The MRL Morning Show

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MAYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 31: Actor Wilmer Valderrama joins The Cheesecake Factory to kick-off Feeding America's Hunger Action Month by catering a community lunch at Maywood Parks and Recreation Center on August 31, 2011 in Maywood, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for Cheesecake Factory)

When he first opened the Cheesecake Factory, owner David Overton created a small menu on purpose. Overton had no restaurant experience, so keeping the original menu simple meant he could make everything himself, if necessary. Although this strategy was great at first, as the restaurant grew, David added more and more menu items. “As he says, he ‘didn’t want to be left behind’ if there were items that his guests wanted that weren’t already on the menu,” Rowe says. So, the menu grew slowly to 200 items and expanded to 250 with the addition of the SkinnyLicious Menu. The large menu is also a clever business strategy, according to the book Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth. The authors, Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin, discuss brands like The Cheesecake Factory and customer loyalty. “You might think it’s too long, but for The Cheesecake Factory, it’s just right. Why? Because the vastness of the restaurant’s menu is so unusual that it compels conversation among its patrons,” they write.

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