The Coronavirus pandemic is wide-reaching and the effects are devastating, whether it be on people or on our economy. As we all acclimate to our “new normal” many are facing serious questions right now, like: how will the rent get paid this month? As it turns out for the restaurant chain The Cheesecake Factory, it won’t be. If only it was that easy for everyone else.
The Cheesecake Factory’s CEO and chairman, David Overton, penned a letter on March 18 detailing that the popular sit-down restaurant won’t be able to pay their landlords this month, due to closed dining rooms across the country. It’s not only The Cheesecake Factory, but their affiliated restaurants Rock Sugar and North Italia that will not be paying rent come April 1st.
Overton wrote, “Due to these extraordinary events, I am asking for your patience, and frankly, your help. We appreciate our landlords’ understanding given the exigency of the current situation.”
The Cheesecake Factory employs 38,000 people across the country, while it’s had to close 27 restaurants since the outbreak, and others are limited to delivery and takeout options only. Meanwhile, the company’s stock price has fallen by more than 50% this month.
The Cheesecake Factory issued a statement following the chairman’s letter, which you can read below.
“In these unprecedented times, there are many factors that are changing on a daily basis given governmental regulations and landlord decisions to close properties. We have to take both into consideration in terms of understanding the nature of our rent obligations and with respect to managing our financial position. We have very strong, longstanding relationships with our landlords. We are certain that with their partnership, we will be able to work together to weather this storm in the appropriate manner.”