There wasn't any market-moving news to report on chow chain Cheesecake Factory
It seems a diner settling in for a pre-presentation dinner found herself suddenly and unexpectedly dunked in a pool of iced tea. Refreshing as that may sound in summertime, it isn't exactly iced-tea weather in the Washington, D.C., area these days.
It's fairly standard restaurant procedure to pick up the cleaning bill in such cases, but what this restaurant's manager did was remarkable and telling: He told the diner, who hadn't time to run home and change, to buy a new outfit in the restaurant's adjoining mall -- on him. (Well, on the company, anyway.) It's quite clear that this restaurant, located in a busy mall in a tony suburb, takes its customers' satisfaction very seriously: Employees at Cheesecake Factory, it seems, are empowered to move decisively, quickly, and creatively to ensure a customer's satisfaction.
And the company understands that the heart of a local restaurant is repeat business -- and thus encourages its managers to lock up the "next sale." With dinner for four at Cheesecake Factory costing a bit more than chicken fingers and fries, it's a sensible policy. Now, this isn't to say the company wins 'em all: Common complaints about Cheesecake Factory in many locations, for example, include seemingly endless waits and harried service.
But the fact remains that chain restaurants can't always count on the good graces of diners or, especially, influential critics. For the bargain price of $300, Cheesecake Factory bought itself a heck of a lot more than a lady's suit and shoes. Now its servers just need to be on the lookout for diners whose legs have "accidentally" drifted out onto the floor when the iced tea passes by.
Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own shares of Cheesecake Factory.