How Cheesecake Factory turns National Cheesecake Day into big business

4 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Trends
Very Cherry Ghirardelli® Chocolate Cheesecake will be half off

Restaurants are always looking for creative ways to get customers in their doors. In this case, The Cheesecake Factory ($NASDAQ:CAKE) is leaning into National Cheesecake Day by offering slices for half off. The chain has been running this special on July 30 (that's National Cheesecake Day for those who are following along) every year.

So does it work?

According to conversation data scraped from Facebook, it does — a lot.

The above graph represents Facebook users talking about Cheesecake Factory (based on "talking about" conversations pulled from Facebook's public tracking APIs). See all those spikes in late July and early August? That's people talking about half-off cheesecake.

And that's good for business. It's not all profit, though: Cheesecake Factory says that it will donate 25 cents to Feeding America for every slice of Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake sold during the promotion.

Deep-cut pricing campaigns are some of the oldest tricks in the restaurant business, but that's because they work.

Just last week (and as we predicted), IHOP ran its annual anniversary special in which it charges 1 cent per year it's been around. And it worked. People hopped to IHOP to get sticky with some 60-cent pancakes.

See that massive spike indicating that on July 16, 2018, arond 150,000 conversations about IHOP occurred on the world's largest social network? That was the same day IHOP offered pancakes for 60 cents.

Of course, not all promotions bring good will. Earlier this summer, IHOP changed its name to IHOb in a campaign to generate interest in its hamburgers. The promotion was met with general apathy.

In the case of Cheesecake Factory, they're virtually the only national chain that specializes in the desert. In its case, pegging a day of promotions to a national holiday makes sense. In other words, it would be pretty tough for a singular burger chain to dominate on National Hamburger Day. 

That said, if burger chains want to offer burgers for half off, we won't complain.

Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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