.
The 40 cheesecake varieties include the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Key Lime Cheesecake, and the one a certain food editor will be sure to try, the Carmel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake. ?

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