The Cheesecake Factory ($CAKE) announced some good news for fans of the restaurant this week. About 65% of the locations temporarily closed (thanks to COVID-19) are set to reopen in a few weeks. And of the stores that have already reopened, about 25% of them in total, they've hit "approximately 75% of prior year sales levels". As a result, the stock jumped, which tends to happen when companies announce great news for both customers and their own business.
While there still will be plenty of people not ready to go back to a restaurant, Cheesecake Factory has installed limited capacity, new guidelines for social distancing, and safety measures to avoid getting anyone sick. The company said all of this "reflects [the] continued strength in off-premise sales and building dine-in business."
This all sounds like really terrific news, but when we look at The Cheesecake Factory's social media, there might be cause for some concern going forward that this global pandemic is only exacerbating problems the company already had. Will people flock to dine-in, or does our social media data suggest that enthusiasm will only go as far as curbside pick-up?
The "old" social media platforms of Twitter and Facebook have seen declining followers/likes for years now, and fewer people are talking about Cheesecake Factory online as well.
The only thing we could find with positive growth was on Instagram, where we could see the account break a million followers by the end of this year if things continue to go well.
If you want an optimistic chart to go out on, Cheesecake Factory's job listings are bouncing back ahead of more restaurants reopening. The March spike in COVID-19 brought hiring to basically zero, but very recently they went back up to over 900, which is halfway back to normal.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.