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Customer Service and Seating Issues

Posted Thu December 28, 2006 8:51 am, by Stephanie P. written to The Cheesecake Factory

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Cheesecake Factory recently opened a location at Fair Oaks Mall in Virginia. I have been to several other locations and while the food is good it isn't the be all, end all of dining - however, being as the crowds keep coming I suppose they are doing something right. What they are NOT doing right, however, is the horrendous service and incredible LACK of organization. This location is completely chaotic and the staff clearly does not know how to handle a crowd. They also do not know how to answer a phone - I have tried calling on numerous occasions, both on peak and off, and have been greeted only by the phone ringing and ringing and ringing. Each time I ask about it (once I find a parking space, fight the crowd waiting at the hostess stand and am finally acknowledged with a terse "yes?" they say the phones are too busy and they just can't answer them. This is true even of the so-called curbside pick up line (which I believe is a decoy, they have no intention of offering this service, otherwise they would have a staff person assigned only to the phone or, at the very least, a message that picks up and asks you to hold).

I find it ridiculous that this restaurant has not instituted a way to allow for reservations or call-ahead seating. If the crowds are the same every night wouldn't this make sense to help control the chaos? I find it ridiculous that a phone can ring 39 times and still not be answered. Cheesecake Factory - get on the ball and stop treating your customers as annoyances.

*Institute call ahead seating, or;
*Allow for reservations, or;
*Provide a paid membership which guarantees priority seating, and;
*LEARN TO ANSWER THE PHONE - A GOOD GOAL IS TO ANSWER BY THE 3RD RING, THIS IS BASIC CUSTOMER SERVICE


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by MattandErin Engle Posted Sat January 6, 2007 @ 3:35 PM

They don't take reservations or call ahead seating to prevent empty
tables from being "held". First come, first serve is the only way to
go in a busy restaurant. Furthermore, you would have been just as
angry if they did take reservations, and you came in to dine only to
see several empty tables, or to be waiting in the lobby and see people
walk in and get seated before you. That's why they only take walk ins
and that's why they bank millions.

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by Jeffrey Posted Thu December 28, 2006 @ 2:09 PM

I don't excuse the service you received, but...

They pack them in every night based on the OK food, long waits (my
last trip to the Tyson's location was 3 hours on an early fall week
night), and mediocre service.

The don't need to take reservations because they know they will fill
every table every night. Reservations will only REDUCE the amount of
money they make, not increase it. Really!

People love this place and are willing to put up with it all. Sounds
like you might not be one of those people.

There are lots of other places with better food at comparable prices
in the Fair Oaks area. I've never been to Champs, in the mall, but I
looks comparable doesn't have the wait. The Great American places,
like Sweetwater (Centerville or Merrifield are closest to Fair Oaks),
Silverado, Carlisle, Coastal Flats (down the street from Fair Oaks),
and Mike's serve good food. Waits are long, but they do call-ahead.

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What is it about Cheesecake Factory anyway? by RedheadWGlasses Thu December 28, 2006 @ 3:53 PM


Two words... by Jeffrey Thu December 28, 2006 @ 6:44 PM


But don't people go there for regular food? by RedheadWGlasses Fri December 29, 2006 @ 12:55 PM


They do... by Jeffrey Fri December 29, 2006 @ 1:26 PM

by RedheadWGlasses Posted Thu December 28, 2006 @ 12:41 PM

If you find the whole experience so unpleasant, why keep trying? They
obviously are busy enough that they don't need to cater to your
demands. Obviously, plenty of people find the food and service to be
perfectly acceptable.

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by LadyMac Posted Thu December 28, 2006 @ 10:49 AM

I love Cheesecake Factory and this one is right up the road from my
office.

On a lark, I called them and they answered on the second ring.

Perhaps the holiday season is impacting things. Maybe it will get
better in January.

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