When The State asked what new retail or restaurant readers would most like to see at Columbiana Centre Mall, the top choice was The Cheesecake Factory.
But would The Cheesecake Factory ever consider opening a location in Columbia?
"Our restaurant development team is always on the lookout for premier sites to further grow The Cheesecake Factory brand presence, and all sites that fit our criteria for success will be seriously considered," Alethea Rowe, senior director of public relations for The Cheesecake Factory Inc., told The State.
While The Cheesecake Factory did not share any additional information about the criteria they evaluate when considering a site, according to portfolio tracking service Wikinvest which cited a 2012 report from The Cheesecake Factory, the restaurant opens new locations in "high-quality, high-profile sites within larger metropolitan areas with dense populations and above-average household incomes."
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In addition to carefully analyzing demographic information and anticipated population growth, the restaurant considers other factors such as "visibility, traffic patterns and general accessibility; the availability of suitable parking; the proximity of shopping areas, office parks and tourist attractions; the degree of competition, proximity of other synergistic retail establishments," according to the Wikinvest report.
The restaurant also tends to locate in areas where it can count on the loyalty of repeat customers as opposed to tourists.
Cheesecake Factory opened its first restaurant in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 1978. The restaurant -- known for its massive menu of more than 250 selections as well as more than 50 handmade signature cheesecakes and desserts -- now operates 211 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.