In the land of exclusive chain partnerships, The Cheesecake Factory's relationship with DoorDash is one that it feels very comfortable bragging about.
— Erika Adams
If The Cheesecake Factory has any qualms about its exclusive partnership with DoorDash, it isn’t showing it.
The strong relationship has proven to be a boon for The Cheesecake Factory, not just in facilitating an increase in delivery sales, but also overall awareness of the chain, as DoorDash has been heavily featuring the brand in its own marketing material over the past couple of months.
Off-premise orders accounted for 15 percent of The Cheesecake Factory’s overall sales in the fourth quarter of 2018. Within that grouping, delivery itself accounted for 27 percent of off-premise orders, and the chain expects that to grow as delivery continues to expand into more markets nationwide.
“We’re pretty broad across geographies,” The Cheesecake Factory’s CEO David Overton said on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. “Some of the geographies that started stronger that were in our base originally in Northern California and those more tech savvy [markets] have continued to stay very strong. But even in some of the newer markets we see really good, sustained growth, and we don’t see any reason why that won’t continue with the partnership with DoorDash throughout this year.”
Overton said that 60 percent of the chain’s delivery customers were incremental, or people who would not have otherwise dined at the chain. The partnership with DoorDash is profitable at this point, Overton confirmed.
The delivery growth was not enough to boost the chain’s overall sales, which showed positive gains but missed analysts’ estimates for the quarter. Total revenue was reported at $585.2 million in the quarter, compared to $571.8 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales increased by 1.9 percent, however, and the company’s stock was up nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading on Wednesday.