Some really die-hard Cheesecake Factory fans.
Suburban-mall centerpiece Cheesecake Factory isn’t selling as many 3,000-calorie gut bombs as it used to, and executives are trying to figure out why. They’ve decided it’s because the weather hasn’t been great this spring. Reflecting a slump seen all around the industry, the chain revised its earnings outlook today, shifting the forecast for this upcoming quarter from a slight sales increase to a slight sales decrease. “We have seen heightened volatility in week-to-week sales trends, indicative of uncertainty on the part of many consumers,” CEO David Overton explained in his statement to investors. “Specifically, we have seen pockets of softness as we moved through the quarter, notably in the East and Midwest where we also faced unfavorable weather that reduced patio usage.”
Unfortunately for the chain, investors didn’t entirely buy Overton’s fair-weather excuse: Cheesecake Factory’s stock prices today dropped by as much as 11 percent — what Bloomberg calls “the biggest intraday decline in more than two years.”