The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE) announced last Friday it plans to have approximately 65% of its restaurants open for dine-in by mid-June. This amounts to 124 Cheesecake Factory locations in all. The plans call for limited seating availability to ensure proper social distancing between diners in order to lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmissions.
During the worst of the coronavirus pandemic's first wave, Cheesecake Factory took several steps to bolster its sales as dine-in facilities closed. These included the introduction of cheesecake-flavored ice cream in supermarkets along with to-go alcohol sales at many restaurant locations. The company also got a $200 million liquidity boost in the form of an investment from Roark Capital, which added two nominees to Cheesecake Factory's board of directors.
Investors have bid up Cheesecake Factory's stock value in response to the swift rebound of its sales figures, too. At those restaurants already open -- about 25% of stores in the U.S. -- the company reports sales are already at 75% of last year's figures.
Back in May, The Cheesecake Factory predicted its sales would rebound quickly, due in part to restaurant dining areas incorporating up to 10,000 square feet of space. These roomy designs enable "flexible seating layouts" that "uniquely enable us to ensure ample levels of social distancing while maintaining sufficient seating capacity to generate what we believe could be meaningful sales volumes," according to an SEC filing.
The company says its latest round of restaurants will reopen "with limited capacity in accordance with local mandates."