Thursday, August 29, 2013

Cheesecake Factory Brings in Older Diners with Skinnylicious Menu

Cheesecake Factory is consistently among the top restaurants consumers name as their favorites.  Yet the majority of their diners are under 44, so there is still room for growth in attracting baby boomers.  The chain has found that its lower-calorie "Skinnylicious" menu is just the ticket to bring in patrons who have been advised to watch their weight, and those who don't or can't eat the large portions that Cheesecake Factory is best known for.  And Voila!--thanks to skinnylicious, the share of older patrons is increasing!

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Bloomberg Businessweek

Link to article:

Excerpt: "The Cheesecake Factory’s (CAKE) lower-calorie SkinnyLicious menu, introduced in 2011 to offset the chain’s extensive selection of big-portioned dishes, appears to be a hit—especially among the restaurant’s older diners. 'Clearly we’re appealing to a different customer—baby boomers, people that want to eat lighter or are watching their calories,' said Chief Executive Officer David Overton during Wednesday’s earnings call. 'The SkinnyLicious menu appeals to a broad range of guests,' spokeswoman Alethea Rowe echoed in an e-mail. 'However, we are noticing that it has become particularly popular with baby boomers.'

On July 24 the Cheesecake Factory reported a second-quarter same-store sales increase of 0.9 percent. (That figure is 0.8 percent when including the company’s other restaurants, which fell short of analyst’s earlier projections of 1.6 percent.) Chief Financial Officer Doug Benn would not offer specifics on SkinnyLicious sales, but according to Overton, the menu is performing well. 'Many people, especially baby boomers, that still go out to restaurants quite a bit really appreciate it, because they can’t eat the kind of portions they used to,' he said.

Baby boomers have been good for the restaurant industry. Researcher NPD Group found that the number of restaurant visits by boomers and older consumers increased over the past five years, while those by millennials declined. This is possibly because boomers are retiring later and have more disposable income than young adults, who have had a tough time in this economy."
(Note: Hunter Communications handles marketing for Sherman Oaks Galleria, home of the Cheesecake Factory )

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