At the heart of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated is a set of guiding principles based on excellence and quality in everything we do. To achieve excellence, we know we must strive to continuously improve upon our past accomplishments. We are committed to doing what is right, conducting ourselves with integrity and ensuring that our actions follow the highest ethical and professional standards.
We embrace sustainability with these values in mind. For us, the term “sustainability” informs how we operate in relation to the environment as well as our relationship with the food we serve, the people we employ, and the communities that we are a part of.
Becoming a sustainable company requires an open mind and a lot of patience. No one is 100% there yet! Every day, and at every level of our business, we are finding ways to reduce our impact on the planet. We ask tough questions about how and where we can improve. These conversations force us to challenge the status quo—to innovate sustainably and look for ways to reduce our environmental impact.
We are examining all aspects of our business in an effort to identify, create, and implement meaningful and sustained change. Currently, our sustainability efforts are focused on our Company owned restaurants, offices and bakeries in the USA. As we expand globally with local licensees, we intend to engage with them to encourage sustainable practices appropriate for the environment in which they operate.
FOOD - EVERY INGREDIENT TELLS A STORY
Everything we do starts on the farm (actually, on many farms). All of our menu items, from our Chicken Madeira to our new Kale and Quinoa Salad, begin with ingredients that come from great farms and growers. Much of our environmental impact—between 60 to 80 percent—comes from our ingredients, so we are focusing much of our efforts on our suppliers.
RESOURCES - RAISING THE SUSTAINABILITY BAR
Our restaurants use a lot of resources—from electricity to power the lights, water to wash food, and packaging for the ingredients we purchase and the takeout we sell. By building and maintaining more energy-efficient restaurants, conserving water, energy, and reducing waste, we are challenging ourselves to reduce our environmental footprint.
CULTURE – BUILDING AN AMAZING PLACE TO WORK
Our success has always started with our exceptional staff and managers. Sustainability is no different, and we are continuing to better engage, educate, and learn from our exceptional team.
COMMUNITY – SUSTAINABILITY IS A TEAM SPORT
It is important for us to think beyond the actions of our own company, and continue to partner with other organizations to champion real sustainable change. We are collaborating with thought leaders, NGO’s, and other restaurant companies to improve our effectiveness and impact.
Building for Sustainability
When I began my Cheesecake Factory journey as a server in Beverly Hills thirty years ago, I felt I had become part of something special. I had worked in other restaurants before, but this was different. The Cheesecake Factory was truly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. What amazed me even more was that as a staff member, I was encouraged—even expected—to be part of that pursuit.
I can tell you that over the last three decades, our commitment to excellence has never waned—it has only grown stronger. We are proud of the progress we have made on sustainability, but know we can—and will—do better.
We recognize that sustainability is an evolutionary process of learning and doing—a work-in-progress. The information shared here is a beginning, and as our sustainability work continues to evolve, we will update you on our progress.
Executive Vice President Operations Services and Sustainability