Calabasas Hills, CA-based chain The Cheesecake Factory announced that it has closed on a $200 million convertible preferred investment from affiliates of Roark Capital Group. Roark’s other restaurant brands include Inspire Brands, the franchisor and operator of the Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic, and Rusty Taco brands; Jimmy John’s and Miller’s Ale House.
The Cheesecake Factory in March had furloughed 41,000 hourly employees because of partial closings at restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chairman/CEO David Overton and other executives took a 20% pay cut from their base salaries in April.
The chain also informed its landlords via letter that it will not be paying rent for any of its nearly 300 restaurant locations in April because of the sharp decrease in traffic and cash flow.
Overton said in a statement that the Roark transaction “not only meaningfully enhances our liquidity position to navigate the near-term COVID-19 landscape and get our affected staff members back to work as soon as practicable, but also importantly, solidifies our ability to manage the business for the long-term for all of our stakeholders once we emerge on the other side of this crisis.”
The investment underscores the strength of The Cheesecake Factor’s brands, market positioning and long-term growth prospects, Overton said.
In addition to its name namesake concept, The Cheesecake Factory includes the Grand Lux Cafes, RockSugar Southeast Asian Kitchens; Social Monk Asian Kitchen brands, as well as North Italia and Fox Restaurant Concepts, which it acquired last summer.