The Cheesecake Factory opens 200th location in Chattanooga
If you love cheesecake you're in luck, the wait is finally over as The Cheesecake Factory opened its Chattanooga location Tuesday afternoon.
This marks a major milestone for the company with more than 200 restaurants in North America.
With more than 250 menu selections and more than 50 signature cheesecakes and desserts, The Cheesecake Factory's opening is the latest addition to a section of Hamilton Place Mall that has struggled in the past.
The new location is in the Sears parking lot, which is expected to close in January. The restaurant is about 9,000 square feet and features imported limestone floors, custom wood columns, hand-painted murals and modern lighting.
Before the opening in Chattanooga, LeAnn Barnes had to travel to Nashville, Knoxville or Atlanta to indulge.
"My husband and I travel extensively, and the food compares to anywhere we've ever been," Barnes said.
Will Powers, a spokesperson for Cheesecake said adding a location to the Scenic City made sense for their model.
"It's a thriving city, it's a city that's growing, not only from the resources from recreation that's attracting many people to the city, but business in itself is growing," Powers explained.
Known for their oversized menu, The Cheesecake Factory prides itself on making each dish from scratch.
"Every sauce, every burger is hand formed, every egg roll filling is right there, nothing is brought in, it's all made in our kitchen," Powers said.
This means it takes a lot of hands and more jobs for the community. Powers said, about 2,600 people applied and they already hired close to 300 employees.
"While we might not have quite the punch of like a Volkswagen, we do believe we'll play our part in that piece of the puzzle to continue to move Chattanooga forward," he said.
With so many options at Hamilton Place Mall, how will they stay competitive?
Power said they focus on their 'guest value,' food quality and level of service. Like anything, competition is good for them and their competitors.
"When you have restaurants around you it brings people in and we're thrilled, so we're absolutely thrilled to be with our neighboring restaurants," Powers said.
On average, The Cheesecake Factory restaurants bring in $10,000,000 in sales, this could be the revitalization that side of Hamilton Place needs.
"I have seen what seems like a shopping decline around the mall area and I really feel like this is going to bring people back," Barnes said.
The Cheesecake Factory says they are still hiring, if you would like to apply visit The Cheesecake Factory's employment page and select Chattanooga.
The restaurant is located at 2084 Hamilton Place Blvd., Chattanooga, TN 37421. The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 10:00 a.m. Saturday through Sunday.