Cheesecake Factory appears to be “running the same play,” wrote J.P. Morgan analyst John Ivankoe in a recent restaurant industry outlook. I don’t think he meant it as a compliment—the stock, he noted, trades where it did in 2004, adjusted for splits.

Why the long stall-out? My first thought was that maybe hitting the mall for a hypercaloric sit-down meal off a menu the size of a Gutenberg Bible has fallen out of favor over the years. But no: Sales have bounced back and then some from the Covid pandemic, with plenty of takeout business and dessert orders. The average Cheesecake Factory (ticker: CAKE) restaurant does more than $10 million in yearly sales, or twice as much as an Olive Garden.


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